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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 protection Swimming rafts

Swimming Rafts

Swimming Rafts

Swimming rafts may not interfere with public rights in navigable waters, or interfere with the rights of other property owners.

To place a swimming raft or water trampoline in a lake or flowage, a permit may be needed. All swimming rafts, those that require a permit and those that do not, must be placed within 200 feet of shore, and can only be placed by a waterfront property owner.

Determine permit required

This is a text version of our Swimming Rafts interactive question and answer module to help you understand if you need a permit to have a swimming raft or water trampoline on your property. If you are seeing 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 Swimming Raft 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 :

What do you want to do?

If your answer is "Place a swimming raft or water trampoline,” go to Question 2.

Question 2 :

Will the swimming raft be placed within 200 feet of the shoreline by the property owner or an authorized agent or contractor doing the work on behalf of the property owner (riparian)?

If your answer is "Yes,” go to Question 3.

If your answer is "No,” go to Question 4.

Question 3 :

Is the swimming raft or water trampoline less than 200 square feet in surface area, and less than 38 inches in height?

If your answer is "Yes,” go to Question 5.

If your answer is "No,” go to Question 4.

You've answered I don't know.

If your answer is “I don't know”:

We provide at diagram showing you how to make these measurements on both square and round swimming rafts.

swimming raft diagram

swimming raft diagram

swimming raft diagram

swimming raft diagram

Once you know this information please go back and answer Question 3.

Question 4 :

Will you completely remove your swimming raft or water trampoline from the water and place it onto shore every day, or will it be placed in a designated swim area that is marked and approved by the local municipality and DNR?

If your answer is "Yes,” go to Question 5.

You've answered No.

If your answer is “No”:

  • Please visit the Individual permits page to apply.*Please note: WAMS ID and password needed to apply. If you do not have a WAMS ID, you must register for one prior to proceeding.
  • Please be aware there may be additional permit standards you must meet. Prior to applying for a permit please review the Permit Application Checklist [PDF].

Question 5 :

Will the swimming raft or water trampoline allow free movement of water underneath which will not cause formation of land on the bed of the waterway, and not interfere with the public rights in navigable waters or the rights of other riparians?

You've answered Yes.

If your answer is “Yes”:

your proposed swimming raft or water trampoline may be eligible for an exemption from the department. Please visit Exemptions and review the swim raft checklist to verify that you do not need a permit to place your swim raft. In addition, you should contact your local municipal zoning office to learn if there are any regulations or ordinances they may require you to follow.

You've answered No.

If your answer is “No”:

Your proposed swim raft is not eligible for an exemption from the department. Therefore, you must apply for an individual permit. Please visit the Individual permits page to apply.*Please note: WAMS ID and password needed to apply. If you do not have a WAMS ID, you must register for one prior to proceeding.

Please be aware there may be additional permit standards you must meet. Prior to applying for a permit please review the Permit Application Checklist [PDF].

Exemptions

Laws

Applicable statutes and codes include Section 30.12(1)(g), 30.13 (1)(m), and 30.61(6)(a), Wis. Stats. [PDF exit DNR] and Chapter 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].

Last revised: Wednesday November 05 2014