An ordinary high water mark (OHWM) is defined as “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." An OHWM is present only on navigable waterways, lakes and rivers. The DNR is the only agency allowed to determine and confirm OHWM elevations and is the only agency allowed to determine whether or not a waterway is deemed “navigable”. If you are interested in having an OHWM determination made on your property or investigating if a waterway is navigable, please contact the Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development at (262) 857-1895.
You can learn more by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.