There are laws which govern the usage of the lake and river, ensuring a
respectful and healthy environment for all users. The Cowichan Lake and
River Stewardship Committee and the local RCMP are watching the lake and river
to ensure that these laws are obeyed but everyone is encouraged to report
Pleasure Craft Operator Card
These are legally required to operate motorized boats in Canada.
The rules and regulations are covered by Transport Canada's Safe Boating
511 E). For information on obtaining a certificate, see
or call 1-800-267-6687.
Safety Equipment and Life Jackets
These are required to be worn by all in the boat.
Speed Limit of 10 km/hr within 30 meters (approximately 100 feet) of shore.
This is strictly enforced to protect swimmers and limit erosion and
property damage caused by boat wake.
Muffler bypass is illegal, water exhaust must be through the propeller hub
or below the cavitation plate. Noisy boats are eligible for ticketing (CVRD
Bylaw No. 3723 - Noise Control Bylaw 2013).
While pulling any person behind a boat (tubing, water skiing, wake-boarding
etc.), it is a requirement that there be a spotter - and this cannot be the
Dangerous Boating Behaviour
Dangerous boating is a criminal offence.
A licence is required for fresh water fishing in BC (see:
Consumption of alcohol in any public place including in a boat is a
criminal offence. In BC, operating a boat while impaired is treated as
seriously as operating a vehicle while impaired.
Littering or Polluting
Littering and polluting is illegal. If you accidentally pollute
the water or witness or see the result of someone else polluting, call
1-800-889-8852 to report it.