General Safety & Navigation

This is a summary of the most common rules, regulations, and recommendation for general safety and navigation on Prior Lake.

New For 2017: No inflatable water devices such as air mattresses, inner tubes, or similar water toys can be towed through ANY no wake channels.

For the full version from the City of Prior Lake, please visit:            http://www.cityofpriorlake.com/WSUM.php

For the complete Minnesota Boating Regulation Guide: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/boatwater/boatingguide.pdf

Life Jackets:

Appropriate size US Coast Guard Approved Life jackets are required for all passengers under 10 years old. Adults are not required to wear life jackets but there must be enough life jackets (appropriate size and readily accessible) for everyone on board.  Watercraft over 16 feet must also carry a throwable life preserver and a whistle or functional horn. Children under the age of 10 are not required to wear life jacket on a watercraft that is anchored for purposes of diving or swimming.

Fire Extinguishers:

Fire extinguishers are recommended on all motorized watercraft and required on all that have enclosed engines or fuel tanks/storage – this includes personal watercraft.  Only motorized watercraft that have unenclosed portable fuel tanks with no floorboards, decking, or a cabin that could trap vapors are not required to have a fire extinguisher. An example of this would be a fishing boat with an outboard engine, portable exterior gas tank and no enclosed areas.

Navigation lights (red and green on bow, white on stern) are required from sundown to sunup.

Please use docking lights for docking purposes only as they wash out the red and green navigation lights.

Inflatable water devices: No inflatable water devices such as air mattresses, inner tubes, or similar water toys can be used more than 150 feet from shore unless accompanied by a watercraft.

Swimmers: All swimmers more than 150 from shore must be escorted by a watercraft.

Water skiing, surfing, wakeboarding and similar activities are not allowed from ½ hour after sunset to sunrise.

Non-motorized Craft: Non-motorized craft (sailboats, canoes, etc.) have the right-of-way over motorized craft in all situations, except when the non-motorized craft is overtaking or passing.

Move Over Law: When approaching and passing a law enforcement watercraft with its emergency lights activated, the operator of a watercraft must safely move the watercraft away from the law enforcement watercraft and maintain a slow no-wake speed while within 150 feet of the law enforcement watercraft.

Passing: When overtaking another watercraft going in the same direction, the craft being overtaken must maintain course and speed. The passing watercraft must keep a sufficient distance to avoid collision or endangering the other craft from its wake.

Meeting: When two watercraft approach each other “head-on,” each must alter course to the right to avoid collision. If the two watercraft are far enough to the left of each other, no change in direction is needed for safe passage. Both watercraft will maintain their course and speed to pass clear of each other.  Keep to the right in narrow channels.

Crossing: If two watercraft approach each other at a right angle, the watercraft to the right shall have the right-of-way.

FOR ALL WATERCRAFT IT IS ILLEGAL TO:

  • Operate a watercraft in a reckless or careless manner.
  • Operate a watercraft in such a way that it’s wake endangers, harasses, or interferes with a person or property.
  • Operate a watercraft in such a way that it obstructs or interferes with navigation of other watercraft.
  • Operate a watercraft with within 150 feet of a scuba divers warning flag or an area legally marked off as a swimming area.
  • Ride on or sit on the gun whales, bow, transom, or decking over the bow, sides or stern of any motorboat while underway, unless it is equipped with an adequate railing.
  • Chase or harass wildlife.
  • Intentionally obstruct any seaplane attempting to land or take off.
  • Attach a watercraft to any buoy except a mooring buoy.
  • Tamper with, remove, or destroy a navigational aid or buoy.
  • Litter on any waterbody or at any public access.
  • Operate a motorized watercraft while impaired by a Blood Alcohol level over 0.08 or by other controlled substances.
    • The same fines and penalties apply for Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in a motor vehicle on the road.
    • Open bottles ARE allowed on watercraft and the driver CAN drink alcohol but not to the level of legal intoxication (0.08 % BAC).

