New York State has more than 7,500 lakes, ponds and reservoirs and over 50,000 miles of rivers and streams. Boating on these waterbodies can take the form of canoes, kayaks, personal watercraft, sailboats and motorboats. Many lakes, ponds and streams in the Forest Preserves are restricted to non-motorized boating.
DEC provides many boat access points at campgrounds and fishing access spots in the Adirondack and Catskills. This includes both car top and trailer access sites.
For more information about boating registration, please call the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) at (518) 473-5595.
For more information about boating requirements & boating safety, please call the Office of Parks, Recreation & Historical Preservation at (518) 474-0456.
The publication titled "New York State Boat Launching Sites (PDF)" (2.96 MB) has recently been updated. It contains a listing of boating access and launching areas available to the public. Other helpful information on launching and retrieving your boat and aquatic invasive species is included. If interested in obtaining a hard copy of the New York State Boat Launching Sites Directory, send an email to Fisheries and include your name, mailing address and publication you are requesting.
Attention Boaters and Anglers - Don't Spread Invasive Species!
Boats, trailers, waders and other fishing equipment can spread invasive species from waterbody to waterbody unless properly cleaned 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 following guidelines or view our step by step guide to cleaning your boat and equipment:
1. Inspect your equipment; and REMOVE any visible mud, plants, fish or animals before transporting equipment.
2. Eliminate all water from equipment before transporting.
3. Clean and Dry anything that comes into contact with water including boats, trailers, waders, bait buckets and other boating and fishing equipment. Boaters should be particularly cognizant of bait & live wells and bilge areas that are difficult to dry.
4. Disinfect if you cannot dry equipment.
5. Never release plants, fish or animals into a body of water unless they came out of that body of water.
Marina, Lake Associations and Private Boat Launch Operators
Help up prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance invasive species by installing an Invasive Species Disposal Station at your facility. Also provided are standard signs reminding users to check, clean, drain, dry and disinfect their boats and equipment before using it at another location. These files can be downloaded and printed on a desktop printer for indoor applications or taken to a sign shop for mounting on weather resistant materials.
More about Boating:
- Boat Launch Sites - A list of New York State Boat Launching Sites by county.
- New York State Pumpout Facilities - Boaters are aware of and concerned about pollution threats facing our coastal waters. The primary goal of the Clean Vessel Act(CVA) is to reduce the overboard sewage discharge from recreational boats, and so it provides funds for the construction, renovation, operation, and maintenance of pumpout stations.
- Getting the Word Out about Aquatic Invasive Species - Downloadable signs for combating the spread of aquatic invasive species.
- Accessible Boat Launches Photo Gallery - A photo gallery of DEC boat launches designed without barriers to boaters with disabilities
- Keep Waterways Clean - Tips on how proper boating practices can prevent pollution
- Diving Guidelines for Lake George's Shipwreck Preserves - Diving the "Sunken Fleet of 1758" and the "Forward" Underwater Classroom are on a first-come, first-served basis. Both are open into the autumn.
- Onondaga Lake Navigation - Boating safety on Onondaga Lake has been enhanced due to the addition of navigational buoys.