Boating

Boating on Otter Lake Did You Know ……..

The following information is provided in an effort to give helpful information and best practices to ensure boating on Otter Lake is an enjoyable, safe and courteous activity without negative impacts on the environment and everyone living and playing on the lake.

The sources for this information can be found below under References & Links.  The safety information is in accordance with the Small Vessels Regulations and Transport Canada Safe Boating Guidelines and recommended by the Canadian Power and Sailing Squadron.

Environment

To mitigate environmental impact on Otter Lake’s shoreline and wildlife please Watch Your Wake

  • The size of your wake changes at different speeds – know your boat and be aware.
    • Plowing = largest wake 
    • Planing = less wake
    • Bow down in water & slow speeds = least wake 
  • The number of passengers and placement of passengers affects how your boat performs.
  • Greater distance from shore reduces the impact of boat wake.
  • Wakeboarding boats are recommended to be a minimum of 50 metres from any shore.
  • Wake causes erosion of shoreline and impacts loons and other birds nesting along shores by drowning nests and the young, especially in May and June.
  • Prop wash and wake can churn up sediments in shallow water that releases nutrients which promotes weed growth and algal blooms.
  • Direct injection two or four-stroke engines are more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly; please take this into consideration when purchasing a new or second-hand motor. 

Safety

  • All motorized boat operators need to have a valid boater’s license (Pleasure Craft Operator Card) and follow the Small Vessel Regulations and Transport Canada Safe Boating Guidelines, such as:
  • The speed limit within 30 metres of any shore is 10 km/h.
  • The impact of your boat’s wake affects swimmers, non-motorized boats and small boats; be aware and keep a safe distance.
  • Water skiers/boarders and tubes should be towed straight out from shore.
  • Tow boats and seadoos must have a spotter and a seat for each person being towed.
  • Avoiding distractions and paying attention is key to safe boating.
  • Wearing the correct, approved flotation devices for all activities can save injuries and lives.
  • Knowing & obeying right-of-way rules makes for a safer and more enjoyable experience on the lake.

Courtesy

  • Limiting noise and time spent in the same area close to shore is being a considerate boater.
  • Avoiding multiple runs in same area when towing skiers and tubes is being considerate – vary your route when possible.
  • Being mindful when casting near shore, docks and swimmers is being a considerate fisherman.
  • Keeping a safe distance from swimmers, canoes, kayaks, sailboats, etc. is not just for safety.
  • Limiting your wake effect on docks and moored boats reduces possibility of damage as severe rocking increases pulling on moorings, etc.
  • Seadoo operators are under the same obligations as all other motorized watercraft as set out in government rules/regulations.

References & Links