Trusted stewards of Idaho's resources, from main street to mountain top

Navigable Waters

Idaho's public trust lands are the lands submerged below the ordinary high water mark of navigable streams and rivers within the State. Title to these lands is held in trust and is administered for the public benefit rather than for a specific beneficiary.

Where are Idaho's navigable waters?

This list of navigable lakes and rivers in Idaho is not exclusive. At any time, the State of Idaho may determine through court action or some other means that additional lakes and rivers will be declared navigable for title purposes.

The authority to conclusively determine navigability rests with the State Board of Land Commissioners and ultimately with the courts. However, Department employees may determine the location of the ordinary high water mark along public trust lands.

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We administer the Idaho Lake Protection Act and regulate encroachments and activities on, in, or above the navigable lakes in the State of Idaho. Encroachments are anything permanently fixed to the lakebed or natural features of the lakebed (such as rocks). Examples of navigational and non navigational encroachments permitted by the IDL include docks, marinas, bridges, utility lines, mooring buoys, and float homes.

Visit the Lake Protection page here.

Additionally, the IDL administers ownership of public trust lands along navigable rivers by processing land disclaimers and issuing easements and riverbed leases for commodities such as sand and gravel.

Visit the Riverbeds page here.


  • For questions specific to a location
    Supervisory Areas
  • For statewide programmatic questions
    Public Trust Lands Program
    Minerals Leasing Program
    Boise Staff Office
    (208) 334-0200