Regulation of Dams and Bridges Affecting Navigable Waters (Wisconsin)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

EZFeed Policy

Place Wisconsin


Name Regulation of Dams and Bridges Affecting Navigable Waters (Wisconsin)
Policy Category Other Policy
Policy Type Siting and Permitting
Affected Technologies Hydroelectric, Hydroelectric (Small)
Active Policy Yes

Implementing Sector State/Province

Start Date 2007

Program Administrator WI Department of Natural Resources
Primary Website
Applicable Jurisdiction Dam construction is limited on the Brule River and prohibited on the Lower Wisconsin Riverway.

Last Review 2014-09-15

Information Source


Chapter 31 of the Wisconsin Statutes lays out the regulations relevant to dams and bridges on or near navigable waters. This statute establishes that the Department of Natural Resources has regulatory oversight of all such structures, and describes the permitting and inspection process for dam construction, maintenance, and operation. Dam construction is expressly limited or prohibited on several rivers and river segments, including the Brule River and the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway.

Dams proposed on non-navigable streams are not subject to these restrictions, and may be built for any purpose with the consent of the land owner, unless additional municipal regulations apply.

Policy Contact

Contact Name DNR Dam Safety
Department Department of Natural Resources
Division DNR Dam Safety Program, WT/3
Address 101 South Webster Stret
Address 2 PO Box 7921
Place Madison, Wisconsin
Zip/Postal Code 53707-7921
Phone See Website