Lake Hopatcong Laws and Regulations
For a list of upcoming Boating Safety courses (required to drive a motorboat on Lake Hopatcong), go to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Lake Hopatcong Flotilla website or the Boating Safety First website.
Summary of New Jersey Administrative Code § 13:82-3
Between sunset and sunrise, the speed of a motorboat cannot exceed 10 miles per hour. On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays between May 15 and September 15, no boats shall operate at a speed faster than 30 miles per hour. When within 100 feet of shore or a wharf, pier, bridge, dock, buoy, bathing area, or person in the water, boats should go no faster than 5 miles per hour. Boats must not operate at speeds that cause 100 percent of the hull to come out of the water (exceptions during state-sanctioned races).
When the lake is at Extreme High Water Level (elevation 924.2 feet or dam gauge height 9.5) a “Slow Speed–No Wake” condition will be in effect.
When waterskiing (meaning anything with a rider being towed by a power boat with a tow rope, tow line, or training boom, except for another boat), the boat, towline, and skier must be at least 200 feet from any wharf, marinas, docks, piers, bridges, or people in the water, and at least 100 feet from other boats and any shore or mooring, plus the length of the towline. There must be at least two people in the boat, one of whom must be a competent observer, while the person is waterskiing or being towed in some way. Tow lines must be between 35 and 75 feet long, and waterskiing can only take place between sunrise and sunset. The waterskier must ware a USCG approved (type I, II, III or V Hybrid) personal floatation device (except in specific exceptions for sanctioned competitions or training). And all ski boats must display a signal pennant—an orange triangle at least 12″ long on each side—at least four beet above the highest structure on the boat while pulling or retrieving a skier, while the skier is in the water, or while a tow line is in the water. The pennant is not to be displaed at any other time. The boat cannot be loaded beyond the manufacturer’s capacity, and the number of passengers must include the skier. When a skier falls, the boat operator must reduce speed and return to the skier in a safe and responsible manner. No dropping skis for the purpose of barefoot or slalom skiing unless the ski is immediately retrieved by another boat.
From May 15 through September 15, no waterskiing is allowed on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. in Byram Cove, between Raccoon Island and Prospect Point, between Prospect Point and Halsey Island, in Woodport Cove, between Halsey Island and Raccoon Island, and in Henderson Cove.
From May 15 through September 15, no boat can pull more than two skiers at a time on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays (except in state-sanctioned exhibitions or races).