Boating regulations fact sheet
King County Boating Restrictions are listed in the King County Code under Title 12, Section 44: Public Peace, Safety and Morals, Boating Regulations.
- Speed Limit: Unless otherwise noted in the King County code, maximum boat speed is 8 miles per hour.
- Personal watercraft are considered vessels and must comply with all pertinent regulations.
- ALL vessels must have at least one USCG approved personal flotation device per passenger onboard.
- Boater Education Cards: Anyone born on or after January 1, 1955, must have a boater education card to operate a vessel with an engine of 15 or more horsepower.
- Powered vessels are required to remain 50 feet from swimmers when the propeller is engaged.
- Non-motorized craft have the right-of-way.
- Make sure to inspect your watercraft at the boat launch before entry and after exit to avoid spreading any invasive or nuisance aquatic plants or animals to other lakes.
- Is allowed only where speed limit exceptions make it possible.
Watercraft must be operated by at least 2 people.
- It is unlawful to waterski within 100 yards of shore.
- There is no towing from sunset to sunrise.
- Floatation devices must be worn.
- Some lakes have special restrictions: Check online for additional information for Lake Sawyer (12.44.260) and Lake Meridian (12.44.270).
- Internal combustion engines are NOT ALLOWED on the following lakes:
- Lake Alice
- Ames Lake
- Beaver Lake
- Cottage Lake
- Lake Desire
- Lake Dolloff
- Lake Geneva
- Lake Holm
- Lake Joy
- Lake Killarney
- Lake Langlois
- Lake Leota
- Lake Lucerne
- Lake Margaret
- North Lake
- Pipe Lake
- Shadow Lake
- Shady Lake
- Spring Lake
- Star Lake
- Steel Lake
- Ronald Bog
- Lake Twelve
- Lake Walker
- Lake Wilderness
- Washington State Parks and Recreation Boating Handbook (external link)
- Washington State Recreational Vessel Regulations (external link)
For questions about lakes in King County, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Water and Land Resources Division front desk at 206-477-4800.