Please Enjoy Prior Lake Respectfully and Safely!

Prior Lake Association

Speed Limits & Hours of Operation

 

 

Speed Limits for Boats & Personal Watercraft

  • DAY TIME (Sunrise to 30 Minutes after Sunset):
    • 40 mph speed limit applies to weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
    • NO speed limit for any weekdays all year and weekends before Memorial Day after Labor Day.
  • NIGHT TIME (30 minutes after Sunset to Sunrise):
    • 20 mph all year, every night, including weeknights, weekends and holidays.

 

Hours of Operation

Boats and pontoons can be operated (within the above speed limits) at any time of the day or night, so long as proper lights are used at night.

Personal watercraft (Jet Skis, Seadoos, Waverunners, Etc,) must be off the water by one hour before sunset and cannot be operated any earlier than 9:30 AM. Click here for sunrise sunset times (http://sunrise-sunset.org/us/minneapolis-mn). If on the water, you can also search on your smart phone or other device for sunrise sunset times.

Waterskiing, wake boarding, surfing, tubing and other related activities are not allowed any time after one half hour after sunset and sunrise of the following day.

Navigation lights (Red and Green on the bow, white on the stern) must be turned on from sunset to sunrise.

For the complete Minnesota Boating Regulation Guide: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/boatwater/boatingguide.pdf

Please Enjoy Prior Lake Respectfully and Safely!

No Wake Zones

No wake speed is generally defined as driving less than 5 mph or “closed throttle” – driving in gear with no added throttle and creating no visible wake.

New For 2017: No inflatable water devices such as air mattresses, inner tubes, or similar water toys can be towed through ANY no wake channels.

No Wake Channels and Bays: Several water channels and bays on Prior Lake are no wake zones and are clearly and visibly marked by the Sheriff’s Department with orange and white no wake buoys. Tampering with, moving, or damaging any navigational buoy is a crime.

No Wake Along Shorelines: Prior Lake has a perpetual (constant) no wake zone along ALL shorelines; you must have no wake when you are within 150 feet of shore.  Those launching or landing a person on water skis, wakeboards, kneeboards, or barefoot are exempt from this rule but must exit the no wake (or slow to no wake speed) zone in the most direct and safe route possible.

Some lake shore residents choose to mark the 150 foot shoreline no wake zone with floating orange markers. Regardless of orange markers, the 150 foot no wake zone remains around the entire lake.  Residents may purchase marker buoys privately but they must obtain a permit from the Sheriff’s department. Link to permit app: https://www.scottcountymn.gov/FormCenter/Sheriffs-Office-8/Application-for-Marine-TEMPORARY-STRUCTU-70

High Water No Wake:

If the water level of Prior Lake reaches 903.9 feet above sea level, the ENTIRE LAKE becomes a no wake zone. Violation of this ordinance results in a $500 fine. Public accesses will be posted with this restriction should it take effect. The entire lake will remain a no wake zone until the water level has fallen below 903.9 for 3 consecutive days. Please click on this link to check the current lake level: http://www.plslwd.org/waterbodies/prior-lake-lower/#lake-levels

Other Regulations Involving No Wake Zones:

No inflatable water devices such as air mattresses, inner tubes, or similar water toys can be used more than 150 feet from shore unless accompanied by a watercraft.

All swimmers more than 150 from shore must be escorted by a watercraft.

For more information from the City of Prior Lake, please visit:  http://www.cityofpriorlake.com/WSUM.php

For the complete Minnesota Boating Regulation Guide: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/boatwater/boatingguide.pdf

Please Enjoy Prior Lake Respectfully and Safely!

Docks & Boat Lifts

Dock & Boat Lift Requirements

According to the DNR, no permit is needed to install, construct, or reconstruct your dock on shoreline property you own if you comply with the following:

-A dock is a narrow platform or structure extending toward the water from the shoreline. A dock may provide access to moored watercraft or deeper water for swimming, skiing, and other recreation.

