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Enjoy life on the lake, be safe, and be a good neighbor.

Please be aware of invasive species and COLA's Clean Boat Initiative

Read the attached brochures and make sure you are familiar with Wisconsin Boating Regulations.

2018 Boat Wake Ordinance

A new boat wake ordinance became effective on November 12, 2018. To view the ordinance click here. The essential elements are as follows:

“No person shall operate a motorboat … on the waters within the Town of Bass Lake, Sawyer County in a manner to enhance an elevated wake for over 50 feet in length closer than 700 feet from any shoreline, dock, pier, raft or other restricted area(s) within the Town of Bass Lake, Sawyer County. An elevated wake is a trail of disturbed water left by the passage of a watercraft in excess of 24 inches. Such prohibited operation shall apply to wake enhancement watercraft by the use of ballast, mechanical hydrofoil(s), uneven loading or operation at transition speed. Transition speed means the speed at which the boat is operating at greater than slow-no-wake speed, but not fast enough so the boat is planning.”

A map of the 700 ft setback boundary is provided in the margin.

Boat Wake 700 ft setback map.  For a larger image click  here .

Boat Wake 700 ft setback map. For a larger image click here.

LCO Buoy Locations

For a larger image click  here .

For a larger image click here.

LCO Water Level

Volunteers regularly monitor the depth gauge at the Thoroughfare bridge. The gauge and the chart readings are in tenths of a foot (1/10 foot = 1.2 inches). The first point on the chart, June 27, 2017, was when the gauge was first installed. The USGS “normal” water surface elevation for big LCO is 1287 feet and is represented by the lower orange line.

The Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) is represented by the upper orange line. The OHWM establishes the boundary between public lakebed and private land, was established for big LCO in 1955 and is 1289.27 feet above mean sea level. The OHWM is “the point on the bank or shore up to which the presence and action of the water is so continuous as to leave a distinct mark either by erosion, destruction of terrestrial vegetation or other easily recognized characteristic.”

Periodic readings are recorded as accurately as reasonable. The water itself is in perpetual motion, not only flowing downstream but rising and falling due to waves, the current in the channel, the wind which can actually push water and “stack” it toward one end of the lake or the other and the seiche effect caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun. 

LCO Depth Gauge Readings 9-30-19.jpg


Issue 22  'Lac Courte Oreilles Boat Landings'

Issue 25  'Striking a balance: the dam water’s too high, the dam water’s too low'