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Boat and Shore Fishing Access

Launch the Boat Access Map.


In 2024, this viewer was modernized as a part of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)'s Web Map Modernization project. 

All Wisconsin citizens have the right to boat, fish, hunt, ice skate and swim on navigable waters. This also includes enjoying the natural scenic beauty of navigable water and the quality and quantity of water supporting these uses. The state Constitution and the Public Trust Doctrine declare that all navigable waters are "common highways and forever free." Since all navigable waters are public, they may be used for water-based recreation, provided public access is available or you have permission from the landowner to cross their property to reach the water. The Wisconsin DNR is in charge of upholding this Public Trust Doctrine.

People in Wisconsin enjoy the luxury of being close to water nearly everywhere they go in the state. Wisconsin has over 15,000 inland lakes, 43,000 miles of rivers and 650 miles of the Great Lakes shoreline. Two highly favored pastimes throughout the state are boating and fishing.

To help facilitate these activities, the DNR created a statewide inventory of public boat access sites and fishing piers. This inventory contains over 2,000 identified public boat access sites and over 100 developed shore fishing sites. Developed shore fishing sites include accessible fishing piers, flat fishing spots on the shoreline and shoreline fishing trails with multiple fishing stations.


Upkeep and maintenance for these boat launches and fishing piers is provided through user launch fees. The mapping application indicates which sites require user fees.

Project Funding

Sport Fish Restoration Logo and link

Funding for this mapping project was provided by a Sport Fish Restoration [Exit DNR] Grant through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. This program is designed to help conserve, develop and enhance the nation's fish and wildlife resources and to protect their habitats for the continued benefit of the American people. The Sport Fish Restoration program is funded through an excise tax placed on the sale of fishing equipment such as fishing rods, reels, artificial bait, flies and lures, import duties on fishing equipment and pleasure boats and a tax for motorboat fuel sales.


Information about boat launches and shore fishing sites may be incorrect or incomplete and is subject to change without notice. DNR staff continually update and gather information about boat launches and shore fishing sites. Currently, the shore fishing sites are only those funded and developed by the DNR. For other boat launches or shore fishing sites, please get in touch with the county, city, village or township listed in the information box for conditions.