Discover
how Wisconsin protects waterways by holding them in trust for everyone to enjoy.
Find
the permits you need for your waterfront property projects.
Learn
about the permit process that protects public waters.
Waterway and wetland information line
Can’t find the answer to your question on our web pages? Call our information line:
920-662-5452

Waterway protection Fish and wildlife

Fish and wildlife habitat structures are devices that are placed on the bed of public waters for the purpose of improving fish and wildlife habitats.

Fish and Wildlife Habitat

Fish and wildlife

Exemptions and permits

  • Exemptions for this and other activities.
  • Water Permits - choose the "Waterway and wetland" tab and then find activity "Habitat structure."

Fish habitat

A Fish Habitat Structure is a device that is that is placed on the bed of public waters for the purpose of improving fish habitat. These devices include things like fish sticks, fish cribs, half-logs, wing deflectors, etc. For some of these structures, placement in public waters may not need any department permits at all if your project meets certain location and construction standards.

Fish sticks are fast becoming a popular type of fish habitat structure placed in lakes. The fisheries program has developed a step by step guide that can help anyone interested in doing beneficial habitat projects get started. Please visit the fishsticks guide for these steps, along with other helpful information.

Please review the Fish Habitat Structures Exemption Checklist at exemptions to determine if your project meets the standards to be exempt from permitting requirements. If your project is NOT exempt from needing a permit, please visit Water Permits to apply for permits.

Wildlife habitat

A wildlife habitat structure is a structure that is placed on the bed of a public water for the purpose of improving wildlife habitat. These structures include bird nesting platforms, wood duck house, etc. For some of these structures, placement in public waters may not need any department permits at all if your project meets certain location and construction standards.

Please review the Wildlife Habitat Structure Exemption Checklist at exemptions to determine if your project meets the standards to be exempt from permitting requirements. If your project is NOT exempt from needing a permit, please visit Water Permits to apply for permits.

Designated waters

Some waterways have special designation that might affect your permit requirements. Visit our Designated Waters Search, and record any waterway designations that your site may have.

If you have questions about using the designated waters search tool, you may visit our Designated Waters Search Tutorial to learn how.

For projects in designated waters, a permit is needed to place fish and wildlife habitat structures. Please visit Water Permits to apply for permits.

Laws

Applicable statutes and codes include Section 30.12, Wis. Stats. [PDF exit DNR] and Chapter NR 323, 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].

Last revised: Monday February 03 2014