Public Swimming Areas

Once you receive your permit authorizing the placement of your swimming area buoys; the permit will be valid until one or more of the following occurs:
  • When your address or location of the temporary structure changes
  • When your permission from the property landowner is revoked
  • When your structure is found to be non-compliant with the policies and/or regulations set forth
Safety First
The Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol takes great care to ensure the safe navigation of all persons using the public waters Otter Tail County. To accomplish this, Deputies will inspect and monitor your swim area to ensure that it is in compliance with the following regulations and guidelines, Rule 6110.1600, Subp. 2:
  • The permit holder must be the legal representative of a designated governmental subdivision, private corporation, private club, nonprofit organization, or business offering swimming to the public
  • The entire perimeter of the designated swim area must be marked with buoys that are white in color with orange in color diamonds with crosses on each side. Also the buoys must have one horizontal orange colored band above and below the diamond / cross symbol
  • The buoys must be no less than 9 inches in diameter and extend out of the water no less than 36 inches above the surface of the water. The buoys should also be spaced no more than 15 feet apart
  • The buoys must be not be spaced no more than 75 feet apart and there shall be no less than three buoys marking any one side of the designated swim area
  • Additional smaller buoys may be used to better define the designated swim area between the primary marker buoys. The additional buoys must be all white in color
  • The swim area cannot be a navigational danger to the general boating public
  • The structure must be removed by November 1st, so as not to create a hazard for developing ice and winter conditions
Please understand that any structure placed in the public waters within Otter Tail County remain your responsibility to maintain. This however, does not prevent someone from using your structure. By issuing you a temporary structure permit, Otter Tail County, by rule of law, is not liable for any injuries or property damage by persons using, crashing into, or damage caused by, your temporary water structure. 

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