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Public Use Waters


Water occurring in any river, stream, or creek having definite banks and bed with visible evidence of the flow of water is declared to be public waters of the state of Iowa and subject to use by the public for navigation purposes in accordance with law.

Specific Regulations and Zoning

Special Regulations regarding zoning; safety areas; and other right-of-way, speed, and distance restrictions apply to the following areas:

Black Hawk Lake, Sac County
Brown’s Lake, Woodbury County
Carter Lake, Pottawattamie County
Cedar River, Black Hawk County
Cedar River, Floyd City (Charles City)
Cedar River, Mitchell County
Cedar River, Chickasaw County (Nashua)
Coralville Lake, Johnson County
Crystal Lake, Hancock County
Des Moines River, Lee City
East & West Okoboji Lakes, Dickinson County
Five Island Lake, Palo Alto County
Harpers Slough, Allamakee County
Ingham Lake, Emmet County
Iowa River, Hardin County
Iowa River, Johnson County
Joyce Slough Area, Clinton City
Lake Odessa, Louisa County
Lake Icaria, Adams County
Lake Manawa, Pottawattamie County
Little Wall Lake, Hamilton County
Lost Island Lake, Palo Alto County/Clay County
Maquoketa River/Lake Delhi, Delaware County
Massey Slough, Dubuque County
Mississippi River, above and below all navigation lock and dam structures and other designated areas (Contact Conservation Officer, Corps of Engineers, or lock master for special rules.)
Mt. Ayr City Lake (Loch Ayr), Ringgold County
Raccoon River Regional Park Lake, Polk County
Rathbun Lake, Appanoose County
Red Rock Lake, Marion County
Saylorville Lake, Polk County
Shell Rock River (Greene Impoundment), Floyd County
Snyder Bend Lake, Woodbury County
Spirit Lake, Dickinson County
Storm Lake, Buena Vista County
Swan Slough, Clinton County
Three Mile Lake, Union County
Upper Gar Lake, Dickinson County
Wapsipinicon River, Linn County

The specific regulations for each area may be obtained online at www.legis.iowa.gov/law/administrativeRules/agencies (look for Natural Resource Commission Code 571, Chapter 40).