-The structure, other than a watercraft lift or watercraft canopy, is not more than 8 feet wide and is not combined with other similar structures so as to create a larger structure.

-The dock is no longer than needed to achieve its intended use, including reaching navigable water depth.

-The structure is not a hazard to navigation, health, or safety.

-The structure will allow the free flow of water beneath it.

-The structure is not used or intended as a marina.

-The structure is consistent with the guidelines of the local unit of government.

-Docks placed on rock-filled cribs are located only on waters where the bed is predominantly bedrock.

For more information and specifications, visit the following resouce links:

Docks and Access in Public Waters (Fact Sheet)

 

According to the DNR, no permit is needed to install, construct, or reconstruct your dock on shoreline property you own if you comply with the following:

  • A dock is a narrow platform or structure extending toward the water from the shoreline. A dock may provide access to moored watercraft or deeper water for swimming, skiing, and other recreation.
  • The structure, other than a watercraft lift or watercraft canopy, is not more than 8 feet wide and is not combined with other similar structures so as to create a larger structure.
  • The dock is no longer than needed to achieve its intended use, including reaching navigable water depth.
  • The structure is not a hazard to navigation, health, or safety.
  • The structure will allow the free flow of water beneath it.
  • The structure is not used or intended as a marina.
  • The structure is consistent with the guidelines of the local unit of government.
  • Docks placed on rock-filled cribs are located only on waters where the bed is predominantly bedrock.

For more information and specifications:

For more information visit the Minnesota DNR’s page on docks.

Personal Watercraft

This is a summary of the most common rules, regulations, and recommendation for operation of Personal Watercraft (PWC) on Prior Lake. PWCs include watercraft in which the rider stands or sits on the craft (as opposed to sitting inside the craft) such as Jet Skis, Wave-Runners and Sea-Doos.

New For 2017: No inflatable water devices such as air mattresses, inner tubes, or similar water toys can be towed through ANY no wake channels.

For the full version from the City of Prior Lake, please visit:              http://www.cityofpriorlake.com/WSUM.php

For the complete Minnesota Boating Regulation Guide: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/boatwater/boatingguide.pdf

Registration of PWC: All personal watercraft must be registered with the State of MN. This registration must be kept on board on all motorized watercraft at all times and must display the PWC Operations Rules decal.

PWC Hours of Operation: PWCs cannot be operated on Prior Lake (or any MN body of water) before 9:30 am and must be off the water ONE HOUR BEFORE sunset. The sunset time table used for enforcement of this restriction is published in the DNR Boat Operators Manual. You can also easily Google the sunset time on your smart phone.

Age Requirements for PWC Operation:

  • Operators under 13 years oldmay NOT operate a PWC even with an adult on board.
  • Operators 13 years old: must have a Watercraft Operator’s Permit and be under visual supervision (from shore or on board) by someone at least 21 years old or have someone at least 21 years old on board.
  • Operators 14 to 17 years old: must have a Watercraft Operator’s Permit or someone at least 21 years old on board.

To obtain a Watercraft Operators Permit: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/boatwater/education.html

Speed Limits for PWC:

  • 40 mph speed limit applies to weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
  • NO speed limit for any weekdays all year and weekends after Labor Day and before Memorial Day.
  • PWC’s are not allowed on the lake at night so night time speed limits are not applicable.

Life Jackets: Appropriate size US Coast Guard Approved Life jackets are required for driver and all passengers on a PWC at all times. Lanyard key must be attached to the driver’s life jacket while in operation.

Fire Extinguishers: All PWC’s must have a fire extinguisher on board at all time.

 

Rules and Recommendations for Operation of a PWC:

Be respectful. Don’t operate a PWC in the same are for long periods of time. Stay away from shorelines and other watercrafts as much as possible. PWC’s may not weave through congested watercraft traffic, or jump the wake of another watercraft within 150 feet of the other watercraft (including other PWC’s).

Observe and obey all no wakes zone and other navigation buoys.

