Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission

TLAC’s Board of Directors appointed a Task Force, comprised of lake community members to research and develop an educational program to address wakes and boating behaviors. The Task Force was appointed to develop and disseminate educational materials aimed at changing behaviors contributing to damaging and hazardous wakes. The 16-member volunteer Task Force includes wake boarders/surfers, water skiers, tubers, boaters, and those who enjoy the lake from the comfort of their docks.

Beginning in November 2022, the Task Force explored the primary concerns regarding damaging wakes. The group developed succinct messages and means of informing boaters, on Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes, of the importance of safe boating behaviors and etiquette associated with wakes to minimize unintended consequences.

The Task Force presented their initial program to the TLAC Board on April 11, 2023.   The Board voted for the Task Force to continue as a newly formed TLAC Board committee and endorsed their work plan.

The key message of the education program is comprised of 4 succinct points:

  1. Minimize repetitive passes.
  2. Stay away from docks and shorelines.
  3. Avoid coves and congested areas.
  4. Avoid driving unpredictably and erratically.

This message will be included in flyers, signs, post cards, and a map identifying areas not suitable for wake boarding. The tools will benefit resident water sports enthusiasts and visitors as well.  All will be accessible through scanning a simple QR code. You can anticipate seeing the educational materials in rental boats, at marinas and boat ramps, retail outlets, on boating accessories, and in rental home welcome packets. The Task Force is committed to providing tools and tips through as many venues as possible to contribute to a safer season on Smith Mountain and Leesville Lakes.

The Wake Education Task Force will participate in the Smith Mountain Lake Association’s Day at the Lake on Saturday June 10th at Crazy Horse Marina. Come out to meet Task Force members who will be there to acquaint you with the message and the tools that have been developed. The Task Force is also seeking community suggestions and will appreciate the opportunity to hear your thoughts on wake management and safety.

Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission