For any inquiries regarding permits for any structure placed in public waters please contact the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s office at the Ottertail Operations Center.
If you intend on placing any structure in the public waters within Otter Tail County for a period of time greater than one day (sunrise to sunset), you are required, by Minnesota Statute 86B.111 Sub. 1, and, DNR Boat and Water Safety Rules, Chapter 6110.1800 Subpart 1, to first obtain a permit from the Sheriff.
Apply for a Permit
To help with the issuance of your temporary water structure permit, review the following procedures and applicable regulations to the structure you are intending on placing in the public waters. Accurately and completely fill out the application form and include a diagram of the location of your temporary structure including the shoreline, your residence, neighboring residence(s), property line(s), and applicable measurements/distances. Forms and additional information is available here.
After completing the application form and map, return it, and any other required information, to the Sheriff’s Office via in-person, mail, fax, or e-mail to email@example.com. Upon review, you will be notified by mail or email of your permit denial or approval and a time will be arranged to meet on site and issue your assigned permit number. You must then place this number on your structure.
Water Patrol Deputies will monitor and inspect your structure to ensure compliance with these and other safety rules and regulations. If your structure fails to pass inspection, you will be notified in-person or by registered mail. The issue(s) must be corrected within seven days of notification, after which another inspection will be conducted. If your structure again fails to pass inspection, your structure will be removed from the public waters.
Placing Your Structure
When determining placement of your temporary water structure, please take into consideration the following conditions / regulations:
◦ The structure anchoring system will not be located in an area that would be a hazard to the safe navigation of the boating public
◦ The structure and anchoring system will not be placed in a location that would interfere with your neighbor(s) access to public waters
◦ Your structure and anchoring system will not be found to be detrimental to fish or wildlife habitat or located in a fish spawning area
◦ Your structure must also have sufficient reflective material and be placed in a location that does not obstruct the materials’ reflective light from all directions
◦ If your structure is a mooring buoy, floating raft (including swim/dive rafts and water trampolines) or swim areas; the structure must not be placed greater than 100 feet from the shoreline
Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office requires a permit for the placement or use of any temporary or permanent slalom course on any waterways within Otter Tail County.
Continued complaints regarding temporary water structures may open a review of your permit. This process may result in amendments or special requirements to maintain your temporary structure permit. The Sheriff, by authority of Rule 6110.1800 Subpart 2, maintains the right to deny or cancel any permit for potential conflicts with location, safety, or navigational hazard.
Wake Board Rails
Due to the risks associated with wake board rails, no permit will be issued for the placement and/or use of these structure in Otter Tail County.
Minnesota Administrative Rule 6110.1800, Subpart 2: “The sheriff of any county may issue a permit for the placement of any such structure or buoy whenever, in the sheriff’s opinion, the structure or buoy will not constitute an undue hazard to or illegal obstruction of navigation.”
To appeal any special requirements, amendment, denial or cancellation, you must request a meeting with the Otter Tail County Sheriff .