What Boaters Need to Know

CT Requires a Boating Certificate to Operate Boat or Personal Watercraft, find more information check out Boating Certification Information.
Be Careful of Heavy Traffic

Candlewood Lake is a very popular lake and on summer weekends, boat traffic can be very heavy. All of us share the responsibility for safe recreation and conservation of Candlewood Lake. Please be a courteous and responsible boat operator for your own safety and the safety of those enjoying the Lake with you.

Fast Facts
  1. To reach CLA Marine Patrol, call Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Dispatch dispatch at 860-424-3333.  
  2. To legally operate any boat with a motor or a sailboat 19½ feet in length or longer, the following persons must obtain a Safe Boating Certificate (SBC):
    1. Residents of Connecticut
    2. Owners of real property in Connecticut
    3. Anyone using Connecticut waters more than 60 days in a year.
  3. To legally operate a personal watercraft on Connecticut waters, regardless of state residency all persons must possess a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO).
  4. As per State laws, boats must travel at slow/no wake speeds when within 100 feet of shore, PWC's must follow that within 200 feet of shore.
  5. Candlewood Lake is limited to boats UNDER 26 feet in length.  Boats exceeding the limit must possess a valid, posted exemption sticker in order to recreate on Candlewood Lake.  Violators are subject to a $75 fine and termination of voyage
  6. Boaters must inspect their vessel for vegetation and aquatic nuisance species and properly remove and dispose of all vegetation and nuisance species before transporting the vessel. You can be fined $95 per violation(CGA 15-180) and Public Act 12-167. Some invasive species have been found in CT, so you must inspect before and after launching in Candlewood Lake. Read More https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/General-Information/Aquatic-Invasive-Species
  7. Candlewood Lake has a daytime speed limit of 45mph (1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset) and a nighttime speed limit of 25mph, which is enforced by radar by the CLA Marine Patrol.
  8. Marker buoys around the lake signal underwater hazards.  Not all hazards are marked and hazard buoys can be moved out of position by high waters and boaters.  These buoys are merely an aid and should not replace caution, common sense, a good map and depth finder.
  9. It is the responsibility of the boater to ensure you are complying with all CT boating regulations when on the Lake.  Boats may be subjected to vessel safety inspections by CLA Marine Patrol or CT DEEP EnCon Police while entering or on the water.
  10.  The waters of Candlewood Lake are patrolled by the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) as well as the Candlewood Lake Authority Marine Patrol.  Boaters on Candlewood Lake's waters must follow all State and local boating regulations.
1. Respect the Ramp
Good boating etiquette starts before you enter the water - at the ramp. Prepare your boat and equipment before getting into position to launch. Anything else is disrespectful to fellow boaters.
2. Own Your Wake
The fastest way to make the wrong kinds of waves is to literally throw a big, obtrusive wave at another boat, swimmer, angler or shoreline owner. This is much more than being a nuisance or disrupting others’ experience on the water. It’s dangerous to those unable to tolerate a large wake.
3. Keep the Tunes in Check
Sound is amplified over the water, so keep the music at a decent level. Not only is it a disturbance to others but the operator may not hear the spotter.
4. Carry in. Carry out
Seems like common sense, right? Yet our shorelines and islands are still lined with trash being thrown overboard. Take care of Candlewood Lake and properly dispose of any trash you have. Do not throw it overboard! Stow your stuff securely and pick it up if something flies off.
5. Slow Your Roll
No person shall operate a motorboat at a speed in excess of Slow-No-Wake within 100 feet of shore, or a dock, designated swim area, float or anchored or moored vessel, unless taking off or landing a water-skier (200 feet is required for PWC operators). You are responsible for any damage you cause to other people’s property. The daytime speed limit on the lake is 45 mph and nighttime is 25 mph. It’s your responsibility to know the speed limits and respect them.
6. Rules of the Road
Become familiar with waterway markers and navigation rules like right of ways, which dictate how you operate your vessel in order to prevent collision. When two motorboats/PWC approach, the vessel on the right has the right of way. Know the rules to operate a boat on the lake…learn more here.
7. Keep Your Distance
PWCs should not cross close behind a boat to jump boat wakes…stay at least 100 feet away from vessels when crossing a wake.
8. Be Prepared
If you are the captain, you need to be prepared with the safety rules for your craft and make your guests aware as well. Know the boating laws in Connecticut and for Candlewood Lake. Have enough life jackets for each person onboard. Beyond that, make sure to have the appropriate fit.
9. Anchoring and Mooring
Enter a mooring area at a slow speed. Don’t create a wake that will disrupt other anchored boats. Give yourself plenty of space from other boats.
10. Be polite – Give a Wave
When passing another boat, give a little wave hello. Boating is all about having fun and being part of the boating community. Embrace it, enjoy it, and share it for generations to come.
Boating FAQs
  1. Who do I call if I see a hazard or find hazardous debris?
    1. CLA Marine Patrol by calling DEEP Dispatch at 860-424-3333
  2. How do I get a Boating Certificate?
    1. There are a variety of ways to fulfill the educational requirements in order to obtain a SBC or CPWO. For a listing of public classes around the State click here. There are a number of other groups who provide classes which may be found online. 
  3. Who do I call if I see a boating violation?
    1. CLA Marine Patrol by calling DEEP Dispatch at 860-424-3333
  4. Who do I call if I need to be towed?
    1. First try the commercial marinas on the lake, if they can’t help, call CLA Marine Patrol via DEEP Dispatch at 860-424-3333