Camping California Boating Regulations
California Department of Fish and Game
Camping with Boats, Trailers, Slip Rental
Some camp sites will accommodate boats and trailers. Mooring boats is not permitted overnight unless in approved areas. The Forks Resort offers "first come first server" (no reservation) overnight mooring for $15 per night. Slips are available at Millers Landing for $25 per night, reservations suggested. They also have trailer parking. On the North side of the Lake Bass Lake Water Sports has slips for $35 per night, 3 night minimum. Reservations suggested. The Pines Resort has trailer parking for $20 per night for non guests. Prices and policies listed are subject to change.
The three comercial marinas issue registration stickers. You must register immediately upon launching. A colored sticker is issued. The fee is good for the season. There is no daily rate. For more information contact the sheriff at 559-642-3606.
Under 51 hp - $32.00, 51 hp - 250 hp - $50.00, over 250 hp - $63.00, PWC - $50.00 Boat Dealers $63.00
The Sheriff no longer tows boats. Contact Millers or Bass Lake water sports, there may be a fee for this service.
Boats shall travel in a counter clock wise direction. Crossing the lake should be done like making a left hand turn. Boats may be of any size. There are noise regulations and they are enforced. The outer edge is designated as 5 mph (no wake zones) by large orange bouies. A red flag must be displayed when people or equipment is outside the boat and the boat is not under way. The flagger must be at least 12 yrs old and it can not be the driver so you must have two persons aboard while pulling another person. Boats and PWC's are not allowed in swim areas. Tubes designed to stay airborne acting like a kite are restricted. If you have one of these kites do not allow it to fly. The boat in front of you always has the right of way. You must yield 100ft from any boat showing a Red flag.
You must be 16 years old to operate a Personal Water Craft and they are restricted to Three designated areas. PWC's are allowed to travel to and from each area (zig zaging and spins etc. are not allowed). PWC's are not allowed to cruse the lake, stopping in the middle, changing directions will get the attention of the sheriff. PWC's can not tow tubes or skiers except Larger Personal Water Craft (4 seats or more) are treated as boats and are only allowed in the main lake. This is a full contact lake with water sports and swimming allowed. State and Federal Laws apply.
This is only a partial list of rules. For further information contact the Sheriff.
"It is not good enough to miss the other boater and his skier" A good captain will consider his course speed and direction to provide other boaters courtesy of operation. We all know going full speed in a 20' boat next to a canoe is a bad idea because your wake may sink the canoe. Don't do this to a water skier. Don't squeeze between the 5 mhp line and a skier. Please give everybody a break, Give some space. Don't follow a boat pulling someone. If your pulling someone don't allow another boat to follow you, change course. Thanks
Parking & Boat Launch
There are Two launch ramps. On the North side at The Pines Resort, the fee is $5 per launch or pull out. Trailer parking is available at the Pines resort for $5 per day or free for guests.
A public ramp is on the South East side near the dam and is free but there is a $3 per day parking fee for your vehicle on USFS property. Parking is limited.
Most of the north shore is privately owned and lake access and parking is severely restricted. The North West side at the falls and South shore is owned by the US forest service and day use or camping is available. Day use parking fee is $3 per vehicle.
During daylight hours from 8 AM to 8 PM (or sunset which ever come first) there is no speed limit, except during a RED FLAG PERIOD. After 8 PM (or sunset which ever come first) to 8 AM the speed limit is 5 MPH During the RED FLAG PERIOD the speed limit is 40 MPH per County Ordinance Section 9.28.140.
The red flag will be flown (at the sheriffs tower and other locations) under the following conditions:
1. On Memorial Day and Labor Day Holiday weekends
Saturday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Sunday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Monday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
2. On the July 4th Holiday
If a three day weekend from 10:00 AM to 8 PM all three days
If during the week, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM on the 4th only
3. Whenever the visibility on the lake surface is less that 200 ft.
4. Whenever the surface conditions of the lake is such that white capped waves caused either by wind or
watercraft or both a visible for an extended period of time.
5. Any other period, when in the opinion of the Sheriff enforcement personnel, speeds in excess of 40
MPH are hazardous and create an unsafe condition on the lake.
New Noise Regulations
An increasing number of people have complained about loud boats. The law changes 1-1-05 whereas the Sheriff can now measure noise at your boat making easier to enforce the regulations. Below is Local and California State law. If your boat has a dry stack or designed for racing you will likely fail this new test.
Madera County Code; Section 9.28.145 Excessive Noise. Every motorized watercraft shall at all times be equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent excessive or unusual noise. Exhaust noise substantially louder that the watercraft's motor shall be considered excessive.
CALIFORNIA HARBORS AND NAVIGATION CODE
654.05. (a) A person may not operate a motorized
recreational vessel in or upon the inland waters, or in or upon ocean
waters that are within one mile of the coastline of the state, in a manner that exceeds the following noise levels:
(1) For engines manufactured before January 1, 1993, a noise level of 90 dB(A) when subjected to the Society of Automotive Engineers Recommended Practice SAE J2005 (Stationary Sound Level Measurement Procedure for Pleasure Motorboats).
(2) For engines manufactured on or after January 1, 1993, a noise level of 88 dB(A) when subjected to the Society of Automotive Engineers Recommended Practice SAE J2005 (Stationary Sound Level Measurement Procedure for Pleasure Motorboats).
(3) A noise level of 75 dB(A) measured as specified in the Society of Automotive Engineers Recommended Practice SAE J1970 (Shoreline Sound Level Measurement Procedure). However, a measurement of noise level that is in compliance with this paragraph does not preclude the conducting of a test of noise levels under paragraph (1) or (2).
(b) A law enforcement officer utilizing a decibel measuring device for the purposes of enforcing this section shall be knowledgeable and proficient in the use of that device.
(c) The department may, by regulation, revise the measurement procedure when deemed necessary to adjust to advances in technology.
(d) This section does not apply to motorized recreational vessels competing under a local public entity or United States Coast Guard permit in a regatta, in a boat race, while on trial runs, or while on official trials for speed records during the time and in the designated area authorized by the permit. In addition, this section does not apply to motorized recreational vessels preparing for a race or regatta if authorized by a permit issued by the local entity having jurisdiction over the area where these preparations occur.
(e) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2005.
SAE J2005 test
(The noise emission test measurements shall be made with the sound level meter at a distance of at least 4 feet above the water at a point where the transom gunwale and port or starboard gunwale intersects. The vessel being tested shall operate its engine at low throttle setting in neutral gear. Personal watercraft and other boats which have no neutral gear shall operate at the lowest throttle setting with no or minimum headway motion.)
654. (a) The exhaust of every internal combustion engine used on any motorized recreational vessel shall be effectively muffled at all times to prevent any excessive or unusual noise and as may be necessary to comply with Section 654.05.
(b) This section does not apply to motorized recreational vessels competing under a local public entity or United States Coast Guard permit in a regatta, in a boat race, while on trial runs, or while on official trials for speed records during the time and in the designated area authorized by the permit. In addition, this section does not apply to motorized recreational vessels preparing for a race or regatta if authorized by a permit issued by the local entity having jurisdiction over the area where the preparations occur.
(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2005, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2005, deletes or extends that date.