Kootenai County Marine Patrol

Update: The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office issued dozens of violations during the first weekend of emphasis patrols on Spokane River.

The KCSO dedicated at least two teams to the river, and three on Saturday during the patrols.

Teams completed 79 boat inspections during the opening weekend, issuing 38 citations for violations ranging from wake-zone violations, speed, overloading, no lifejackets, negligent operations, boating in a restricted area and no navigation lights.

The KCSO also says there was one arrest for boating under the influence.

There were no accidents reported during the emphasis over the weekend.

Marine teams with KCSO will continue the emphasis patrols this upcoming weekend as well.

Previous coverage: 

COEUR d'ALENE, Idaho - Wake surfing has become popular on both Lake Coeur d'Alene and the Spokane River. For those out on the water, it's a great time, but for people living along the shore, things are getting a little too close for comfort. 

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office will be conducting marine emphasis patrols on the Spokane River over the next two weekends after receiving several complaints recently regarding frequent boating-related violations.

Docks destroyed, shorelines eroded, Kootenai County Sheriff's Deputy Justin Arts said he's seen and heard it all. 

The KCSO says the complaints over the past few months have been regarding wake-zone violations, damaging wakes, speed, noise problems and more. As a result, the emphasis patrol begins Friday, July 26, and runs through the weekend before starting back up the following weekend (Aug. 2-4).

"It's not like they are just complaining that it's busy," Deputy Arts said. "They are complaining because it's kind of destroying what is their way of life."

The patrols will target wake-zone violations, damaging wake violations, speed, and other boating-related violations.

"These patrols are being done to educate boaters and enforce the above-listed problems to ensure everyone on the water has a safe and enjoyable time," KCSO said in a press release.

A county ordinance states the speed limit on the Spokane River is 35 mph during daylight and 20 mph at night. Boats within 100 feet of a dock, shoreline or structure need to be traveling 5 mph or less with no wake. Vessels within 50 feet of another need to be traveling 15 mph or less. Additionally, the ordinance states no vessel should be operated at a speed or manner that creates excessive, dangerous or damaging wakes.

The Wake Boat Industry recommends vessel operators be at least 200 feet from the shore or dock while wakesurfing or wakeboarding.

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Marine Division offers a free boating safety class, and those looking to sign up should contact them at 208-446-1362. KCSO says anyone with further questions about boating laws in the county are free to contact the marine division as well.