Editor's note: This post has been updated to reflect that the main access to Grays Bay has been locked and gated since December and any vehicle or foot traffic using the main launch is in violation of city ordinance. Lake Minnetonka Patch apologizes for any confusion our original post may have caused.
The Grays Bay Public Access—one of Lake Minnetonka's most popular launches—is officially closed for the season.
The City of Minnetonka says the access technically closed in early December, as it does every winter, and the launch's main entrance is gated and locked with a large sign posting "closed for the season." While regular foot and vehicle traffic has been observed using the launch this winter, city officials say such activity violates city ordinance.
Neither the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office nor the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District were aware the Grays Bay access had been locked, although the practice of closing the launch and marina has been in place for several years. The City of Minnetonka said vehicles could still park and/or enter the bay via the small parking lot on the north side of the Grays Bay Bridge.
Wayzata's city engineer confirmed management of the launch, to include regulating its use and access, was a decision made by Minnetonka.
A car driving west toward the larger area of the bay broke through the ice underneath the nearby bridge earlier this month—killing two residents from Maple Grove.
Harland Dietrich, 31, and his 87-year-old grandmother Mary Ann Haram were trapped underwater for nearly an hour before divers could free them. Their deaths were the second and third this winter on Lake Minnetonka. A nine-month-old infant drowned near the Halstead Bay Bridge after her family's vehicle broke through the ice.
About a dozen fishouses are currently on Grays Bay, concentrated mostly on the far eastern side.