Game changer for docks on Lake Wenatchee

For years many dock owners on this lake have towed their docks to the West end of the lake for winter storage to protect them from possible ice damage, etc. I’m not one of them and have always kept my dock in it’s home location during the winter but some things are happening that are going to have significant impact on those that have taken their docks uplake for winter moorage. In response to concerns about the status of the docks there this Spring when the ice went out I flew a drone over the area and counted about 30 docks stored there.

Apparently someone has complained to the state about the winter storage at that location and varying inaccurate reports were circulating about docks being arbitrarily cut loose, about the Dept of Ecology being involved, etc.  After first hearing about this I followed it back through about 4 parties before contacting Ms. Cindy Preston of DNR and she acknowledged that she is involved in this issue and has spoken to some interested parties about it. She states she will monitoring the Lake Wenatchee situation now that she is aware of it. She could not (or would not)  recall or disclose the identity of the complainant.    FaceBook Comments

Ms. Preston stated that the rules in general state, as I understand it,  that  a dock issued a permit at one residential location is required to remain there and cannot be moved around the lake to different locations. She stated that to moor docks at another location the dock owner would have to negotiate a lease with the owner of the property off which the dock is stored, in this case that would be the Forest Service. Ms.  Preston offered to provide me the applicable state statutes and regulations that come into play here. She has done so and that information is provided in her forwarded email below. I don’t know the answer to this or if there is one. Frankly I don’t see what harm has been done or could be done by the annual movement of the docks but fear that now that someone has complained  the state will probably take a rather intransigent posture.  Those that do move their docks annually might consider grouping up to resist this but someone would have to step up to coordinate that response.

This is all I have on this and do not expect any more information to be forthcoming

Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 4:28 PM
Subject: Residential docks

George, Thank you for calling and asking questions about the situation with docks on Lake Wenatchee. As I explained docks can’t be moved around the lake during the winter and qualify for a free residential dock at the new location. That new location would need to be leased. Below are different links I have included from the RCW’s and WAC’s that I hope explain what you have to do to qualify for a private recreational dock and rents and unauthorized use and occupancy.

If you click on the link on the RCW it will take you to the information for private recreational docks. RCW 79.105.430 Private recreational docks—Mooring buoys.
WAC 332-30-123 Aquatic land use rentals for water-dependent uses. This WAC talks about rental rates.
WAC 332-30-127 Unauthorized use and occupancy of aquatic lands (see RCW 79.105.200 and 79.125.200).
WAC 332-30-144 Private recreational docks. This WAC states under 2 b) A “dock,” being a securely anchored or fixed, open walkway structure visible to boaters and kept in good repair extending from the upland property, primarily used as an aid to boating by the abutting residential owner(s), and accommodating moorage by not more than four pleasure boats typical to the body of water on which the dock is located. Two or more abutting residential owners may install and maintain a single joint-use dock provided it meets all other design requirements of this section; is the only dock used by those owners; and that the dock fronts one of the owners’ property.

Like I said if people want to move the docks they will need to lease the area that they are moving them to and the adjacent landowner would need to give up their preference rights to do that.

I hope this information helps. Call me back if you have more questions.

Cindy Preston
Central Washington Aquatic Natural Resource Specialist, Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR)  Desk Phone: (509) 925-0969, Cell: (509) 607-9724,