General interest

Annual Spring Hearing and Public Input Opportunity: Wakesurfing

Wisconsin Conservation Congress

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will once again offer their annual opportunity for the public to provide input on a variety of natural resource-related questions with an in-person opportunity April 8, 2024, at 6 p.m. in each county or online starting at noon April 10 to noon on April 13, 2024.

A list of Spring Hearing Questions can be found here. Three of the hearing questions relate to wakesurf regulation. We strongly urge you to participate in this opportunity to vote on matters of significant impact to our lakes.

Environmental Committee
32. Would you support the WCC and legislature creating a new statute that prohibits the use of wake boat ballast systems on Wisconsin’s lakes and rivers?

Motorized Recreation Committee
42.  Would you support regulations by DNR to require that all ballast systems used in boats shall have a reasonable practical means of inspecting the system to confirm that no water is retained in the system (tanks, piping, valves, etc.)?

43. Would you support the WCC and legislature modifying existing statutes to prohibit generation of intentionally magnified wakes for wake surfing through the use of ballast, design features, operational procedures or any other means on lakes smaller than 1500 acres and less than 20 feet deep and maintain a distance from shore and other lake users of 700 feet?

Background on these and other questions can be found in the list of Spring Hearing Questions link given above.

ALL 72 COUNTIES WILL HOST A SPRING HEARING. VISIT HTTPS://DNR.WI.GOV/TINY/1521 FOR LOCATION DETAILS, OR SCAN THE QR CODE BELOW. Note that the input gathered at the in-person meetings will be combined with the online input when results are presented, so both options will be weighed equally. While everyone is welcome to attend the meetings and join the discussions if possible, it is strongly recommended that individuals provide input through the online tool if possible. This allows your feedback to be gathered efficiently and helps expedite compiling the results.


To vote online, go the website listed below and follow the voting instructions.

General interest

Six-County Lakes Meeting: UPDATE with Agenda

“Protecting Our Waters: We’re All Connected” is the theme for the annual Northwoods Six-County Lakes Meeting, set for Friday, July 12, 2024 at Nicolet College. Lake association leaders and members along with the general public will convene to learn about and discuss our interconnected water resources and our human connections to each other and to our lakes, streams, wetlands and groundwater.

A committee with representatives from Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, and Iron counties is at work developing plans for the meeting. The program includes a five-member panel discussion on the connections among water resources and the people who use them, along with presentations on the impacts of climate change and drought on our water resources and fisheries, and the problem of PFAS in the environment.

There will also be exhibits from educational and nonprofit organizations and excellent opportunities for networking. The meeting will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon. All are welcome; there is no charge and no need to register. More details and agenda revisions will be announced as the meeting date approaches, or contact Tom Ewing at president@vclra.org.

The event is jointly sponsored by Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association (vclra.org) and Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association (www.oclra.org).