The La Crosse County Sheriff's Department Water Patrol is a Department of Natural Resources subsidized program in which La Crosse County, through the Sheriff's Department, provides boating law enforcement within La Crosse County between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend.


The Water Patrol is responsible for patrol and enforcement on 22 nautical miles of the Mississippi River; Lake Onalaska, which consists of 7,688 acres; and a portion of the Black River.  The Mississippi River and the Black River yield a high concentration of boat traffic throughout the summer months.  With well over 11,000 registered boats in La Crosse County and the increase of watercraft traveling on the Mississippi River, the summer boat patrol period is very busy with enforcement and investigation of accidents.


Two boats are operated by the Water Patrol Unit.  Both boats are 18' Crestliner 1850 Fishhawks with 150 HP Mercury Optimax motors.  These crafts are outfitted with lifesaving and emergency medical equipment. 


With the increase of watercraft on local waterways, the La Crosse County Sheriff's Department encourages all boaters to take part in a boater safety course.


Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources BOATING INFORMATION

Captain Michael Horstman
Sergeant John Zimmerman
Deputy Erich Zwicker