PWC Capacity: The PWC must have sufficient legal maximum capacity to carry everyone in the party (including those on the towable device) on the PWC.

When towing a skier, wakeboarder, surfer, tuber, etc., an observer must also be on board unless the PWC is equipped with factory equipped wide angled rear view mirrors. Regardless of mirrors, it is still recommended (but not required) that an observer be on board and carry a red flag for display when the person being towed falls or is waiting in the water.

Non-motorized Craft: Non-motorized craft (sailboats, canoes, etc.) have the right-of-way over motorized craft in all situations, except when the non-motorized craft is overtaking or passing

Move Over Law: When approaching and passing a law enforcement watercraft with its emergency lights activated, the operator of a watercraft must safely move the watercraft away from the law enforcement watercraft and maintain a slow no-wake speed while within 150 feet of the law enforcement watercraft.

Passing: When overtaking another watercraft going in the same direction, the craft being overtaken must maintain course and speed. The passing watercraft must keep a sufficient distance to avoid collision or endangering the other craft from its wake.

Meeting: When two watercraft approach each other “head-on,” each must alter course to the right to avoid collision.  If the two watercraft are far enough to the left of each other, no change in direction is needed for safe passage. Both watercraft will maintain their course and speed to pass clear of each other.  Keep to the right in narrow channels.

Crossing: If two watercraft approach each other at a right angle, the watercraft to the right shall have the right-of-way.

 

FOR ALL WATERCRAFT IT IS ILLEGAL TO:

  • Operate a watercraft in a reckless or careless manner.
  • Operate a watercraft in such a way that it’s wake endangers, harasses, or interferes with a person or property.
  • Operate a watercraft in such a way that it obstructs or interferes with navigation of other watercraft.
  • Operate a watercraft with within 150 feet of a scuba divers warning flag or an area legally marked off as a swimming area.
  • Ride on or sit on the gun whales, bow, transom, or decking over the bow, sides or stern of any motorboat while underway, unless it is equipped with an adequate railing.
  • Chase or harass wildlife.
  • Intentionally obstruct any seaplane attempting to land or take off.
  • Attach a watercraft to any buoy except a mooring buoy.
  • Tamper with, remove, or destroy a navigational aid or buoy.
  • Litter on any water body or at any public access.
  • Operate a motorized watercraft (including PWC) while impaired by a Blood Alcohol level over 0.08 or by other controlled substances.
    • The same fines and penalties apply for Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) as Driving While Intoxicated(DWI) in a motor vehicle on the road.
    • Open bottles ARE allowed on watercraft and the driver CAN drink alcohol but not to the level of legal intoxication (0.08 % BAC).

Please Enjoy Prior Lake Respectfully and Safely!

Boats & Pontoons

This is a summary of the most common rules, regulations, and recommendation for operation of boats and pontoons on Prior Lake.

New For 2017: No inflatable water devices such as air mattresses, inner tubes, or similar water toys can be towed through ANY no wake channels.

For the full version from the City of Prior Lake, please visit:            http://www.cityofpriorlake.com/WSUM.php

For the complete Minnesota Boating Regulation Guide:  http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/boatwater/boatingguide.pdf 

Registration of Watercraft:

All watercraft (motorized or not) over 10 feet in length must be registered with the State of Minnesota. This registration must be kept on board on all motorized watercraft at all times. Non-motorized watercraft are not required to keep the registration on board but must be able to produce it for a enforcement officer in a reasonable amount of time if it is requested.

Life Jackets:

Appropriate size US Coast Guard Approved life jackets are required for all passengers under 10 years old. Adults are not required to wear life jackets but there must be enough life jackets (appropriate size and readily accessible) for everyone on board.  Watercraft over 16 feet must also carry a throwable life preserver and a whistle or horn is also required on watercraft 16 feet of longer. Children under the age of 10 are not required to wear life jacket on a watercraft that is anchored for purposes of diving or swimming.

