How I tell kayaking is Prohibited or not

-- Last Updated: May-17-07 4:17 PM EST --

It seems that I have no problem paddling on any river in Massachusetts.

But for ponds and lakes, sometimes I got scary feeling when paddling since I didn’t see anyone kayaking. I have no problem for those ponds where others paddled before or with sign “ canoe launch”, and have no problem for those which have sign” boating or kayaking is prohibited”. But there are some others where I have never seen people kayaking or boating, or prohibited sign. How can I tell the kayaking is allowed or not allowed? I have seen some ponds allow fishing with non-motor boats, does it mean the kayaking is allowed too, pretend to be fishing, or once I got fish license, I can paddle there? Thank you very much for your advice and time.

Any one had bad experience before, particularly in New England area?

Unless It’s A Reservoir
with clear restrictions, the ponds/lakes are open. Access through private property is another matter.


As sing said
Unless it is a reservoir that is clearly posted “keep out” (often to protect drinking water quality), or private property - game on, enjoy the paddle!

If they allow nonmotorized boats for fishing, they will allow nonmotorized boats for other purposes. No need to get a fishing license.


– Last Updated: May-17-07 4:20 PM EST –

Thank Sing for quick answer.

Why Reservoir? There is a beautiful Reservoir just 2 mile away from where I live. I know the fishing boat is allowed, so the kayaking is not allowed, right?

thanks again.

Thank Reef for the answer. Putnamville Reservoir in Danvers really confused me. I saw many fishman, once in a while couple fishing boat, but never seem any kayak…

I may need to contact local city agency, right?

You need to be a little picky about checking the rules for reservoirs. They can let motorized boats on to fish but only the actual boats that they rent out (Ashokan, NYC’s biggest upstate reservoir is like that), or no boats at all… the fines for getting it wrong are often pretty stiff.

For the rest of waterbodies, as long as the channel is navigable year round you are usually OK.

kayaks allowed or not
Unless things have changed, the only place I can think of in Massachusetts where canoes and rowboats are allowed, but kayaks are not allowed, is in parts of the Quabbin Reservoir where fishing by boat is allowed. -Nancy

Alexanders Lake-CT
We have Alexander’s Lake in eastern CT…south of Webster, Mass…where you do have to “pretend” to be fishing!

The only place to access it is a launch on “private” property…the owner leases the land to the all cottage owners…but it IS listed in the state’s booklet of allowable fishing areas. During the summer I actually encountered a (private-hired) security person there…so here I am, a 50-year-old female school teacher with a kayak on my Toyota, and he informs me that I’m not allowed to launch because I’m not fishing! (I guess they were worried that I might get too rowdy out there! :>)


thanks for the help.

thank Nchill for your time.


– Last Updated: May-18-07 11:28 AM EST –

thank podpaddler ,

Your reply might confirm what I concern. Some fishing spot may allow fishing boat but not kayaking. I have to pretend fishing. There is a beautiful reservior just nealy mightbe just for fishing only. Well, I am thinking about doing some fishing next year. $27 is license fee for a whole year....

That’s not correct about NYC reservoirs
No motors of any kind are allowed to be used by the public on any NYC reservoirs. The DEP does however patrol with motorboats that they trailer around. They also do not rent boats. The only boats allowed are rowboats 12’-14’ for which you must get a permit that allows you to keep it on a specific reservoir and at a specific location. The boats must also be inspected and steam cleaned at a DEP station before being put on a reservoir. The only reason I’m clarifying this is because since 9/11 the DEP has gotten really strict and they will definitely ruin your day if they catch you breaking the rules.----Rich

it seems that people should avoid boating around NYC as possible. Also I hate NYC redright camera. It doesn’t help solve the problem, but put more tax on working class people. It is sad, they tax everything in NYC, might be including s##. Anyway, I love Mass since I enjoy simply more freedom and less crime here than NYC…

This being ‘Merica and all …
you ought to be able to paddle anydamnplace except where it says you can’t.

However, in Massachusetts, the no swimmin’, no fishin’, no campin’, no hikin’, no bikin’ , no walkin’, no talkin’ State, you’re never sure.

I spent 3 years there in the late 1970’s, always amazed at how many artificial restrictions there were - the nanny state years before its time! I moved to Montana…

JH Bahn

I agree on something
eastofmidnight, thanks.

Compared to NY, MA is much better. But the West is far better than any other part of this country. I will move to Colorado or other Mountain state when I get retired 20 years later…

I would just look for signs
if there are non then paddle it. As for Quabin there is a part of it that they allow canoes/kayaks on but only if you are fishing. It is a nice place to paddle all you have to do is buy a one day licenace and you can paddle there and try some fishing. The Ludlow res is posted as/was is Coble mountain. There are so many places to paddle who cares about the few that are posted?

Fishing for what?
Can someone please explain that please. How / why could they allow fishing but not paddling?

I guess that’s the kind of person I am, but if I really wanted to paddle a that particular body of water, I would be very tempted to pick up a stick, tie a bit of twine and a hook, and then paddle around for several hours looking for the perfect fishing spot. (Guess I’d have to make sure to carry a fishing license though;-)

bmach1, thank you very much for the information and the advice. It is interesting to know some lakes(res.)allow fishing but no boating. Since fishing need the kayaker to pay some fee. it makes some sense.

Well, myself may enjoy some fishing too. So pay some $27.5 would solve most of the problem. BTW, I agree there are so many other ponds or rivers we can paddle on without worry.

Fee makes some difference.

I will do fishing next year. I love fish and would think it fantastic to combine fishing, kayaking, cooking fish together…


The Only Two Bodies Of Water…
that I am aware of as being strictly off limit to paddling include Quabbin and Wachusetts Reservoir. Both part of the the water system of eastern MA and seen as some of the cleanest in the northeast, despite being in relative densely populated areas.

Moving to the middle of the country… Good luck, buddy, to each their own. I have to admit I would not mind going to visit and flyfishing some of those areas but living there, away from the coast… No way. There are some really good flyfishing areas in the northeast for trout, salmon and small mouth (and of course warm water species). Heck, there is even a stream not more than hour from Boston that still has native brookies. I know since I having caught really colorful fingerlings of 2-3" on midge flies. Go up north, and there are trout and landlock salmon rivers. And, then you should try for stripers and blues on the coastline.

Anyway, on and on.