Watch Your Wake

The following information has been provided courtesy of the Pike Lake Community Association.

Impact of Boat Wake

The larger the wake, the greater the potential for undesirable side effects

  • Loons, and other birds that nest along the shore, choose locations that are protected

    from waves generated by the prevailing winds. However, boat wake, which can come from any direction, can and does drown the nests and the young, particularly in May and June.

  • Inexperienced swimmers and young children are not usually in the water when wind driven

    waves are high. However, they can be toppled by the size and energy of boat wake.

  • Boat wake and prop wash can churn up sediments in shallow water which releases

    dormant nutrients that promote weed growth and algal blooms.

  • Boat wake can cause erosion.

  • Boat wake can cause docks and moored boats to rock severely and pull mooring hardware.

Legislation and Recommendations

The Small Vessel Regulations stipulate that the legal speed limit for all motor boats is 10 km/h within 30 metres of any shore.

Waterski and Wakeboard Canada strongly recommends that wakeboard boats stay a minimum of 50 metres from any shore and in a minimum of 2 metres depth of water to reduce the effect of shoreline degradation and turbidity.

How You Can Be Wake Wise

  • Be aware of the size of your wake during displacement, transition and planing speeds.

  • Position your passengers through-out the boat in order to reduce the time spent in transition speed.

  • Look behind you to see and understand the impact of your wake on shorelines, docks or other structures. Adjust your speed and direction to minimize the impact.

  • Respect the shoreline zone. Reduce your speed to less than 10 km/h within 30 metres of any shore including the narrow channels between islands.

  • Waterski, tube, and wake-board well away from all shorelines. Try to make use of the entire length of the lake.

  • Consider the size of the wake produced when purchasing a new boat.


Be Wake Aware. A partnership between The Muskoka Lakes Association, Safe Quiet Lakes and the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations.

Safe Quiet Lakes.  An initiative from Muskoka Lakes.