Boaters on Lake Minnetonka in the west metro may finally hear that old rally cry soon.

“Gentlemen: Start your engines!”

The level of Lake Minnetonka has fallen below the magical 930.30′ level for the first time since May 31. The latest reading from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District as of Wednesday is 930.25 feet above sea level.

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District

If big west metro lake stays below 930.30′ for another two days, the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District will lift at least part of the no wake restrictions for the lake. The relatively high water level will probably mean they’ll keep wake restrictions up within 600 feet of shoreline.

Lake Minnetonka “Entire Lake” Minimum Wake Restrictions Remain in Effect (7-23-14)

On June 5th, the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) implemented an “Emergency High Water” Declaration for Lake Minnetonka (Lake).  During this declaration, it is unlawful for a person to operate a watercraft on Lake Minnetonka (the entire Lake) at a speed that results in more than a minimum wake.  “Minimum wake” means the wake moving out from a watercraft and trailing behind in a widening “V” is of insufficient size to affect other watercraft or to be detrimental to the shoreline.

The “Emergency High Water” Declaration will remain in effect until the Lake level falls below 930.30 feet for three consecutive days.  As of Wednesday, July 23rd, the Lake level, reported by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, was 930.25 feet.  The 2014 Lake Minnetonka water level readings are offered herein, as well as all submitted press releases and the Emergency High Water Declaration ordinance.  Additionally, all of the MCWD’s Lake level readings are posted on their website at

Submerged docks in late June Deephaven in Lake Minnetonka. Paul Huttner/MPR News

Friday’s rain potential seems be in the range of a quarter to one half of an inch. That may be enough to boost lake levels slightly, but may not be enough to sustain a longer term rise.

Iowa State University

The longer term forecast calls for relatively little rain the next week. My hunch is they will (and should) remove the no wake restrictions for the coming weekend.

That may be good news for local business who depend on lake traffic, but paddle boarders and other quiet water fans may long for the “no wake lake” once again.

Watching the big west metro lake level is an interesting laboratory for our weather patterns and climate changes in Minnesota.

We’ve never seen water this high before 2014 on Tonka and many other Minnesota lakes and rivers. More experts I talked with recently believe that’s not an accident, but rather a symptom and effect of the increased rainfall signature and variability we’re seeing in Minnesota.

Stay tuned.

The longer range forecast appears to favor temps in the upper 70s and low 80s into next week. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is more optimistic about potentiality dry sunny weather than the Global Forecast System at this point.