Boats Need Annual Permit To Use Indiana State Waters


Mar 11, 2001
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Boats Need Annual Permit To Use Indiana State Waters


As prime boating season approaches, those who plan to boat in Indiana should take note that if they plan to use state park, reservoir or forestry lakes, they must purchase a DNR Lake Permit.

As of January 2006, the DNR no longer issues daily or annual boat launch fees for lakes at state parks, reservoirs and forests. These launch fees have been replaced by a DNR Lake Permit, which costs $20 per year for each motorized watercraft lake permit and $5 per year for each non-motorized watercraft lake permit. Boaters only need to buy a permit one time per year; not each time they visit one of these lakes. This allows boaters to launch and get on the water with no delays to pay attendants?and no waiting for others to pay attendants.

All private watercraft using state park, reservoir or forestry lakes must have this permit. This includes personal watercraft, motorboats, canoes, paddleboats, rowboats and all watercraft moored at marinas, private docks, group docks or bank ties. State-owned watercraft and state-managed boat rental concessions are exempt.

The permit should be placed on any boat that will be on the water at Indiana state parks, state-managed reservoirs or state forests. This includes the main bodies of water and all fishing ponds/lakes at these lakes: Patoka, Brookville, Hardy, Monroe, Salamonie, Mississinewa, Roush (Huntington), Cagles Mill (Lieber) and Cecil M. Harden (Raccoon).

It also includes Worster Lake at Potato Creek State Park; Kunkel Lake at Ouabache State Park; Summit Lake at Summit Lake State Park; Versailles Lake at Versailles State Park; Ogle and Strahl Lakes at Brown County State Park; Lakes Shakamak, Lenape and Kickapoo at Shakamak State Park; all lakes at Chain O?Lakes State Park; Spring Mill Lake at Spring Mill State Park; Whitewater Lake at Whitewater State Park; and Lake Lincoln and Weber Lake at Lincoln State Park.

All lakes at state forest properties are also included: Deam Lake SRA, Ferdinand State Forest, Starve Hollow SRA, Harrison-Crawford State Forest, Clark State Forest, Greene-Sullivan State Forest, Jackson-Washington State Forest, Martin State Forest, Morgan-Monroe State Forest, Owen-Putnam State Forest, Pike State Forest and Yellowwood State Forest.

A number of locations around the state with public access sites that are maintained by the Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) don't require this permit. Those planning to boat only in these locations and not in any of the locations listed above don't need a lake permit. The permit is not required for boating on Indiana streams and rivers. It is not required for boating on the Ohio River. Natural lakes such as Lake James, Lake Wawasee and Lake Michigan do not require this lake permit. Lakes located in state Fish and Wildlife Areas that are operated by the DFW don't require this permit, nor do lakes at National Forests and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuges.

All boaters must still register their watercraft as the law requires through the Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles. The Lake Permit does not replace that registration process; it replaces the daily and annual launch permits for state park and reservoirs properties that were sold prior to 2006.

It is best to purchase the permit in advance of visiting a lake, if possible, to ensure that you are in compliance with the requirement.The Lake Permit is available for purchase at state park, reservoir and forests at property offices and entrance gates when staffed. It is also available at the Customer Service Center in the Indiana Government Center in Indianapolis and at At the beginning of the recreation season, attendants will be at some launching ramps to sell these permits, but not at every ramp or every day. State forest property offices may not be open on weekends and on some weekdays.

Media Contact:
Marty Benson (317) 233-3853 or (317) 696-9812 (cell)

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