Municipal leaders in the Skaneateles Lake Watershed are urging all boaters to observe the emergency declaration requiring no wake boating on Skaneateles Lake. Onondaga County Executive J. Ryan McMahon II announced the emergency order Tuesday in coordination with Cayuga and Cortland counties. It mandates a 5 mile per hour speed limit on the lake to minimize erosion and shore damage.

The statement by local elected leaders in support of the new emergency order was made Tuesday afternoon by Janet Aaron, supervisor of the Town of Skaneateles; Mary Sennett, Mayor of the Village of Skaneateles; Chris Kozub, supervisor of the Town of Spafford; Joan Jayne, supervisor of the Town of Niles; Guy Ruoff, supervisor of the Town of Scott; Onondaga County Legislator Julie Abbott-Kenan, and Ben Walsh, Mayor of the City of Syracuse.

Mayor Walsh on Skaneateles Lake in August 2019 with Department of Water Commissioner Joe Awald.

“Due to heavy rains and flooding in recent days, lake levels have exceeded the mean high water elevation for Skaneateles Lake.  Waves from boating activity are causing erosion and adding to sediment entering the lake. This is creating shore damage at a time that Skaneateles Lake has experienced large volumes of runoff from flooding,” the municipal leaders said in a shared statement.

“Water levels will likely be elevated for the next several weeks. Skaneateles Lake can still be enjoyed, but we must take extra precautions at this critical time. We appreciate County Executive McMahon’s emergency order and the support of the Skaneateles Lake Association in communicating this message. We all have a collective duty to protect the watershed and our drinking water,” the municipal leaders said.

The Local Emergency Order takes effect immediately.  It calls for a $250 fine for any speed violations and is enforceable by respective County Sheriffs.

Comprehensive information on the Skaneateles Lake Watershed is available at

For media contact: Janet Aaron, supervisor, Town of Skaneateles,, (315)685-3473

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