Boat Speeds on the Lower St. Croix River

Boating Rules for the Lower St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

No-wake defined:

Slow no-wake speed means the slowest possible speed to maintain steerage, but no greater than 5 mph.

The Rule on the St. Croix River - 683.0 feet MSL

The rule requires that watercraft operate at slow, no-wake speeds, river wide, once the river reaches 683.0 feet MSL (Mean Sea Level) as measured at the gauge at Stillwater.  Failure to comply may result in a citation from law enforcement patrols on the water. Once the river levels drop below 683.0 feet, the restrictions are lifted but boaters are cautioned that there continues to be hazards and shoreline erosion potential. The graph below starts at a datum of 600 MSL.

St. Croix River River Levels

Graph of Water Levels on the St. Croix River at Stillwater.

Local and State Lake and River Restrictions

Go to NOAA St. Croix River page.

History and Reasoning

In 1986 the St. Croix high water no-wake rules were implemented to apply to the 52 mile river stretch from the dam at Taylors Falls to Prescott. The measures were put in place to help protect boaters from flood related hazards such as floating debris and river currents.  They also help minimize damage to shorelines, levees, and islands which are more vulnerable to damage from wakes during high water events.

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