Laws & Boating Safety

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Laws and Regulations – Highlights

The waters of Highland Lake and the Public Boat Launch at Highland Lake are regulated by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP). Boaters on Highland Lake are governed by DEEP Boating Regulations which are enforced by the Winchester Police Marine Patrol and State Environment Conservation Police (ECON). For an emergency on the lake dial 911.

Please be sure to familiarize yourself with all of the DEEP Boating Regulations regarding boating and safety when enjoying Highland Lake!

DEEP Highland Lake Boat Launch & Lake regulations 

Quiet Time

  • “Quiet Time” – 6 mph speed limit for all after 5:00 p.m. Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
  • 6 mph speed limit from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise.
  • No person shall operate a personal watercraft between sunset and sunrise or during periods of reduced visibility.

General Regulations

  • Docks or floats to which motorboats and/or personal watercraft can be moored shall not be a distance exceeding 40 feet from shore when measured from its furthest point.
  • 45 mph limit on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
  • Boats greater than 22 feet in length and pontoon boats greater than 30 feet in length are prohibited.
  • No staging of personal watercraft, motorboat or waterskiing activities from the Town-owned beaches or park.
  • No overnight mooring

DEEP Boating Regulations 

Wake Responsibly

  • Boats and Personal Watercraft (PWCs) are subject to different near-shore, slow-no-wake restrictions; except for the purpose of allowing a waterskier to take off or land.
  • Boats may not exceed Slow-No-Wake within 100 feet of shore or a dock, pier, float or anchored or moored vessel.
  • PWCs may not exceed Slow-No-Wake within 200 feet of shore or a dock, pier, float or anchored or moored vessel.
  • Water Jet Packs or Flyboards (JAV) are not allowed in a Slow-No-Wake area or within 200 feet of any dock, shore, pier or fixed structure or within 100 feet of any vessel except to transit the area: NO TRICKS ALLOWED!
  • Depending on the type of vessel that is being operated, a waterbody (or portion of waterbody) may simply be too narrow to legally waterski or go fast. On Highland Lake the narrows between 2nd and 3rd bay is Slow-No-Wake for PWCs and some coves are too narrow for boats to make fast turns when pulling a skier or a tube.
  • Wake Responsibly to protect your neighbor and your shoreline from erosion, moored boats and docks from damage and people from injuries due to falling off rocking docks, small watercraft and paddleboards.
  • Be courteous and stay at least 200 feet away, keep music at reasonable levels and minimize repetitive passes.

On Your Boat or PWC

  • Remember to carry on your boat at all times: your Safe Boating Certificate or Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation, a flare, horn or whistle, a paddle, life jackets for the number of people on board, and a fire extinguisher.
  • USCG approved Personal Flotation Divide (PFD) must be worn by:
    •  Children under the age of 13 when the vessel they are aboard is under wa.
    •  Anyone operating or riding on a PWC
    •  Anyone pulled by a boat
    •  Anyone in a manually propelled vessel from October 1 through May 31
  • Be aware of age restrictions for driving a boat or PWC or serving as the observer for a vessel engaged in all water sports.
  • No person may operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


  • A vessel shall not remain on the lake overnight unless it is moored at a dock, mooring buoy or lift registered with the Inland/Wetlands and Watercourses Commission.
    Dock & Mooring Ordinances effective 9/17


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