Water patrol services

Water patrol has multiple responsibilities on over 100 lakes and rivers in the county:

  • Search and rescue
  • Buoying and marking
  • Removing hazards to water navigation
  • Patrolling the county’s lakes and rivers during boating season and in winter
  • Educating the public about water and ice safety
  • Investigating watercraft and water-related accidents and drownings
  • Inspecting watercraft for rent, lease and hire

See announcements on wake restrictions, ice conditions, contaminations, or other water-related news on Facebook or Twitter.

To report unsafe boating activity

Urgent complaints: call 911.

Non-urgent complaints: call water patrol at 612-596-9880.

To report boat or equipment theft

Call 911 or water patrol at 612-596-9880.

Boat launch and parking near water patrol headquarters

The public boat launch shares the same parking lot as the water patrol office in Spring Park. There are 7 parking spots.

Overflow parking is at the Hennepin County public works building. Drive east on Shoreline Drive and take a left onto Del Otero Road.

Facing away from Lake Minnetonka, boat launch and parking lot are right of water patrol office by 417 feet. For overflow parking, go to right of boat launch on Shoreline Drive about two blocks. Turn left on Del Otero Road. Go about 100 feet. 

Water level advisories

To find out if any lake is under a high or low water advisory, contact the city that the lake is in.

For Lake Minnetonka, contact the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District.

Ice out

Ice out happens when a lake is completely free of ice. It’s the unofficial start of boating season. 

What to do if your boat is stuck or stalled

We encourage you to contact the nearest marina or boat towing company.

Public boat launches on Lake Minnetonka

Know your buoys

green and red buoys in water

Channel is between green and red markers

black-lined buoy in water

Do not pass between buoy and shore

red-lined buoy with red ball on top in water

Mid-channel pass close on either side

red and white flag on white pole and black inner tube in water

Diver below stay 150 feet away

blue and white ball buoy in water

Mooring buoy

yellow buoy with the word "milfoil" on it in water

Milfoil area boats keep out

buoy with orange horizontal lines and circle in the middle in water

Controlled area

buoy with orange horizontal lines and diamond in the middle in water


buoy with orange horizontal lines with diamond with plus sign in it in water

Boats keep out

buoy with orange horizontal lines and a square in the middle in water


Related pages

Water Patrol Unit

Phone: 612-596-9880


Hennepin County
Sheriff's Office
Water Patrol Headquarters
4141 Shoreline Drive
Spring Park, MN 55384