Waterbury Reservoir has many users. It's all of our responsibility to be respectful of each other, the reservoir and the wildlife. If we work together, we can preserve this beautiful resource for many years to come. 

Motorized Boat Safety 

Motorized Boat License

Vermont law requires all motorized boat and PWC operators born after January 1, 1974, to pass a boater safety course and to carry a boater education card. You can take the Motorized Boating Safety Course Here.

Right-of-way / Boat Handling Approach

When two boats are approaching head-on, each shall bear to the right. At an angle, the boat on the right has the right-of-way. Powerboats should yield the right-of-way to all canoes, kayaks, rowboats, sailboats, and windsurfers, and other non-motorized craft.

Wakes: Wakes must not endanger anyone. Canoes, sailboats and small boats are especially vulnerable to wakes. You are responsible for any act of yours which endangers or jeopardizes the safety, life, or property of another person. Boats that leave deep wakes behind them should never travel along the shoreline to avoid erosion and swimmers.

Where To Use A Motorized Boat

Waterbury Reservoir has a year-round 200 foot law and right-of-way law, which provides areas for quiet users as well as two year-round 5 mph / No Wake Zones. Please take note of these areas, and be mindful of quiet users. In No Wake Zones, motorized boats can not exceed 5 mph. 

Elephant Rock is a popular area for all users but the landscape becomes very narrow at this part of the reservoir. This means the channel for motorized boats is reduced significantly. Please use extreme caution while passing through this area. We recommend no wake.

PFD (Personal Flotation Device)

Every vessel must carry at least one US Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) for each person on board. A PFD must be worn by every person under age 12 on all vessels, and by all persons on a personal watercraft (Jet Ski).

Motorized Boating At Night

Between sunset and sunrise a red/green light fore, and a white light aft visible from all directions, are required for motorboats when underway. 

Personal watercraft (Jet Ski) may not be operated at nighttime.

Prevent The Spread Of Invasive Species

A critical part of protecting and preserving the Waterbury Reservoir, bodies of water across Vermont (and the world) is proper cleaning of boats to prevent the spread of invasive species. Transporting such nuisances is illegal and carries heavy penalties.
 

Boats, trailers and other boating equipment can spread aquatic invasive species from waterbody to waterbody unless properly cleaned, dried or disinfected after use. Although some invasive species such as water milfoil are readily visible to the human eye, many others are too small to be readily noticed. To avoid spreading invasive species please follow the guidelines in the following steps:

  1. Check

  2. Clean

  3. Drain

  4. Dry

  5. Disinfect

Perspective From Motorized Boat User

Coming Soon...

 

The 200 Foot Law: “A person shall not operate any vessel except a sailboard or a police or emergency vessel, within 200’ of the shoreline, a person in the water, a canoe, rowboat or other vessel, an anchored or moored vessel containing any person, anchorages or docks, except at a speed of less than five miles per hour which does not create a wake.” Title 23, VSA, Chapter 29, 3311 (c) (1)

 

Paddling Safety 

Where To Paddle

There are two year-round 5 mph/ No Wake Zones, which, with the protection by the 200 foot law and right-of-way laws, provide areas for quiet users. Please try to stay in these quiet use zones. Be mindful of motorized boat users, especially when not in quiet user zones, around boat ramps and Elephant Rock. 

 

Elephant Rock is a popular area for all users but the landscape becomes very narrow at this part of the reservoir. This means the channel for motorized boats is reduced significantly. Please use extreme caution while passing through this area. 

PFD ( Personal Flotation Device)

Every vessel must carry at least one US Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) for each person on board. A PFD must be worn by every person under age 12 on all vessels.

Paddling At Night

Between sunset and sunrise, manually propelled boats must display a lantern in time to present a collision. An audible signal is also recommended. Whistles are a great option and can be attached easily to your PFD.


Prevent The Spread Of Invasive Species

A critical part of protecting and preserving the Waterbury Reservoir, bodies of water across Vermont (and the world) is proper cleaning of boats to prevent the spread of invasive species. Transporting such nuisances is illegal and carries heavy penalties.

Boats, trailers and other boating equipment can spread aquatic invasive species from waterbody to waterbody unless properly cleaned, dried or disinfected after use. Although some invasive species such as water milfoil are readily visible to the human eye, many others are too small to be readily noticed. To avoid spreading invasive species please follow the guidelines in the following steps:

  1. Check

  2. Clean

  3. Drain

  4. Dry

  5. Disinfect

Perspective From A Paddler

Coming Soon...

