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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.

Water skiing:

  • 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

More information

For questions about lakes in King County, please contact or call the Water and Land Resources Division front desk at 206-477-4800.