CLPOA Boating Rules & Regulations (October 2018)
17. USE OF WATERCRAFT ON CHOCTAW LAKE
A. Compliance with Water Safety Laws and Rules:
(1) All persons operating watercraft on the lake shall familiarize themselves and comply with Ohio’s Water Safety Laws (Revised Code Chapters 1547 and 1548) as well as any rules and regulations adopted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (see Ohio Administrative Code Rules 1501:47-1 and 2). A booklet entitled “Ohio Boat Operator’s Guide,” summarizing such laws and rules, operating regulations and required equipment is available, free of charge, by writing to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Public Information Center, 1952 Belcher Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43224; copies of the booklet may also be available from the Lake Office.
(2) Anyone born on or after January 1, 1982 is required to take the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Safe Boating Course before operating a motorized watercraft on Choctaw Lake, and persons violating this rule shall be subject to a $50 fine (Effective 17 Jan 1996). Anyone who is stopped by a law enforcement officer or the CLPOA Boat Patrol on the waters of Choctaw Lake must produce a Safe Boating Certificate within 72 hours after being stopped.
(3)Personal Watercraft (i.e., Jet Ski, Wet Jet, Wave Runner, etc.):
(a)Children under 12 years of age may not operate a personal watercraft.
(b) Children between 12 and 16 years of age may operate a personal watercraft if a supervising person of 18 years of age or older is aboard the personal watercraft. The supervising person must hold a Safe Boating Certificate if the person was born on or after January 1, 1982.
(4)Power boats over 10 horsepower:
Children under 12 years of age may not operate power boats over 10 horsepower unless the child is under the direct visual and audible supervision, during the operation, of a person who is at least 18 years of age who is aboard the power boat. A supervising person born on or after January 1, 1982, must hold a Safe Boating Certificate.
(5) All new boat owners are encouraged to attend a boating safety class and to familiarize themselves with these Rules prior to operating watercraft on Choctaw Lake.
(6) Under no circumstances is a person under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance permitted to operate a watercraft on the lake.
(7) Property owners are responsible for the behavior of all family members and guests while enjoying the use of Choctaw Lake.
- If, in the opinion of the Property Manager or Patrol, the lake becomes unsafe for boating, fishing or swimming, all persons shall immediately remove themselves from the lake upon the request of the Property Manager or Patrol and shall tie up their watercraft until the unsafe condition passes, at which time an “all clear” signal will be given.
- All watercraft shall reduce speed to idle speed during periods of high water, if in the opinion of the Property Manager or Patrol, continued operation of watercraft on the lake would cause shoreline and/or property damage. The no-wake light located near the Arrowhead will indicate this reduction in speed. Additionally, the Property Manager, or Patrol, will use various other methods to notify property owners of the speed limitation. (Revised August 14, 2018).
B. Registration of Watercraft:
(1) Proof of ownership of any watercraft shall be promptly presented to the Property Manager or Patrol upon request.
(2) Before being issued a Choctaw Lake boat registration sticker, each property owner shall sign a written statement agreeing to abide by these Rules.
(3) All watercraft operated on Choctaw Lake shall have a current CLPOA water craft sticker displayed in such a manner as the Property Manager shall establish.
(4) Boats not properly registered with the CLPOA shall be ordered immediately removed from Choctaw Lake by the Property Manager or Patrol. Persons who refuse to immediately comply with such an order may be fined an amount up to $250 at the discretion of the Property Manager. Non- residents operating watercraft on Choctaw Lake shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for trespassing.
5) The following types of watercraft shall not be placed in or on Choctaw Lake:
(a) Any watercraft the ownership title of which is not registered in the name of a property owner (Effective June 17, 1993);
(b)Runabouts more than twenty-three (23) feet in length;
(c)Sailboats more than twenty-five (25) feet in length;
(d)Pontoon boats more than thirty (30) feet in length;
(e)Houseboats or boats which have been altered for use as a houseboat;
(f) Watercraft having an engine exhaust system which exits above the natural waterline while such water craft is at rest, or which, in the Property Manager’s or Patrol’s opinion, creates an excessive level of noise.
