Board approves Hooker Lake slow no wake request
By Karen Mahoney~Correspondent
At a special Town of Salem meeting Monday night, the Board approved the placement of four water buoys in the narrows on Hooker Lake.
Though the water buoy requests submitted by Bill and Virginia Winker, Doug and Terri Schaff, Lynn Wheeler, and Rob and Case Pizzala would allow for buoys to be placed 200 feet from shore in front of their properties, protecting their shorelines from erosions, the DNR will review the new ordinance before action is taken.
Though the board approved a buoy four years ago for Winker’s property, the DNR denied the request, as she was the only riparian owner requesting the buoy. The four families hope that with combined efforts, the DNR will approve their request.
Town Chairperson Diann Tesar and Supervisor Ted Kmiec cited safety reasons for their opposition to the buoy placement, as it would be potentially dangerous for boaters, skiers and jet skiers passing through the 530-foot wide narrow area of the lake.
“I really don’t want to close that area of the lake off because people can still go down there, and it will be dangerous with those buoys there,” said Tesar.
Kmiec agreed and stated that he was concerned that there would be accidents on the lake because of the buoy placements.
“But the DNR will make the decision and tell the board what to do,” he said.
While wake hours are still 10 am to 7 pm everyday except Tuesdays and Thursdays, the restrictions would enforce permanent no wake zones in that portion of the lake.
Supervisor Dennis Faber stated that the ruling does not change anything as the lake already has a 200-foot no wake restriction in place and the buoy will serve as a permanent reference point for boaters and skiers.
“If the no wake zone is violated and there is no reference point, the point is subjective and the violations don’t get prosecuted and this will help with that,” he said. “I am thinking of the ecology of the lake and protecting the shore zones.”