Jet Ski Season Begins Monday on Island Lake


Erik Wander/KMXT

Island Lake will open to motorized watercraft Monday, and borough officials and concerned residents of the area are reminding jetskiers about the rules of the road.

When jetskiers became too much of a nuisance on Island Lake, the Kodiak Island Borough put some teeth into the ordinance governing their use on the lake. Former assembly member Barbara Williams, who has owned a home on the lake since 1985, was behind the push for stricter rules.

(Williams 1 21 sec. "For the first couple years … quite a safety issue.")

Williams said that in the late 1990s, the borough assembly assigned the Island Lake task force the responsibility of developing rules for use of the lake by jet-skiers and other motorized boaters. Williams served on that task force prior to serving on the assembly, which she did from 2004 to 2007. She said getting the rules put in place was years in the making.

(Williams 2 35 sec. "We posted the rules … took over 10 years.")

Williams cited the lake’s small size, and respect for residents of the area, as reasons why such regulations were needed, including specific days and times when use is permitted, fines for violations and other rules. Borough Community Development director Bud Cassidy said the mid-June date was set in part to protect wildlife in the area.

(Cassidy 3 47 sec. "We had jet-skiers and … the wakes that are thrown up.")

Last year was the first year the rules were in effect. Cassidy and Williams both said the new regulations proved to be very effective, working the way they were intended, although both also noted that the weather wasn’t particularly favorable for jetskiers last summer. Still, Williams said she saw no evidence of violations and hopes that will continue to be the case this year.

(Williams 4 35 sec. "This will be the second year … felt we could come up with.")

Island Lake is open to motorized watercraft June 15th to October 1st on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m. One craft is allowed on the water at a time and must remain at least 100 feet from the shoreline. No motorized traffic is permitted down the arms of the lake. Fines are 100, 200 and 300 dollars for first-time, second-time and third-time offenders respectively. Cassidy said the borough’s new code enforcement officer will be charged with enforcing the rules on Island Lake.

I’m Erik Wander.


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