Fire Extinguishers:

Fire extinguishers are recommended on all motorized watercraft required on all that have enclosed engines or fuel tanks/storage – this includes personal watercraft.  Only motorized watercraft that have unenclosed portable fuel tanks with no floorboards, decking, or a cabin that could trap vapors are not required to have a fire extinguisher. An example of this would be a fishing boat with an outboard engine, portable exterior gas tank and no enclosed areas.

Age Requirements for Boat and Pontoon Operation:

Operators less than 12 years of age:

  • 25 hp and less:  No restrictions. This means that any child under the age of 12 years old can operate a boat with 25 hp or less without supervision.
  • 25 – 75 hp: Must have someone at least 21 years old within reach of the controls.
  • Over 75 hp: No operation allowed even with someone 21 years old within reach of the controls.

Operators 12 -17 years of age:

  • 25 hp and less: No restrictions
  • More than 25 hp: Must have either a Watercraft Operator’s Permit or someone at least 21 years old within reach of the controls.

To obtain a Watercraft Operators Permit, please check out the course options below:

Speed Limits:

  • DAY TIME (Sunrise to 30 Minutes after Sunset):
    • 40 mph speed limit applies to weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
    • NO speed limit for any weekdays all year and weekends before Memorial Day after Labor Day.
  • NIGHT TIME (30 minutes after Sunset to Sunrise):
    • 20 mph all year, every night, including weeknights, weekends and holidays.

General Operation and Navigation:

Observe and obey all no wakes zones and other navigation buoys

Navigation lights (red and green on bow, white on stern) are required from sundown to sunup.

Please use docking lights for docking purposes only as they wash out the red and green navigation lights.

Inflatable water devices: No inflatable water devices such as air mattresses, inner tubes, or similar water toys can be used more than 150 feet from shore unless accompanied by a watercraft.

Swimmers: All swimmers more than 150 from shore must be escorted by a watercraft.

Water skiing, surfing, wakeboarding and similar activities are not allowed from ½ hour after sunset to sunrise. When towing a water skier, wakeboarder, surfer, tuber, or other similar activity, an observer is required unless the boat or pontoon is equipped with wide angled mirrors. However, it is recommended that an observer be on board regardless of the mirrors. It is also recommended (but not required) that the observer carry a red flag for display when the person being towed has fallen or is waiting in the water.

Non-motorized Craft: Non-motorized craft (sailboats, canoes, etc.) have the right-of-way over motorized craft in all situations, except when the non-motorized craft is overtaking or passing.

Move Over Law: When approaching and passing a law enforcement watercraft with its emergency lights activated, the operator of a watercraft must safely move the watercraft away from the law enforcement watercraft and maintain a slow no-wake speed while within 150 feet of the law enforcement watercraft.

Passing: When overtaking another watercraft going in the same direction, the craft being overtaken must maintain course and speed. The passing watercraft must keep a sufficient distance to avoid collision or endangering the other craft from its wake.

Meeting: When two watercraft approach each other “head-on,” each must alter course to the right to avoid collision. If the two watercraft are far enough to the left of each other, no change in direction is needed for safe passage. Both watercraft will maintain their course and speed to pass clear of each other.  Keep to the right in narrow channels.

Crossing: If two watercraft approach each other at a right angle, the watercraft to the right shall have the right-of-way.

FOR ALL WATERCRAFT IT IS ILLEGAL TO:

  • Operate a watercraft in a reckless or careless manner.
  • Operate a watercraft in such a way that it’s wake endangers, harasses, or interferes with a person or property.
  • Operate a watercraft in such a way that it obstructs or interferes with navigation of other watercraft.
  • Operate a watercraft with within 150 feet of a scuba divers warning flag or an area legally marked off as a swimming area.
  • Ride on or sit on the gun whales, bow, transom, or decking over the bow, sides or stern of any motorboat while underway, unless it is equipped with an adequate railing.
  • Chase or harass wildlife.
  • Intentionally obstruct any seaplane attempting to land or take off.
  • Attach a watercraft to any buoy except a mooring buoy.
  • Tamper with, remove, or destroy a navigational aid or buoy.
  • Litter on any waterbody or at any public access.
  • Operate a motorized watercraft while impaired by a Blood Alcohol level over 0.08 or by other controlled substances.
    • The same fines and penalties apply for Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in a motor vehicle on the road.
    • Open bottles ARE allowed on watercraft and the driver CAN drink alcohol but not to the level of legal intoxication (0.08 % BAC). 

