Tips for Traveling Safely on Minocqua's Waters

Minocqua has been blessed with the most beautiful landscaping, including over 17.3 square miles of water and vast forests filled with Northern Pines. Each summer, tens of thousands of visitors come to the area with one thing on their minds...the water!

With miles of beaches to enjoy, an entire chain-of-lakes and plenty of independent waterways to frolic on, it's no wonder why Minocqua has been voted one of the best places to visit in Wisconsin for it's access to water.

water skiing on lake minocqua

When visiting the area, we want you to be safe while also having fun. Before you head onto the water, review the following guidelines and check out the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website for a full listing of rules, regulations and laws pertaining to water safety.

Then, book your trip to Minocqua by calling 715-356-7795 to reserve a cabin at the best resort in Minocqua... Nitschke's Northern Resort!


All vessels must have at least one approved personal flotation device, or life jacket, for every person on board. Boats 16 feet or longer must also have a throw-able flotation device readily accessible. All children 13 years old and younger are required to wear their life jacket at all times while on any waterway in Wisconsin.

girl wearing life jacket


Many of us come up north to relax, let loose, and have a good time. For some of us, that means cracking open an alcoholic beverage or two or ten. That's fine so long as you are not driving the boat and you do not bring any alcohol on board the vessel. Wisconsin law states that, "It is illegal for a person to operate a motorboat or use water skis, a surfboard, or other device if he or she: is under the influence of an intoxicant or a controlled substance or has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater."

beer in glasses lined up


No wake zones are established for a reason and need to be adhered to. When entering a "slow, no wake zone", decrease the speed of your vessel to the lowest speed possible that still allows steerage control.


To overload a boat beyond its capacity limits is extremely dangerous and can lead to sinking. As per DNR law, "The operator must limit the vessel's load to the total weight or maximum number of persons shown on the capacity plate, whichever is more restrictive." A great rule of thumb is that if there isn't a seat for you, stay off!


Navigation lights are required to be turned on between sunset and sunrise and "during periods of restricted visibility."


This isn't a safety tip for humans, but it certainly is for animals and water creatures. Litter not only diminishes the beauty of the area but it also presents a problem to the fish and wildlife that can't tell the difference between trash and food.

litter on beach

This is not a complete list of rules, regulations and laws surrounding boating in Wisconsin. For a complete list, please visit the Wisconsin DNR website.

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