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Wisconsin's Wet Feet Law

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Is waterway public or private

This directly from Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations

Public or Private?

How Do I Know If I’m Trespassing?

• Navigability determines whether a waterway is public or private.

Navigable lakes and streams are public waterways.

• A waterway is navigable if it has a bed and banks and it is

possible to fl oat a canoe or other small craft at sometime of

the year—even if only during spring floods.

• Because they are public, you may use navigable waters for

fishing, boating, swimming or other recreational activities,

provided public access is available, or you have permission of

the land owner to cross their property to reach the waterway.

Once on a navigable waterway,






KEY to what you just read:

• A waterway is navigable if it has a bed and banks and it is

possible to float a canoe or other small craft at sometime of

the year—even if only during spring floods.

All streams with water in them year round are navigable


Trout streams are the SIDEWALKS of the outdoors in Wisconsin.

Landowners do NOT own the stream.

If you ask politely a couple times and they say NO. WADE IT.

If they bother you call police and get them charged with harassing an angler.

Most bridges with weight limitation on them are public bridges. You have a small

easement to enter the water and get your fet wet. I don't care if the landowner owns

2000 acres in each directions you are LEGAL.

Wade from public easement on to private land is OK also. The ones that preach NOT wading just don't want you to interfere with THEIR home field advantage or they own the land.

Take a digital camera with you and film unruly land owners. it will work well in court.

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THanks Len!!!! Great info!! How's the fishing in your neck of the woods?

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water temps are a little cold but the fishing is not.

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