Water Surface Use Management (WSUM)


Prior Lake City Hall (lower level)
Dakota St. SE
Prior Lake, MN 55372


Water Resources Engineer
Pete Young
  (952) 447-9831

Spring Lake Township Clerk
Melissa Hanson
   (952) 492-7030


> City Ordinance 703
> DNR WSUM Information
> 2017 Boating Guide


> Spring Lake
> Upper Prior Lake
> Lower Prior Lake

Map of Lakes
Water Surface Use Management

Water Surface Use Management (WSUM) is the DNR’s term for water surface zoning that involves lake use regulations. WSUM regulations work in conjunction with state boating laws. While the boating laws focus more on the boat or watercraft itself, WSUM allows local governments to address lake specific concerns.

The goal of WSUM is to enhance the recreational use, safety and enjoyment of the water surfaces and to preserve these water resources in a way that reflects the state’s paramount concern for the protection of its natural resources. In pursuit of that goal, an ordinance or rule shall:

  1. Accommodate all compatible recreational uses where practical and feasible;
  2. Minimize adverse impact on natural resources;
  3. Minimize conflicts between users in a way that provides for maximum use, safety and enjoyment; and
  4. Conform to the state standards.

The Prior Lake City Council adopted changes to the City's Water Surface Use Management Ordinance on September 13, 2016. the major ordinance changes include:

  • Addition of Spring Lake
  • Paradise Bay on Prior Lake added as a new marked slow no-wake zone
  • No towing a person througha marked slow no-wake zone
  • Towing a person at slow no-wake speed is allowed within 150 of the shore


In the fall of 2016, an education committee was formed to help inform the public about the changes to the WSUM ordinance.

Committee Members:
Dan Kelly – Spring Lake Association
Thane Tande– Business Owner
Woody Spitzmueller – Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District
Tom Stephenson – Prior Lake Association
Dan Shower– Prior Lake Resident

City, Township and County:
Kathy Nielsen – Spring Lake Township
Pete Young – City of Prior Lake
Dave Elbon - City of Prior Lake
Spencer Autenrieth– Scott County Sheriff’s Office

Several meetings were held during the winter to discuss public outreach. Several businesses and organizations were identified as avenues to help inform the public. While different materials were discussed, signage was found to be the most important. It was determined that a sign on the wagon bridge was the most effective way of communicating to both boaters that lived on the lake and boaters that used public access. A sign has been drafted and is going through the approval process.