Water Patrol - Special Permits

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Special Event Permits

If holding an event on Ramsey County lakes or rivers that will draw spectators or may interfere with others who use the water, a Special Event Permit is required. Minnesota Statue Statute 86B.121 requires an event holder to obtain a Sheriff’s Special Event Permit prior to holding an event on any body of water. In Ramsey County, the Sheriff’s Water Patrol Unit issues these permits.

An event is defined as: "A gathering of persons engaged in (organized) activities on waters of the state or public property adjacent to those waters that, in the Sheriff’s opinion, would have an impact on public safety or natural resources." Some, but not all examples of events that require a permit include fishing contests (both winter and summer), boat races and regattas, festivals (such as golfing on ice), or water ski or parasail exhibitions.

Application for Permit to Conduct Water Exhibition and Placement of Structures in the Lakes that are related to the Exhibition. This also includes Triathlon Permit Guidelines, and Open Water Swim events.

Temporary Structure Permits and Regulations

If planning to place a structure in or on a lake or river (other than a dock), a Temporary Structure Permit is required.  The most common types of structures include the following (regulations are contained within the PDF):