Flowage Easement

Flowage easement lands are privately owned lands on which the United States government acquired a perpetual right to flood the property in connection with the operation of the lake, to prohibit construction or maintenance of any structure for human habitation, and to approve all structures constructed on flowage easement land, except farm (wire) fencing.  The locations of the flowage easements at Rough River Lake are described in the original Warranty Deeds of Flowage Easement acquired by the United States. Those deeds are public record and are recorded in your county's Recorder's Office. From 2013-2018, the Corps of Engineers surveyed the flowage easement boundary at Rough River Lake. You may contact the Rough River Lake Project Office to determine if your property is subject to flowage easement rights.

As an Owner of Flowage Easement Land, You May:

1.  Mow, clear, plant vegetation, or otherwise use as desired if not in conflict with the terms of rights acquired by the government.

2.  Place a camper on the property which has tires on the wheels, tires are on the ground, the camper is readily movable, has campground style utility, and the hitch is easily accessible for quick removal.  Decks and roofs may not be attached to the camper, within limits of the easement.

3.  Construct a wire fence to or along the Government boundary line, within the limits of the easement.

As an Owner of land encumbered by U.S. Flowage Easement, You May Not:

1.  Construct or maintain any structure for human habitation (mobile homes, houses, etc.), campers do not apply, within the limits of the flowage easement.

2.  Place or construct any other structure or appurtenances to existing structures on flowage easement land without prior written approval of the District Engineer.  “Other structures” are construed to mean any kind of structure including but not limited to buildings, ramps, ditches, ponds, gazebos, wells, septic tanks, holding tanks, utility lines, stairs, decks, porches, sheds, etc.

Almost any type of structure that does not reduce flood storage capacity and is not designed for human habitation may be constructed on the flowage easement land with written approval of the District Engineer.  Structures on flowage easement are evaluated on a case by case basis to ensure that pollution of the lake or interference with the operation of the reservoir will not occur.  All proposed sewer line and septic system construction must be approved by the appropriate health departments and no septic tanks are permitted below elevation 534 feet mean sea level.

Landowner Responsibility:

Find out how flowage easement restrictions relate to your property.

Obtain necessary approval before placing items with the limits of the easement.

Know the elevation of your personal property.

Know when or if the access road floods.

Monitor the lake level.

Take appropriate action in advance to remove personal property during periods of high water.


If you need further information about flowage easements at Rough River Lake, contact the Rough River Lake Project Office at (270)257-2061.