C. Safety Zone:
A one hundred (100) foot safety zone (“Safety Zone”) shall be maintained from all shorelines, jetties, docks or other projections into the lake. While in the Safety Zone, watercraft may travel in either direction.
D. Ski Course:
The Ski Club shall maintain a slalom ski course at the south end of the lake consisting of a pattern of buoys. While in the ski course, a boat pulling a skier (a towboat) may travel in either direction. The towboat must stop at each end of the ski course and not circle around it. If the skier falls while in the ski course, the towboat may turn either direction to return to the fallen skier. Only one towboat is allowed in the ski course at a time. If another watercraft enters the ski course, the towboat needs to cease operation. (Effective July 16, 1997).
E. Water Skiing:
(1) All watercraft pulling water-skiers shall have an observer aboard in addition to the pilot of the watercraft.
(2) After losing a skier, the watercraft shall, in a cautious manner, immediately turn in a leftward direction and proceed to retrieve the skier.
(3) Water-skiing is not permitted inside any Choctaw Lake cove or within the 100-foot Safety Zone.
- Except when in the process of retrieving a water-skier, no watercraft shall drag a ski rope in the water without a skier.
F. Operation of Watercraft:
(1) While in the Safety Zone or in any cove, motor craft shall be operated at speeds that produce “No Wake.” “No Wake means idle speed only. In all other areas, a watercraft shall proceed at a safe speed so that it can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and condition. The patrol shall be responsible for determining whether boats are exceeding safe conditions for the conditions present. Under good visibility conditions and light to moderate boat traffic, the maximum safe speed shall be set at 35 miles per hour. The maximum safe boating speed shall be reduced for poor visibility, i.e. fog rain etc. and very heavy traffic situations. However, from dusk until daylight, watercraft being operated on any part of the lake shall be operated at “No Wake – Idle Speed Only”; while in operation during such times, all boats shall carry a distress signal (a light or lantern) capable of being visible a distance equal to the length of the lake.
(2) While outside of the Safety Zone, watercraft shall travel in a counterclockwise direction (for example, in a northward direction while on the east side of the lake). (Effective July 16, 1997).
(3) All watercraft shall maintain clearance of not less than 200 feet from other watercraft, except when both crafts are operating at idle speed. The Patrol shall be responsible for determining whether watercraft is maintaining the proper clearance from another watercraft. The jumping of boat wakes by jet skis or other personal watercraft while within 200 feet of the watercraft that created the wake is prohibited. (Effective August 18, 1994, amended September 22, 1994).
G. Launching Watercraft
In launching watercraft into or removing watercraft from the lake, the ramp located across from the Marina shall be utilized. No other launching site shall be used without prior permission of the Property Manager or the Patrol, except that property owners owning lake front property may use ramps or boat lifts located on their lot(s).
H. Wake Enhancing Devices:
Owners of boats with wake-enhancing devices (water sacs, bladders, ballast, wedges, etc.) are strongly urged to use good judgment to minimize the negative effects of their enhanced wakes. Large wakes erode shorelines, damage docks and moored boats, and can be a hazard to fishermen, skiers and other boaters. These boats also tend to stir-up bottom sediment when running through shallower water. ‘Good judgment’ would include keeping a significant distance from shore and other boaters, skiers and fishermen, and limiting use of these devices to periods where interference with others can be kept to reasonable levels to ensure safe conditions for all. Owners are responsible for any damage or injuries caused by their wakes. ‘Surfing’ is not allowed at the south end of the lake, from the south beach jetty to Old Columbus Road.
I. Preventing Transfer of Unwanted Aquatic Organisms:
When a property owner uses their watercraft in any body of water other than Choctaw Lake, they must take precautions to ensure that plants, animals and other materials are not transferred into Choctaw Lake. Owners are to clean visible aquatic plants and animals from their boat, trailer, and other boating equipment before leaving the other lake’s access area. Additionally, they are to drain water from motor, boat bilges, live wells, bait containers, and other boating equipment before leaving the other lake’s access. Drain plugs must be removed from bilges and live wells, and all water draining devices must remain open while transporting. It is also recommended to thoroughly rinse, with hot water if possible, all boats, trailers and bilges prior to launching your boat back into Choctaw Lake. Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Do not dump it into Choctaw Lake, as this could introduce unwanted species into our lake.