[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Watertown by Ord. No. 69-15 (§ 7.16 of the former City Code); amended by Ord. No. 98-14; Ord. No. 98-26. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The intent of this chapter is to provide safe and healthful conditions for navigation and the enjoyment of aquatic recreation and riparian beauty on the Rock River and Silver Creek consistent with public rights and interests and the capability of the water resources. The Common Council finds that during high-water conditions any wake on the Rock River or Silver Creek causes the shoreline to erode and silt to build up faster than would happen under natural conditions. The Common Council also finds that personal watercraft, when operating at greater than "slow-no-wake" speeds, create a greater wake closer to the shoreline than other watercraft, are louder and more maneuverable than other watercraft, and are more hazardous to users of the water resources and shore area wildlife than other watercraft. For these and other reasons, it is in the interest of public health, safety and welfare that the City of Watertown adopts this chapter.
State boating laws as found in §§ 30.50 to 30.71, Wis. Stats., inclusive, with the exception of those sections for which a violation is a crime, are incorporated herein and hereby adopted by reference, including all changes and amendments hereafter made thereto.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- HIGH WATER CONDITIONS
- Any situation existing in the City of Watertown where the water level of the Rock River, as measured on the gauge at the Oconomowoc Avenue Bridge, is 821 feet above sea level or, as measured on the gauge at the Cady Street Bridge, is 809 feet above sea level.
- Has the same meaning contained in § 30.50, Wis. Stats., as amended from time to time.
- PERSONAL WATERCRAFT
- Has the same meaning contained in § 30.50, Wisconsin Statutes, as amended from time to time.
- That speed at which a motorboat or personal watercraft moves as slowly as possible through the water while still maintaining steerage control.
Except as applied to individuals or organizations that have obtained a permit from the City of Watertown to perform aquatic entertainment, such as water ski shows, and except as applied to officers of the City of Watertown Police Department and the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, acting in their official capacity, the following acts are prohibited:
No person shall, at any time, operate a motorboat or personal watercraft in the waters of the Rock River from the east City limits to the lower dam in the City of Watertown during high-water conditions in other than a "slow-no-wake" manner.
No person shall, at any time, operate a personal watercraft in the waters of the Rock River between the east City limits and the lower dam in other than a "slow-no-wake" manner.
No person shall, at any time, operate a motorboat in the waters of the Rock River between the east City limits and the lower dam at a speed in excess of 25 miles per hour.
The City of Watertown shall place and maintain a copy of this chapter at all public access point within the jurisdiction of the City of Watertown.
During high-water conditions, "Slow-No-Wake" signs shall be displayed at all public access points and noticed in the Watertown Daily Times and on WTTN Radio station.
The City of Watertown shall place a twenty-five-mile-per-hour speed limit sign at each public access point within the jurisdiction of the City of Watertown.
The City of Watertown shall place "Slow-No-Wake" signs specifically applicable to personal watercraft at all public access points.
Wisconsin state boating penalties as found in § 30.80, Wis. Stats., and deposits as established in the Uniform Deposit and Bail Schedule as established by the Wisconsin Judicial Conference, and as amended from time to time, are hereby adopted by reference, with all references to fines amended to forfeitures and all references to imprisonment deleted.
The Wisconsin state boating penalties shall apply to all violations of this chapter except violations of § 247-5. Applicable state assessments and court costs shall be added to all penalties herein.