Please Enjoy Prior Lake Respectfully and Safely!

Watercraft Age Requirements

The following is a summary of Minnesota’s rules for young boat and watercraft operators.

Boats and Pontoons:

  • Operators less than 12 years of age:
    • 25 hp and less:  No restrictions. This means that any child under the age of 12 years old can operate a boat with 25 hp or less without supervision.
    • 25 – 75 hp: Must have someone at least 21 years old within reach of the controls.
    • Over 75 hp: No operation allowed even with someone 21 years old within reach of the controls.
  • Operators 12 -17 years of age:
    • 25 hp and less: No restrictions.
    • More than 25 hp: Must have either a Watercraft Operator’s Permit or someone at least 21 years old within reach of the controls.
  • To obtain a Watercraft Operator’s Permit:

Personal Watercraft:

For more information from the City of Prior Lake, please visit:      http://www.cityofpriorlake.com/WSUM.php

For the complete Minnesota Boating Regulation Guide: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/boatwater/boatingguide.pdf

Please Enjoy Prior Lake Respectfully and Safely!

Fishing

This is a general summary of the rules and regulations which apply to the most common species on Prior Lake. For the full Minnesota fishing regulations guide:http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/fishing/fishing2016.pdf

The 2016 to 2017 Fishing season ENDS February 26th 2017 for the following species:

Walleye, Sauger, Small Mouth and Large Mouth Bass, and  Northern Pike. (Perch, Bullheads, Crappies, Sunfish and similar pan fish species are in season all year).

2017-2018 Season

  • May 13th to February 25th  for Walleye and Northern Pike
  • May 13th to May 27th for catch and release for Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass
  • May 27th to February 25th for keeping Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

The season for bullheads and pan fish such as sunfish, crappies, and related species is continuous throughout the year.

Limits:

  • Walleye and Sauger: 6 with only one in possession over 20 inches.
  • Northern Pike: 3 with only one in possession over 30 inches
  • Perch: 10
  • Sunfish, Crappies, and similar pan fish: 20
  • Bullheads: 100

Common Rules and Regulations:

  • Anyone between the ages of 16 and 89 years of age require a fishing license. Persons assisting anyone under the age of 16 with fishing does not need a license.
  • You cannot dispose of minnows or other bait in the lake. Unwanted bait must be disposed of in the garbage.
  • Destroy all carp that are caught on Prior Lake.

Prior Lake is unfortunately home to invasive species such as Eurasian water milfoil, curly leaf pondweed, and Zebra mussels. Please click this link for regulations regarding cleaning your boat and trailer before leaving the lake.

Please Enjoy Prior Lake Respectfully and Safely!

Kayaks, Canoes & Paddleboards

Canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are all considered watercraft in Minnesota, and if over 10 feet in length require registration in Minnesota. Register your watercraft in person at any deputy registrar of motor vehicles (where you license your car); at the DNR License Center in St. Paul; or renew online at mndnr.gov/licenses.

A U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable life jacket is required for each person on board.

Paddling Safety

  • Prior Lake is a very busy lake. Use extreme caution on busy boating days, especially on the weekends.
  • Tell someone where you are going, when you are coming back and when to call for help.
  • Wear bright clothes, carry a whistle and a white light.
  • Check your equipment and your skills before attempting a paddling trip.
  • Be a competent swimmer.
  • Paddle with a friend. Safety increases with numbers.
  • Avoid paddling under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Learn how to get out of, hang on to and re-enter your capsized watercraft.

