Boating Laws and Guidance

Boating Laws and Guidance

Slow No Wake Hours

Des Moines Lake has Slow No Wake Hours before 10 am and after 5pm as specified under Section IV Line 1 of the Town of Webb Lake Boating Ordinance. Boats and personal watercraft must move as slow as possible while still maintaining steerage control during these hours.

Maintain Distance and Safe Speeds

Under Wisconsin Boating Law, boaters must maintain proper distances and safe speeds while using watercraft on Des Moines Lake.

Personal watercraft within 200 feet and boats within 100 feet of shoreline must operate in a slow no wake speed.

A slow no wake speed is also required within 100 feet of the following:

  • Other Watercraft
  • Rafts and Paddleboards
  • Docks
  • Swimmers
  • Buoys

Decontamination Ordinance

Every boat and trailer must be decontaminated according to posted instructions at the Des Moines Lake landing as stated in Sec 18-233 of the Burnett County Code of Ordinances.

Power Loading

To minimize damage caused at boat landings, the Burnett County Natural Resources Committee (NRC) has been discussing an ordinance for Boat Power Loading. The topic has been an agenda item at recent NRC meetings and will be discussed again in January or February. 

For those that are unfamiliar with this terminology, per the NRC Board “Power Loading is defined as the practice of putting on, or taking off, from a trailer, carriage or device, a watercraft while under motor power, whether by main, auxiliary or trolling power devices.”

This activity causes erosion of the lake bed, which is the case at our landing. And, can eventually lead to disruption or damage to the concrete portion of the landing. Deep holes may form where Power Loading takes place.

For those interested in attending the NRC meetings or reviewing their agenda items, please visit the website here.

Boating Courtesy

The following recommendations for boating and water activities are made to help ensure a safe and respectful environment on Des Moines Lake, especially when there is high boat traffic.

Water Skiing and Wakeboarding

Recommended to be towed in a counter-clockwise direction.


During wake hours and especially high boat traffic, it is recommended to anchor in the middle of the lake.