Some boaters ignoring or unaware of no wake order in Onondaga and Cayuga Counties

SENECA RIVER (WSYR-TV) — If you’re looking to get out on the water this week and your travels take you to the Seneca River, The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office is asking you to slow down.

The Sheriff’s Office issued a no wake order Sunday spanning from Three Rivers west to Cross Lake. It asks that people do not exceed 5 mph when on the water. However, deputies said people either don’t know about the order or don’t realize they’re going against it.

“There was a lot of angry people on the shoreline upset at the boats that were flying around, going way over speed for the conditions,” said Deputy Luke Bickford with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office Navigation Unit.

The water is higher, murkier, and moving faster than normal with debris sitting beneath the surface.

Deputies issued 42 warnings Sunday, not just for enforcement but to educate boaters about the damage their wakes could cause.

“What we’re looking for is obviously the smallest possible ripple you can make behind your boat. If I see any waves behind your boat that are white capping or folding over, you’ll see the white water, you’re definitely going too fast,” said Sgt. James McKenna with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office Navigation Unit.

Going slower also means you may catch something in the water before hitting it. But if someone catches you picking up speed and causing damage to their property…

“They are civilly responsible for that and then if we’re out patrolling and we observe infractions, they could be issued citations for that as well…be respectful, use common sense. You know, you’re going to have to plan extra time, go slow. And please just look behind you and watch your wake” said Sgt. McKenna.

Deputies said the no wake zone will stay in effect as long as the waters stay at a high level. They said it will likely line up with when the Canal Corporation re-opens the locks in the area.

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For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter @JulialeblancNC9.

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