Lake Courtesy

DNR Rules and General Courtesy
on Black Oak Lake

The following are some of the pertinent DNR boating rules and some common courtesies we ask all to observe. All owners should be aware of these rules and should inform family, friends, and renters as well. Most violations involve these folks but are the owners’ responsibility.

 STATE LAW …Effective with the 2010 summer season the State Legislature of Wisconsin passed a law declaring all water in Wisconsin within 100’ of the natural shoreline to be a no-wake zone for powered boats. Already existing laws enforce a 100’ no-wake zone around man-made objects such as docks and rafts and a 200’ from shore no-wake zone for PWCs which prohibits them from going past our island except at idle. The only exception allows for landing and departing skiers.

  • A boat pulling a skier must stay at least 100’ from any boat that is both anchored and occupied.
  • An approved life jacket must be on board for each occupant or skier. While it is a good idea for skiers and young children to wear one, this is not required by state law. 
  • Either a “competent” observer or an installed mirror must be on board the towboat when pulling a water skier. Skiing and tubing are illegal after sunset. 
  • Rafts or buoys must be within 200’ of shore. There are limits governing pier sizes and shapes as well. See Our Work > DNR > Pier and Raft Limits on the lake website. 
  • Please keep your boat music down! Those large speakers on boat towers carry much further than you’d think.
  • Mandatory Boating Education: Anyone born on or after 1/1/89 must possess a boating safety education certificate to operate a motorboat. Also check operating rules for children ages 10 to 16. 
  • Watch your wakes and the damage they can cause to docks, small boats and the natural shoreline. If you are deliberately making large wakes for wakeboarding or tubing please stay out near the middle of the lake or stay close to the “Crown” shoreline where large rocks protect the shoreline and there are no houses.
  • High power boating has been proven to damage our valuable natural bottom plants in less than four feet of water. Read about this at Our Work > Invasive Species > Shallow Water and AIS > click link on the lake website. Please observe no-wake speeds in such shallow water. 
  • Respect and keep your distance from our loons. Loon habitat must be protected. See the loon pages under Our Work > Wildlife Educational Resources > Loons on the lake website to learn about loon behavior and calls. 
  • No one owns Black Oak’s island. Legally it is lake bottom. If you use it please be considerate of mainland neighbors and leave it as clean as you found it.
  • The public beach is a buoyed swimming area (keep that 100’ separation). It is owned by Vilas County and managed by the Town of Land O’ Lakes. It is officially closed after 11 pm.  
  • Check your outdoor lighting. Excessive area lights and floodlights aimed out at the lake carry a long way and destroy the natural nighttime look we all appreciate.