Part 5 – Boating Safety; Slow-No-Wake
3.501 Applicability

The provisions of this Ordinance shall apply to the reaches of the Rock River and each named and unnamed river and stream located within Rock County, Wisconsin.

3.502 Purpose

The purpose of this Ordinance is to promote safe boating conditions and to prevent damage to aquatic ecosystems by: (A) limiting boats on the Rock County rivers and streams to slow-no-wake speed when the water level of the river exceeds the recommended levels, (B) establishing slow-no-wake areas in certain locations where that is warranted by boating congestion, (C) authorizing the Rock County Sheriff to impose slow-no-wake speed limits on other rivers and streams in the county during permitted special events or when that is warranted by exceptional circumstances.

3.503 Authority

This Ordinance is adopted by the Rock County Board of Supervisors pursuant to the powers granted by Section 30.77 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

3.504 Definitions

The definitions as set forth in Section 30.01 of the Wisconsin Statutes are incorporated herein by reference as though fully set forth herein, except as follows:

(A) Boat, Watercraft. "Boat" or "Watercraft" means any device used for navigation on water, including personal watercraft.

(B) Slow-No-Wake Speed. "Slow-No-Wake Speed" means that speed at which a boat moves as slowly as possible while still maintaining steerage control.

3.505 Speed Restrictions

(A) No person shall operate a boat or watercraft at greater than Slow-No-Wake Speed on any portion of the Rock River downstream from the northern Rock County line to the Indianford Dam, when the gauge water level at the US Geological Survey Gauge 05427235 (Lake Koshkonong near Newville, Wisconsin) is above 8.0 feet. This Chapter 3 46 information can be obtained from the NOAA website.

(B) No person shall operate a boat or watercraft at greater than Slow-No-Wake Speed on any portion of the Rock River downstream from the Indianford Dam to the West B-R Town Line Road Bridge when the gauge water level at the US Geological Survey gauge 05430500 (Rock River at Afton, Wisconsin) is above 6.5 feet. This information can be obtained from the NOAA website.

(C) No person shall operate a boat or watercraft at greater than Slow-No-Wake Speed on any portion of the Rock River downstream from the West B-R Town Line Road Bridge to the southern Rock County line when the gauge water level at the US Geological Survey gauge 05430500 (Rock River at Afton, Wisconsin) is above 8.5 feet. This information can be obtained from the NOAA website.

(D) No person shall operate a boat or watercraft at greater than Slow-No-Wake Speed in the following areas, which are more specifically described as follows:

(1) From a point 100 feet west of Interstate 90 to point 1,500 feet east of the Newville Bridge (Highway 59).

(2) An area 250 feet on either side of the railroad bridge over the Rock River in the Town of Fulton.

(3) From the Indianford Bridge to approximately 1,000 feet north of the Indianford Bridge on the Rock River in the Town of Fulton.

(E) No person shall operate a boat or watercraft at greater than Slow-No-Wake Speed within any area subject to a Special Event Permit issued by the Rock County Sheriff pursuant to Section 3.506(A).

(F) No person shall operate a boat or watercraft at greater than Slow-No-Wake Speed within any area declared to be a Boating Hazard Zone by the Rock County Sheriff pursuant to Section 3.506(B).

(G) Persons or groups may operate a boat or watercraft at greater than slow-no-wake speed within an area of any river that is currently designated a slow-no-wake area only for the purposes of participating in a permitted ski show or like event (e.g. Rock AquaJays) provided such events are approved by all governing bodies of each city, village or town within which such event is to be performed and by the Rock County Sheriff.

3.506 Duties and Powers of the Rock County Sheriff

(A) Special Events. On the application of a person proposing to conduct a special event on any river or stream in the County and with the approval of the governing body of each city, village or town within which such event is proposed, the Rock County Sheriff may issue a Special Aquatic Event Permit and may impose a slow-no-wake speed on the operation of boats or water craft not participating in the special event. Any permit issued under this Section shall specify the time, date and location of the event and the boundaries of the slow-no-wake area so designated and shall be posted in accordance with Section 3.507.

(B) Boating Hazard Zone. The Rock County Sheriff may designate all or any part of any river or stream within Rock County as a Boating Hazard Zone if the Sheriff determines that high water levels or emergency conditions resulting from storms or other conditions warrant the imposition of a slow-no-wake speed restriction. Each such designation shall specify the boundaries of the Boating Hazard Zone so designated and notice of the imposition of the slow-no-wake speed restriction shall be posted in accordance with Section 3.507.

3.507 Notice and Posting

The Rock County Sheriff shall notify media sources serving the area affected by any slow-no-wake speed restriction imposed pursuant to this Ordinance and shall place and maintain regulatory notice of such restrictions at all public access points within such areas. Such notices shall be sent and posted as soon as practicable after the issuance of the permit or designation and when the Rock River water level reaches or is anticipated to reach the level specified in Section 3.505(A) and or 3.505(B) within 24 hours. The Sheriff shall notify the media and remove such notices as soon as possible when the conditions resulting in the slow-no-wake speed restriction have passed.

3.508 Enforcement and Penalties

(A) Enforcement. This Ordinance may be enforced by law enforcement officers of the Rock County Sheriff's Office and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

(B) Obstruction. No person shall resist or obstruct any law enforcement officer in the performance of his or her duties under this Ordinance.(C) Enforcement Procedure. The provisions of Sections 66.0109, 66.0113, 66.0114 and30.50 to 30.71 of the Wisconsin Statutes are adopted and by reference made a part of this Ordinance as if fully set forth here in. Any future additions, amendments, revisions or modifications of the statutes incorporated herein are intended to be made part of this Ordinance in order to secure uniform state-wide regulation and enforcement of boating ordinance violations. The County elects to use the citation method of enforcement.

(D) Other Remedies. The issuance of a citation hereunder shall not preclude the County or any authorized person from proceeding under any other ordinance of law or by any other enforcement method to enforce any ordinance, regulation or order.

(E) Penalties and Deposits. Any person violating the provisions of this Ordinance shall be subject to penalties as provided for in Section 30.80 of the Wisconsin Statutes and deposits as established in the Uniform Deposit and Bail Schedule established by the Wisconsin Judicial Conference, which are hereby adopted by reference with all references therein to "fines" amended to "forfeitures" and all references to "imprisonment" deleted.

3.509 Severability

The provisions of this Ordinance shall be deemed severable and it is expressly declared that the County would have passed the other provisions of this Ordinance irrespective of whether or not one or more provisions may be declared invalid. If any provision of this Ordinance or the application to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of the ordinance and the application of such provisions to other persons or circumstances shall be in effect. This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon passage and publication as provided by law.