The state boat launch is free for public usage,
and parking is free, at this location only:
210 Scout Rd, Southbury, CT 06488.
Connecticut recognizes Boating Certificates from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island for use upon our waters. If you have a current master, mate, or pilot license issued through the U.S. Coast Guard, you do not need the Connecticut boating certificate to operate your boat. Visitors with with valid vessel registration and license/certificate may launch a boat from the public boat launch and enjoy the lake.
Please visit the CT DEEP’s Lake Zoar Boat Launch webpage for detailed information on how to access the free, public boat launch in Southbury maintained by the state.
Please visit the CT DEEP’s Boating FAQs webpage for answers to frequently asked questions about boating in Connecticut.
Please visit the CT DEEP’s web library to read the most recent copy of the Connecticut Boater’s Rules and Resources Guide.
LAKE ZOAR BOATING FACTS:
To reach LZA Marine Patrol, call the CT State Police Troop A Southbury Dispatch at (203) 267-2200, or use VHF Radio Channel 16. BOATING EMERGENCIES CALL 911.
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):
-Residents of Connecticut
-Owners of real property in Connecticut
-Anyone using Connecticut waters more than 60 days in a year.
To legally operate a personal watercraft on Connecticut waters, regardless of state residency all persons must possess a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO).
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.
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 Lake Zoar. Read More https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/General-Information/Aquatic-Invasive-Species
Lake Zoar 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 LZA Marine Patrol.
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.
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 LZA Marine Patrol or CT DEEP EnCon Police while entering or on the water.
Lake Zoar is regularly patrolled by the Lake Zoar Authority Marine Patrol. The DEEP EnCon Police also provide enforcement support, and can be reached at 860-424-3333. Boaters on Lake Zoar must follow all State and local boating regulations.
Special Information Regarding Wakes:
A watercraft pushes water out of its path in order to move, creating an unnatural wave of water known as a wake. With increasing speeds, the wake becomes more forceful and the risk of danger to the operator and surrounding vessels, people, and property significantly increases. Large wakes, even those from small personal watercraft such as jet-ski, can cause a boating accident, distress to swimmers, damage to docks, and shoreline erosion. Boater must remember that Connecticut law, under Title 15 Navigation and Aeronautics, section 15-121-B14, prohibits speeds above 6MPH within 100 feet of shore, dock or a pier, float, or anchored or moored vessel, unless taking off or landing a water-skier. Boaters are responsible for damage caused by their wake, and speeding infractions can result in an $80 fine. Offenses involving serious damage or injury carry charges of reckless or negligent operation, which can result in a $1,000 fine, imprisonment up to six months, or both. Boaters must follow posted speed limits to prevent accidents and maintain enjoyable use of the lake for everyone. Marine Patrol enforces speed limits, receives complaints from boaters and residents, and reports sightings of violations and issued infractions to the LZA.
Please visit the CT DEEP’s web library to read the most recent copy of the Connecticut Boater’s Rules and Resources Guide: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Boating/Connecticut-Boaters-Guide Title 15 Navigation and Aeronautics Law is available here: https://eregulations.ct.gov/eRegsPortal/Browse/getDocument?guid=%7BC0033062-0000-CF6F-A467-07E12675FFE9%7D
Top 10 rules to respectful boating – make the right kind of waves
(Courtesy of MN Department of Natural Resources, 2022)
Boating etiquette is about safe behavior, as well as what’s socially accepted. Here are some of the basics to help you navigate the boating world with ease while not creating a stir among fellow users of the water.
Remember, these are guidelines and should not serve as a replacement for learning the rules, regulations and laws for your local body of water.