The Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission (commission) received two petitions, regarding the no wake zone established by ARM 12.11.115, on Echo Lake. After hearing comments from the petitioners pursuant to ARM 12.11.117, the commission is proposing the enclosed rulemaking. The commission is proposing amendments to ARM 12.11.2204 to establish an alternative route to the existing path motorized watercraft towing skiers are allowed to travel in order to allow safe travel across the whole lake. The existing no wake zone around the perimeter of the lake disallows motorized watercraft towing a skier to continue through to other portions of the lake because the 200 foot no wake zone overlaps and does not allow watercraft to travel at speeds required to pull a skier. The commission found that areas where watercraft can travel at speeds to tow a skier are too congested and cause wave action that resulted in damage to adjacent property owners docks and shorelines. This proposal provides a safe route, with high visibility, allowing watercraft towing a skier to travel a greater portion of the lake relieving congestion and minimizing damage to the shoreline caused by waves. The commission is proposing the amendments to provide a continuous route from the bays to the main body of water on Echo Lake by exempting the corridors serving as entrance and exit for each bay from ARM 12.11.115. On November 10, 2008 the Commission voted and approved to direct the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to initiate rulemaking.
Martha Abbrescia Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 1 490 North Meridian Road Kalispell MT 59901
The public comment period for this public notice ended on Friday, February 27, 2009.