Seasonal Docks

On May 23, 2023, Council approved Policy 61.0.4 Seasonal Dock & Mooring Structures on County Managed Lands  establishing a Policy supporting the installation of Seasonal Docks and Other Mooring Structures attached or adjacent to County Managed Lands. 

Historically, the County of Wetaskiwin has not issued approval for the placement of seasonal structures on lakeshores in the County since the management and control of the bed and shore of waterbodies is the responsibility of the Province. However, the Alberta Government recently adopted the Alberta Government Disturbance Standard for Temporary Seasonal Docks and other Mooring Structures for Personal Recreational Purposes (April 2021)( Public Lands Act, RSA 2000), establishing a standardized means of managing docks and other mooring structures on Alberta lakes.

The disturbance standard applies to seasonal mooring structures for waterfront and semi-waterfront property owners. Under the Disturbance Standard, the installation of a dock may require the consent of the lakefront landowner to obtain approval from the Province. The County owns a significant amount of land next to our lakes, usually in the form of an Environmental or Municipal Reserve. Further, given the nature of shorelines, the installation of a dock may not be possible without attaching it to County owned land. To deal with the consent and use of County land for docks, Council directed Administration to draft a Seasonal Dock & Mooring Structure Installation & Storage Approval Policy for their consideration.

On March 28, 2023, Council held a Public Hearing to gather feedback on the draft policy from community members. After hearing from members of the public, and Alberta Forestry, Parks and Tourism on April 25, 2023, Council amended the draft policy. Council chose not to support the storage of docks and other mooring structures on County land, however, did give consent through the Policy allowing docks and other mooring structures to be installed adjacent to and on County Managed Lands, subject to conditions. A dock or mooring structure that complies with the Policy conditions does not require written consent or approval from the County. However, it must be noted that the Policy does not supersede the “Disturbance Standard for Temporary Seasonal Docks and other Mooring Structures for Personal Recreational Purposes” as set forth by the Government of Alberta, but rather facilitates citizens in being able to obtain approvals through the Government of Alberta where required.

The storage of docks or other mooring structures is not permitted on County Managed Lands including Municipal Reserve, Environmental Reserve, Public Utility Lot, Road Allowances, etc.

Approvals & Regulatory Requirements

In Alberta, water bodies and shore lands fall under the jurisdiction of the Provincial government.

Landowners must obtain authorization before modifying shorelands. This ensures that:

  • all aquatic and water resource management issues are reflected in the approval
  • any unanticipated issues are addressed before construction
  • construction does not occur during sensitive times when fish spawn or birds nest

For further information on docks and other lakeshore activities visit the Government of Alberta’s Environment and Parks website or call AEP at 780-427-7617. To call toll-free in Alberta, dial 310-0000 then the phone number.

More Information

If you have any questions you can contact the County's Planning and Economic Development Department at 780-352-3321. You may also wish to review the following downloads for further information: