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Boat shelter

Waterway protection

Boat Shelter

 

A boat shelter is a shore station or a boat lift which may have a roof but may not have walls or sides. It can be a seasonal or permanent structure designed and constructed to provide cover for a berth place for watercraft. Such a structure may include a boat hoist or lift.

The following decision tool will assist you in determining if your new boat shelter needs authorization from the department.

Do I Need a Permit?

This is a text link version of our Boat shelter interactive question and answer module. If you see this message, you currently have JavaScript disabled or are in compatibility mode while using Internet Explorer. This text version is here to help you understand if you need a permit from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for your boat shelter project, and if so, which one. Please go through and answer each question. This will help you determine which permit you will need.

Question 1 :

Will your boat shelter be installed and removed on a seasonal basis or be permanently placed?

If your answer is “Seasonal,”:

You've answered Seasonal:

A boat shelter placed on your property on a seasonal basis may not need a permit at all! Please review this checklist to make sure your seasonal boat shelter meets all the necessary standards. If it does, go ahead a place your boat shelter. Boat Shelter Exemption Check-list [PDF].

If your boat shelter does not meet the checklist and you cannot modify your design to meet the checklist, please apply for an Individual Permit to place a seasonal boat shelter. *Please note: WAMS ID and password required to apply. If you do not have a WAMS ID, you must register for one before proceeding.

Please be aware there may be additional permit standards you must meet. Before applying for a permit, please review the Permit Application Checklist [PDF] and also be sure to review the Sample Drawings [PDF] for this activity.

If your answer is "Permanent,” go to Question 2.

If your answer is “I don't know,”:

You've answered I don't know:

  • A seasonal boat shelter is a structure that is completely removed from the waterway between December 1 and April 1 annually.
  • A permanent boat shelter is a structure that is in the water all year long.

Question 2 :

Will your permanent boat shelter be located on:

  • A lake or flowage of more than 500 acres or the following rivers: the Mississippi River, the Wolf River from Lake Butte des Morts to the upstream limits of the village of Fremont, and the Fox River from the DePere dam to Lake Winnebago.
  • Any river or stream (EXCEPT for the Mississippi River, the Wolf River from Lake Butte des Morts to the upstream limits of the village of Fremont, and the Fox River from the DePere dam to Lake Winnebago) -
  • ** Remember navigation channels and reaches of rivers where a dam controls water levels are considered part of the flowage to which they are connected. **

You've answered Yes.

If your answer is “Yes,”:

You may be eligible for a general permit. Please review the Permanent Boat Shelter General Permit Checklist to see if you are eligible. If you are eligible, you may apply using the e-permitting system. *Please note: WAMS ID and password required to apply. If you do not have a WAMS ID, you must register for one before proceeding.

You've answered No.

If your answer is “No,”:

You will need to apply for an Individual Permit. Please apply for an Individual Permit to place a permanent boat shelter. *Please note: WAMS ID and password required to apply. If you do not have a WAMS ID, you must register for one before proceeding.

Please be aware there may be additional permit standards you must meet. Before applying for a permit, please review the Permit Application Checklist [PDF] and also be sure to review the Sample Drawings [PDF] for this activity.

You've answered I don't know.

If your answer is “I don't know,”:

To help you figure out if your property is located on any of these waterbodies, please use our web-based mapping tool - the surface water data viewer. Choose the link titled "Help Guide" located on the left side of this part of the page if you need assistance using this tool.

Exemptions

Laws

Applicable statutes and codes include Section 30.12, Wis. Stats. [PDF exit DNR] and Chapter Rule NR 326, Wis. Adm. Code [PDF exit DNR].

Local permits and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulations may also apply. We advise you to contact your local zoning office and your regional U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office [exit DNR].

Sample drawings and other materials