Additional Regulations

Residents who are 16 years of age or older need a license to fish in any Wisconsin waters. A license is valid from April 1 to March 31. Fishing regulation pamphlets are available from the DNR. Fishing regulations must be followed.

Skin Diving/Swimming
Diving activities must be marked by a regulation diver’s flag, displaying one diagonal white stripe on a red background. The flag must be clearly apparent at a distance of 100 yards. It is unlawful to engage in underwater skin diving, scuba diving, or swimming outside a marked swimming area or beyond 150 feet from shore unless the location of such swimming or diving is marked. No person diving or swimming shall swim in any channel or established navigation lane or interfere with someone fishing. Boaters must stay 100 feet from divers unless the boat is part of a skin diving operation. A boat should accompany any swimmer crossing our lakes.

Swimming Rafts and Water Trampolines
Rafts and trampolines must be located within 200 feet of the owner’s shoreline and may not interfere with public rights or other property owners’ riparian rights. A raft more than 200 feet from shore must be lit with a white light from sunset to sunrise. If a trampoline is more than 200 square feet in surface area or 38 inches in height, a permit from the DNR is required.

Waterway Markers/Buoys
All official waterway markers, such as signs and buoys, are designed to assist boaters by marking unsafe areas, directing traffic through channels, preventing accidents, and protecting resources. Regulatory buoys are white and orange. Orange diamonds have warnings suc~ as “shallow area” and orange circles indicate a controlled area such as “no wake.” Green and red companion buoys indicate a channel. It is illegal to move, tamper with, or destroy any official marker or to tie a boat to any marker. Notify the Water Patrol if a buoy is moved or rmssmg.

Boating accidents should be reported to the Water Patrol. Any boat involved in an accident must render assistance to persons affected. When a boating accident results in injury or damage in excess of $2,000 to boats or other property, each operator involved in such accident shall give notice of the accident without delay to the Water Patrol or to local law enforcement and shall file within ten days a written report on DNR Form 4100-20 (available from local law enforcement) and send it to DNR-Boat Safety, Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707.

For additional information, contact the Water Patrol, DNR Water Management Specialist office, 715-524-5246, or visit the DNR website: