Mid-Missouri residents skeptical of lake regulations

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OSAGE BEACH - With the Fourth of July weekend quickly approaching, Lake of the Ozarks residents are worried regulations are causing harm to the water and local businesses.

Greg Surdyke owns Surdyke Yamaha and Surdyke's Port 20 at Lake of the Ozarks. He says over-regulating the lake could negatively impact local businesses like his.

"We have definitely seen a lot of rules and regulations effect the way we use the water during the last few years. One of those regulations is wake restrictions," Surdyke said. 

Flooding caused wake restrictions early last summer, but those rules were lifted for the 2015 Fourth of July weekend.

Sergeant Scott White of the Missouri State Highway Patrol has experience working with water patrol division. He said speed is a big factor when talking about wakes. 

"The size of the wake is all about the speed of the boat. Most people don't realize that when you are idling you have no wake. As boats reach speeds between 10 and 30 miles per hour, the boat raises out of the water and displaces more water," White said.

White said the movement of the water is another factor that determines wake size.

"When the boat is plowing, or pulling a wake, more water is being displaced and this can be a big problem on the lake. Plant life can be affected as well as people's docks and other watercrafts in the lake," White said.

Despite no restrictions or laws being changed during the 2016 summer, Surdyke said he still worries the crackdown could deter tourists. 

"I may be wrong, but it just seems like people won't be responsive to more restrictions on the lake and that will hurt our business," Surdyke said.