For more information on paddling and other boating regulations, please see the Minnesota Boating Guide: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/boatwater/boatingguide.pdf

Please Enjoy Prior Lake Respectfully and Safely!

Aquatic Invasive Species

Prior Lake is home to several invasive species (including Zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil) and not following the regulations below can result in up to $500 fine.

BEFORE leaving any lake access:

  • Remove all weeds from boat and trailer
  • Drain bilge and bait containers.
  • Leave bilge plugs out when leaving the lake and transporting your water craft. Also make sure to put them back before re-entering another body of water. Sinking your boat can be quite expensive!
  • Dispose of all unused bait in the garbage. It is illegal to release live bait into any water body or transport it to another lake.
  • Any dock, boat lift, swim platform or other related equipment removed from Prior Lake (or any other Minnesota body of water) must not be placed in another body of water for 21 days.

For more information on Invasive Species: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/aquatic/index.html

Please Enjoy Prior Lake Respectfully and Safely!

Prior Lake Association

Ice Houses & Winter Regulations

Icehouse Regulations

Ice houses, shacks, shanties, shelters, etc. must be removed from Prior Lake no later than March 7th. After that date, structures can be left on the lake during daylight hours, but must be occupied or attended (user must be within 200 feet) if left on the lake from midnight to sunrise. Failure to comply with this regulation can result in prosecution and the structure will be confiscated, removed or destroyed by authorities. Leaving or storing ice houses at a public access is prohibited. Is also illegal to improperly dispose of ice houses anywhere in the state.

Licensing: Ice houses which are left unattended between midnight and one hour before sunrise must have a license.  The license tag must be clearly visible on the ice house. The license is valid from March 1st through April 30th of the following year. You can obtain a license in person at any deputy registrar of motor vehicles (where you license your car); at the DNR License Center in St. Paul; or renew online at www.mndnr.gov/licenses. Trailers used to haul ice house on the road must also have a license.

Identification:  All shelters need identification, except portable shelters that are occupied. Occupying a shelter means staying within 200 feet of it. Identification means one of the following: Owner’s name and address; owner’s driver’s license number; or owner’s Minnesota DNR identification number. Identification must be on the outside of the shelter with characters at least two inches high.

Other ice house requirements:

  • The door of an icehouse must open outward toward the outside.
  • Ice houses must not be placed closer than 10 feet apart.
  • If you leave your shelter out overnight, you need at least two square inches of reflective material on each side.
  • Two fishing lines per person are allowed when ice fishing.

For more information on icehouse regulations: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/shelter.html

For more information on ice fishing: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/fishing/fishing2016.pdf

Please keep your ice fishing area picked up and orderly. Fines will be issued for leaving litter on the ice.

Fires on the Ice:

You cannot have a fire directly on the ice but you can have a fire in a portable fire bowl that does not allow the fire to sit directly on the ice.

Sunken Vehicles:

Anyone who sinks a car, ATV, snowmobile or other vehicle through the ice has 48 hours to report this incident to the Sheriff’s department. You will have 30 days to remove the vehicle from the water at your expense. Failure to do so will result in the local government removing it for you and you will be charged 2 to 5 times the cost of removal.

Please Enjoy Prior Lake Respectfully and Safely!

 

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/shelter.html

 

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/index.html

 

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html

 

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is allowed on Prior Lake and no Permit is needed.

  • Scuba divers must have a legally conforming diving flag present at the dive site at all times.No more than four divers per flag and all divers must stay within 50 feet of the flag.
    • The diver’s flag may be displayed on a watercraft or float or be anchored to the bottom. The top of the flag must be at least 30 inches above the surface.
    • Diving flags may not be placed in an area that obstructs navigation.
  • Boats must stay 150 feet away from the flag/diving area.
  • Divers may not be in possession of a fishing spear.

For more information on scuba diving, please see page 42 of the MN Boating Guidehttp://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/boatwater/boatingguide.pdf

Please Enjoy Prior Lake Respectfully and Safely!