Picture of Lake Zoar

Ensuring boating safety & water quality.

The Lake Zoar Authority is a multi-town organization consisting of representatives from the four towns that border the lake - Monroe, Newtown, Oxford, and Southbury. The Lake Zoar Authority is tasked with the goals of improving water quality and promoting safe boating on the lake.

Announcements

2013 Post-Treatment Report now available.

October 16th 2013

The results from the 2013 post-treatment survey on invasive aquatic plant treatment areas are now available.

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2013 Annual Lake Drawdown

September 27th 2013

The 2013 annual lake drawdown has been scheduled by First Light to occur Saturday, October 19th through Sunday, October 27th - First Light reserves the right to adjust this schedule.

New meeting locations!

January 11th 2013

Beginning January, 2013 the Lake Zoar Authority will hold its monthly meetings at different locations following a rotating schedule. Each town represented by the LZA will now host 3 meetings per year at a specified facility within that town. We feel this will provide greater accessibility to those who wish to attend any of the meetings and allow for better public participation and comments from the communities the LZA represents. Please check the posted meeting schedule for dates and locations of upcoming meetings.

Post-Treatment Report now available.

November 14th 2012

The results from the post-treatment survey on invasive aquatic plant treatment areas are now available.

PFD reminder for rowboats, canoes, kayaks & other paddle craft

September 14th 2012

The LZA would like to remind anyone using any sort of paddle craft that state law requires a personal floatation device to be worn beginning October 1st though May 31st.

Special PFD Requirements: ”During the period from October 1st through May 31st, all persons on board a manually propelled vessel shall wear a Type I, II, III or V, U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device and no operator, or owner or user of a manually propelled vessel shall allow any person to be aboard who is not wearing such a device.”

Lake Zoar draw-down scheduled for October 2012

September 14th 2012

FirstLight has indicated that the fall draw-down for Lake Zoar has been schedule for 10/20/2012 to 10/28/2012. During this period the water level will be lowered so residents can work on their waterfront property. Please be sure to use caution while navigating the lake during this time and keep check on water depths.

Safe Summer Fun

July 29th 2012

With summer upon us the Lake Zoar Authority would like to remind everyone to please keep safety in mind while enjoying the lake. We have our two patrol boats on the water assuring boating regulations are being followed and offering assistance to those in need. Police officers from the surrounding towns of Southbury, Newtown, Oxford and Monroe assist the LZA on our patrols. To ensure everyone remains safe we urge you to be familiar with and abide to Connecticut’s boating laws in the 2012 Connecticut Boaters Guide.

Another great resource for boating rules, regulations, certification requirements, safety information as well as other boating information is the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection website.

Some of the most commonly seen issues that can be prevented include operating a vessel that is not registered with the state, operating a vessel without proper safe boating certification, operating a personal watercraft without the required PWC certification, insufficient or lack of properly sized personal floatation devices for each passenger on board (also mandatory for kayaks, canoes, and other paddle craft), and lack of proper fire extinguishers. The speed limit on Lake Zoar is 45 mph during the daytime, 25 mph from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise. Also, please be aware that there is a new (relocated)cable strung across the lake near the Shepaug Dam indicating the point past which access is prohibited.

Public Education Courses

April 9th 2012

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 24-12, based out of Oxford, CT will be offering several public education courses along with complimentary vessel safety checks throughout the 2012 boating season.

Classes are to include a fundamental eight hour course that meets the requirements for the State of Connecticut Safe Boating and Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation. A second class will cover the understanding and proper use of charts, navigation and GPS. A paddle sports class will also be offered as a free public service. This will be a basic four hour class acting as an introduction to meet boater education needs for operating a paddlecraft — specifically a canoe or kayak.

The Vessel Safety Check is a complimentary check of your boat conducted by members of the Auxiliary, confirming that it meets both federal and state requirements for safety. No citations are issued and the results of the safety check are not reported to any enforcement agency, but a decal is awarded to display if the vessel has passed the examination.

All classes will be held at:

Flotilla Training Center
David S. Miles Post 174
American Legion
43 Oxford Road
Oxford, CT 06483

For more information about these classes and the 2012 vessel safety check schedule, click here.

Water Quality

Water quality is a primary area of focus for the Lake Zoar Authority. The LZA performs regular water testing for eColi and other conditions at several locations throughout the lake. The results are sent to the four member towns and the appropriate health departments. The towns and/or DEP also test water at public beaches.

The LZA’s role is information gathering. The LZA also participates in water studies to learn more about the changing conditions of the water. In addition to quality, the LZA has an extensive program to control the growth of invasive weeds and as funds allow the most infested areas are treated with an herbicide that is used in over 150 lakes in CT each year.

Lake Patrol

The Lake Zoar Authority also supports the operation of a marine patrol enforcement unit with two LZA-owned boats. The marine patrol is radio equipped, with constant shore contact. To reach the patrol by phone, contact your local town police.

Education

An objective of the LZA is to be a resource for the users of the lake. A primary means of education is the safety inspections performed throughout the summer by the marine patrol. The LZA plans to host more safety awareness days, coordinate with the Coast Guard Auxiliary for inspections at boat launches and to use this website to help all users of the lake understand more about safe boating and responsible use of the lake.

Remember, Connecticut residents are required to have a Connecticut Safe Boating Certificate or Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation on their person when operating a boat/PWC in CT. Individuals must successfully complete an approved basic boating course to obtain a certificate. (There are many sources for the safe boating classes including the USCG Auxiliary, see link below for more information.)