• LAKE PATROL officers are authorized to enforce all laws, ordinances and regulations in effect on the waters of Big Bear Lake.
  • BOAT PERMITS must be properly displayed on all boats.
  • BOAT PERMITS may be suspended or revoked when the permittee, owner or operator violates the terms and conditions of the permit, this Code or other requirements of the law.
  • BOAT SIZE REQUIREMENTS: Maximum boat length is 26 feet. Manually propelled boats less than 12 feet in length and float-tubes are required to operate between the 5 MPH buoys and the shore.
  • PUBLIC DOCKS located at the boat launch facilities are for loading and unloading only; do not leave a boat unattended.
  • SANITATION: No refuse shall be thrown into or left on the shoreline of the lake; no oil from a bilge pump shall be allowed to discharge into the lake; no person shall deposit any type of fish, amphibian or plant into the lake.
  • VEHICLES are prohibited from driving on the lake bottom. Vehicles on District property must obey posted speed signs and operate in accordance with the Vehicle Code.
  • ANIMALS must be on a leash no more than 7 feet long while on District  property.



  • PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 16 are prohibited from operating any vessel with more than 15 horsepower.
  • PERSONS 12 THROUGH 15 years of age are prohibited from operating a vessel with more than 15 horsepower unless supervised on board by a person at least 18 years of age.


  • RECKLESS OPERATION: No person shall operate a boat, water-ski, or similar device in a reckless or negligent manner. The owner and operator are responsible for any damage caused by their boat, its wake or its tow.
  • BOATING ACCIDENTS must be reported immediately to the Lake Patrol.
  • SPEED LIMIT: 35 MPH maximum; 10 MPH from sunset to 7:00 a.m.; 5 MPH between buoys indicating same and the shoreline; 3 MPH in Papoose Bay, Canvasback Cove and Mallard Lagoon.
  • SAFETY EQUIPMENT: All boats must be equipped according to California Boating Law safety requirements.
  • LAUNCHING: Boats requiring trailers may be launched only from designated launch ramps. All other boats may be carried and launched at designated recreational or public access points after obtaining a Boat Permit.
  • MOORING or tying to navigational markers is prohibited. Overnight mooring or beaching of-boats along shoreline is prohibited.
  • CHILDREN under the age of 12 are required to wear a personal flotation device while on board vessel that is underway.


  • PERSONAL WATERCRAFT shall maintain a 100 foot distance from all other boats while operating above wake less speeds.
  • PERSONAL WATERCRAFT operators are prohibited from “spraying down” any person or vessel in the water.
  • PERSONAL WATERCRAFT riders shall wear personal flotation devices.


  • HOURS OF WATER-SKIING (wake-boarding, tubing, etc.) are between 7:00a.m. and sunset.
  • AN OBSERVER at least 12 years of age is required to be on board the boat to monitor the progress of the skier.
  • A RED FLAG must be displayed whenever a skier or equipment is in the water.
  • ALL BOATS engaged in water-skiing shall maintain a counter clockwise direction.
  • NO PERSON shall operate water-skis or similar device so as to endanger the life of any person.
  • AERIAL DEVICES are prohibited to be towed by a boat.
  • WATER-SKIERS shall wear personal flotation


Big Bear Lake- Water Skiing.jpg


  • FISHING is prohibited from the Dam or from within posted “No Fishing” areas.
  • ANGLERS 16 YEARS OR OLDER must have a current fishing license properly displayed.
  • FISHING REGULATIONS are strictly enforced.


  • SWIMMING is allowed within 50 feet of the shore, within a designated swimming area, within 20 feet of a private dock, or as incidental or necessary to water-skiing, jet-skiing, sailboarding or in an emergency.
  • SCUBA DIVING is prohibited.


  • OPERATORS should maneuver boats slowly and carefully in unfamiliar waters since fluctuating lake levels can cause unmarked natural or man made hazards to occur.
  • TROLLING ANGLERS should display a white trolling flag to indicate to other boaters that they are trailing a line.
  • FISHING BOATS should not impede safe access for water-skiers entering or exiting a designated ski beach.
  • ALL SAILING CRAFT have the right of way over motorized boats, except in an overtaking situation.
  • SWIMMERS should always swim with a partner and swim with caution in unfamiliar water.
  • LIGHTNING STORMS can develop quickly in the mountains and lightning frequently strikes the lake’s surface. Boaters are advised to quickly seek shelter and safety.
  • BE A SOBER BOATER – Alcohol and boating are a deadly mix.
  • ICE COVERING BIG BEAR LAKE during the winter months is extremely dangerous, unstable and deceptive – STAY OFF LAKE ICE!