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Boating and Navigating the Fulton Chain of Lakes

The beauty of the Fulton Chain of Lakes is special and unique, and there is no better way to enjoy our lakes then from their waters. Eight lakes, all accessible by public launches makes the “Numbers Chain” a wonderful water sports playground. Whether you are paddling in the waters in a kayak, canoe or stand up paddle, the lakes are beckoning to be explored, enjoying the flora and fauna along the shorelines as well as the still of the morning or evening quiet times. If your pleasure is motoring the lakes on your personal watercraft, party barge or powerboat the lakes are yours to delight in three seasons long. Fishermen are out from the crack of dawn until the sunset hoping to catch a trophy trout, large or small mouth bass, Atlantic salmon, yellow perch, tiger muskie or northern pike. Finally, any windy day finds sailboats in full sails silhouetted on the waters.

Our goal is to have all boaters enjoy the beauty of the Fulton Chain’s waters while keeping them clean and safe for everyone’s pleasure. This means: know and obey NYS navigation and community laws, be courteous of fellow boaters whether power, sail or paddle, beware of swimmers, do not litter or deface waters or shorelines, and always boat responsibly . Below are some of NYS boating navigations laws that are particularly important to our lakes.

For a complete Guide on New York State Boating

New York State Boater's Guide

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Click here to view enlarged Fulton Chain of Lakes map

Aquatic Hitchhikers

Clean, Drain and Dry – Protecting our Lakes from Aquatic Invasive

Invasive species are detrimental to boating activities on the lakes. Non-native species can overtake the lake and effect boating, fishing, kayaking etc. To prevent inadvertent introduction of non-native species boats and trailers should be cleaned after they are taken out of the water. This is especially important if they have been in other lakes. Bilges should be drained. Boats, trailers and bilges should be thoroughly dried.

Boating While Intoxicated

Boating while intoxicatedOur lakes are a place into enjoy family and friends socially and responsibly. Boating while intoxicate is neither. NYS law says no one may operate a vessel on the waters of NYS while impaired or intoxicated either through the consumption of alcohol or drugs. An operator with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is considered legally intoxicated. New York law prescribes heavy fines, imprisonment, and the suspension of operator privileges for violators. In New York, if you are stopped for the suspicion of impaired operation and refuse to voluntarily submit to a breath test, your privilege to operate may be immediately suspended, pending a hearing.


Alcohol and Drugs

There are severe consequences for boating under the influence of drugs or while intoxicated. Underage drinking will not be tolerated.
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Speed Limits

45 MPH maximum daytime, 25 MPH maximum nighttime
5 MPH maximum:
• In channels
• Within 200 feet of shore from Old Forge Pond through 5th Lake
• Within 100 feet of shore 6th-8th Lake
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Personal Watercraft

In addition to the age and education requirements described in the link below, the Town of Webb restricts the use of Personal Watercraft to the hours between 9:00AM and 6:00PM.
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Boating Safety Courses

All individuals born on or after 5/1/96 are now required to successfully complete an approved course in boater education in order to operate a motorboat. Approved courses include those offered by NYS Parks, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or the U.S. Power Squadrons . There are courses offered throughout New York State.
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There are many buoys on the lakes. They indicate channels, dangers and speed limits.
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Fisherman should avoid fishing in main channels. Boaters should avoid boats that are fishing so that lines aren’t damaged.
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Be courteous to others

Observe all New York State boating laws. Be courteous of others. Drive at a safe speed. Avoid playing loud music. Observe shoreline regulations. Respect property owners and do not create a disturbance near shore.


Boaters should be considerate of other people around the lake. New York State has established noise levels for recreational boats. Boats must be less than 75 decibels while moving and 90 decibels when stationary. Muffler bypass systems are illegal.
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Age and Education Requirements

Operators born after May 1, 1996 must have a boating safety certificate and be at least 10 years old.
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Safety Equipment

There are safety equipment requirements that vary by size and type of boat.
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Life Jackets (PFDS)

All boats operating in New York waters must have a wearable Personal Floatation Device (PFD) on board for each passenger. Throwable floatation devices are required on all boats greater than 16 feet except canoes and kayaks. There are also requirements when it is mandatory for both children and adults to wears PFDS.
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Right of Way

There are boating rules for how to avoid other boats on the water, just like there are rules of the road on highways.
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Water Skiers

When a water skier is being towed there must be an observer over 10 years old, in addition to the operator of the boat. The skier must wear a USGG approved PFD.
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