Commissioners vote to install Catawba River "no-wake zone" - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Commissioners vote to install Catawba River "no-wake zone"

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LAKE WYLIE, NC (WBTV) -

Boaters on the Catawba River will have to slow down soon. 

Monday night, the Lake Wylie Marine Commission voted six to one to start the process with North Carolina Wildlife to install a "no-wake zone" on a stretch of water near the U.S. White Water Center. 

The area is often congested with kayakers and paddle boarders, which has the Marine Commission concerned. 

"We have no speed limits or speed terms out here, so they're free to go as fast as they want to through here," Executive Director Joe Stowe said before the vote on Monday.

The process of installing the zone could take up to a year. Boaters will be required to coast through the channel that spans the length of Saddler Island on the side on the Tailrace Marina, and could face a fine if they don't. 

"This is a very heavily trafficked area, on the weekends especially. And these boards are out here by the hundreds. We're scared to death something is going to happen, and when it does, we're all going to feel terribly guilty," Stowe said.

"Anybody can take six minutes out of their day to save a life," Stowe said. 

Many were opposed to the "no-wake zone".

"Everybody is aware of a problem, everyone is sympathetic of a problem, but there's a lot of opposition to having a no-wake zone here," Stowe said. 

The meeting started at 7 p.m. at the Good Samaritan Methodist Church in Lake Wylie. The issue was discussed for over an hour. 

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