•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.

•PADDLE BOARDS are considered a vessel and required to meet state and local regulations.

•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 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, waterski, or similar device in a reckless or negligent manner. The
owner and or 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 the shoreline is

•CHILDREN under the age of 13 are required to wear a personal flotation device while on board a vessel that is underway.


•PERSONAL WATERCRAFT hours of operation are between 7:00 a.m. and sunset.

•PERSONAL WATERCRAFT shall maintain a 100 foot distance from all other boats while operating above wakeless 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 7:00 a.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 devices.


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.

•ALL 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, sail boarding or in an emergency.

•SCUBA DIVING is prohibited.

•Swim at your own risk, NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY


•OPERATORS should maneuver boats slowly and carefully in unfamiliar waters since fluctuating lake levels can cause
unmarked natural or manmade 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 waterskiers entering or exiting a designated ski beach.

•ALL SAILING CRAFT have the right of way over motorized boats, except in an overtaking situation.

•SWIMMERS swim at your own risk, NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY, and always swim with a partner.

•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!
Boating at Big Bear Lake
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Welcome to Big Bear Lake California
Welcome to Big Bear Lake Guide - Big Bear Lake Information Center
The Only Big Bear Lake Information Center Multilingual Website!
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Don't get caught without your CA fishing license:

Anyone Over the age of 16 years old must have a California fishing license.  You may purchase a CA 1 day, 2 day, 10 day, 1 year or
Lifetime fishing license.

Fishing fines in California are very expensive for fishing without a license.  $1,200 is the current fine in CA! - Ouch!

Things you should know:
Free and Reduced-Fee Licenses

Fishing Methods -- General.
Except as otherwise authorized, all fish may be taken only by angling with one closely attended rod and line or one hand line with not more
than three hooks nor more than three artificial lures (each lure may have three hooks attached) attached thereto. Anglers in possession of a
valid two-rod stamp and anglers under 16 years of age may use up to two rods in inland waters which regulations provide for the taking of
fish by angling, except those waters in which only artificial lures or barbless hooks may be used.

Q: Who needs a sport fishing license?
A: Any person who is 16 years of age or older must possess a
sport fishing license when taking any fish, shell fish, reptile, or
amphibian in California

Q: Can I get a free or low-cost fishing license?
A: Eligible low-income seniors at least 65 years of age, and
honorably-discharged veterans with a service-connected
disability of at least 50 percent may receive a Reduced-Fee
Fishing License.

We also offer Free Fishing Licenses to persons who are blind;
low-income American Indians; developmentally disabled persons;
and residents who are so severely physically disabled that they
are permanently unable to move from place to place without the
use of a wheelchair, walker, forearm crutches, or a comparable
mobility-related device. Proof of eligibility for all free and
reduced-fee licenses is required.