Wisconsin Lakes

We Speak for Lakes

WI Lakes


Fifty years ago, the Wisconsin Legislature enacted a law creating “inland lake protection and rehabilitation districts,” which would undertake programs of lake protection and rehabilitation.” This became Chapter 33 of the Wisconsin statutes, and now in 2023 over 250 lakes are managed in part by a local lake district. Districts work to control or prevent aquatic invasive species, manage dams, work on water quality issues, and more.

While small changes to lake district law were enacted over the years, no comprehensive set of revisions has occurred since 2003.

Wisconsin Lakes, working with our partner the Extension Lakes Program at UW-Stevens Point, and with help from the UW Madison Division of Extension Local Government Center, asked Wisconsin’s lake districts for suggestions of revisions that could help the law work better. Those suggestions have been reviewed, discussed, and distilled into this proposal. Our hope is that it could see passage in 2024 or early in 2025.

Read more…


Do you appreciate the work Wisconsin Lakes does on promoting effective management of wakesports and other lake recreation, working to pass needed revisions to Chapter 33, Wisconsin’s Lake District law, ensuring sound, science-based water policy, teaching individuals and organizations to be the most effective advocates for clean water, and providing education and technical assistance to lake organizations and other?

If so, consider donating to Wisconsin Lakes today! Membership starts with just a $30 contribution!



Help us celebrate Wisconsin Water Week 2024, April 8-12! Follow our companion website at wisconsinwaterweek.org!


2024 Wisconsin Lakes & Rivers Convention
April 10-12, 2024 – Stevens Point Holiday Inn and Convention Center

We’re ready to celebrate in 2024 with this theme:
“Chapter 33 Golden Jubilee: 50 Years of Partnering for Our Waters” 

2024 marks the 50th anniversary of Wisconsin’s unique lake law, Chapter 33: Public Inland Waters. The legislature and governor worked together in the early 1970s to establish a collaborative research and management framework that lives on today as the Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers Partnership. The law also created the pathway for landowners around lakes to form Public Inland Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Districts. Today, over 250 lake districts exist in the state, and they all operate under the same policies and rules laid out in Chapter 33. As we gather in Stevens Point for our annual Convention, we’ll look back at the progress made over 50 years of partnering to protect and restore waters, and we will collectively look ahead to the next 50 years to ensure that the next generations of water lovers will continue our legacy of proactive lake, river, and watershed management.

See our convention page for more information

Important Convention Deadlines:

04/10/2024 – Last day to register for Virtual Convention

Your Statewide Lake Association

We Speak for Lakes!

Wisconsin Lakes, formerly known as the Wisconsin Association of Lakes, is the only statewide non-profit organization working exclusively to protect and enhance the quality of Wisconsin’s 15,000 lakes. For more than 20 years, Wisconsin Lakes has worked toward statewide solutions for the challenges faced by our abundant natural water resources while supporting strong local protection efforts. We represent citizens and lake groups like you who care about Wisconsin’s lakes as a shared resource, and who appreciate the value lakes bring to our quality of life, tourist economy, and property tax base. Wisconsin Lakes seeks to protect the natural wonder of our lakes, and preserve our collective right to boat, fish, hunt, ice skate, swim and enjoy the scenic beauty of our shared public waters.


Make a contribution to protect Wisconsin’s legacy of lakes.

Become a Member or Renew Membership

Add your voice to the chorus “speaking for lakes.”