Saturday, April 13, 2024

Hayden Lake buoys: A practical solution

| May 30, 2020 1:00 AM

I own property on Hayden Lake and had a major issue with many boats and jet skis not honoring the 200-foot no wake zone from my shore and dock. I went through the application and hearing process to place permitted buoys to protect my property but was told at the end of the process it was only permitted for commercial use. I was also told they had never enforced the placement of Coast Guard approved buoys at the 200-foot designation (which I did). Once boaters saw the buoys my problem went away.

Now IDL and KCSO imposed their will and have demanded that all non-commercial buoys (that are the only thing protecting our private property and the shoreline) must be removed or face litigation, fines, and fees. They are now going to place only eight buoys to cover the entire lake (which will never work)!

Now my problem, and every other property owner on Hayden Lake, will have the exact same issues that caused us to place our own buoys in the first place. A simple, inexpensive, and quick fix is to make sure all the private buoys are Coast Guard approved and are placed at the correct legal distance and enforced with fines between $500 and $1K, which would be posted at the launches and in all the medial news outlets.

Without enough buoys to create a visual channel between the shore and enforcement area in high use areas of the lake, we are opening a true safety issue to our swimmers, kayakers, and paddle boarders. If we were to ask boaters to visually identify what 200 feet or 300 feet was without buoys, we would find a far greater percentage would have the wrong answer.

After I placed my buoys, I had hundreds of positive comments from kayakers and paddle boarders thanking me for creating a “safety zone” for them. Having only one buoy between Honeysuckle launch and Tobler’s Marina under the new plan is a joke and a liability as a case in point.

KCSO has failed miserably in all areas of water enforcement on Hayden Lake. By their own admission, they don’t have the manpower or vessels to adequately cover any of the waterways, let alone Hayden Lake. They claim they can’t enforce or cite violators because the buoys are not official. How is the sheriff’s office going to enforce any regulations when there are virtually NO buoys present to cite infractions and they still don’t have the vessels or manpower to even attempt to enforce the new regulations?

Our collective properties and shorelines will now be permanently damaged through the stupidity of IDL’s administration under this new plan and the lack of adequate enforcement by KCSO. The proposed new plan is seriously flawed and the damage it is going to create will not be reversable.

If you simply educate and strictly enforce the regulations that are already in place, we wouldn’t have these issues.