 

Swimmer Safety 

Where To Swim

Swimming areas at the two state parks are marked by orange flags. All vessels, including manually propelled craft, are prohibited from entering these designated public swimming areas.

There are two year-round 5 mph/ No Wake Zones, which, with the protection by the 200 foot law and right-of-way laws, provide areas for quiet users. Please try to stay in these quiet use zones. Be mindful of motorized boat users, especially when not in quiet user zones, around boat ramps and Elephant Rock. 

 

Elephant Rock is a popular area for all users but the landscape becomes very narrow at this part of the reservoir. This means the channel for motorized boats is reduced significantly. Please use extreme caution while swimming in this area. 

Long Distance / Open Water Swimming
There are no lifeguards patrolling Waterbury Reservoir, therefore solo swims are not recommended. In most cases, you can not see below you or around you and it can be difficult to swim in neat lines. Breathing on your left and right side every three to five strokes allows you to watch out for motorized boats, paddlers and wildlife. You must be aware of what’s going on around you, and listen for motor sounds. Take your head out of the water and look straight ahead periodically to make sure you’re not headed toward something potentially dangerous, or that you’re not drifting too far from shore and out of the quiet user zone.

As well as being hard for swimmers to see what's going on around them it can be difficult for the motorized boaters to see swimmers. A swim buoy is an excellent tool that allows swimmers a way to ensure they stay safer while swimming. They provide visibility for other users on the reservoir, a safety mechanism for floating when tired, and even carrying important things like water, snacks or your wallet. 

Perspective From A  Swimmer

Coming Soon...

 

Fisherman Safety 

Fishing License

Fishing licenses are required for persons 15 or older. Information on fishing licenses, regulations, and fisheries’ management should be directed to the Department of Fish & Wildlife802-241-3700.

Equipment Safety

Keep lines neatly coiled to prevent tangles and slips. Having nets stashed handily reduces the chances of a mad-scramble mishap. Knives should be sharp—and blades covered when not in use. Keeping hooks and lures in securely closed tackle boxes helps avoid hooking a fisher instead of a fish. (Learn one or two methods for hook removal, just in case.) Wear safety glasses to protect eyes from errant casts or fish-thrown hooks. Fish teeth and fins can cause injury too, so handle them carefully.

Prevent The Spread Of Invasive Species

A critical part of protecting and preserving the Waterbury Reservoir, bodies of water across Vermont (and the world) is proper cleaning of boats to prevent the spread of invasive species. As well as not transporting live organisms (fish, bait, etc.) from waterbody to waterbody. Transporting such nuisances is illegal and carries heavy penalties.

Boats, trailers and other boating equipment can spread aquatic invasive species from waterbody to waterbody unless properly cleaned, dried or disinfected after use. Although some invasive species such as water milfoil are readily visible to the human eye, many others are too small to be readily noticed. To avoid spreading invasive species please follow the guidelines in the following steps:

  1. Check

  2. Clean

  3. Drain

  4. Dry

  5. Disinfect

Perspective From A  Fisherman

Coming Soon...

 

Water Ski Safety 

Where To Use A Motorized Boat

Waterbury Reservoir has a year-round 200 foot law and right-of-way law, which provides areas for quiet users as well as two year-round 5 mph / No Wake Zones. Please take note of these areas, and be mindful of quiet users. In No Wake Zones, motorized boats can not exceed 5 mph. 

Elephant Rock is a popular area for all users but the landscape becomes very narrow at this part of the reservoir. This means the channel for motorized boats is reduced significantly. Please use extreme caution while passing through this area. We recommend no wake.

Water Ski Course

Slalom Courses: The two courses maintained by the Green Mountain Water Skiers (GMWS) are available to the general public. Course #1 may be located in the northern arm of the reservoir or in the alternate locations noted on the map, and course #2 is near blush hill. For GMWS guidelines for slalom course use, you are encouraged to contact the GMWS, 802-244- 1756.

PFD ( Personal Flotation Device)

 A water skier must wear an approved personal flotation device. For barefooting, instead of a PFD, a barefoot wetsuit may be used.

Observer

There must be an observer in the boat (in addition to the operator) who is at least 12 years old. No observer is required only when using a regulation slalom course, and only if the boat is an American Water Ski Association approved towboat and, the driver is a minimum of 18 years of age.

Perspective From A  Water Skiier

Coming Soon...

Friends of Waterbury Reservoir

PO Box 341, Waterbury Center, Vermont 05677 | www.friendsofwaterburyres.org | WaterburyRes@gmail.com

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