North Lake Boating Regulations

August 2020


Transferring a Vessel from One Body of Water to North Lake


The following procedure must be followed when moving a vessel (boat, canoe, kayak, tube, board, etc.) from one body of water to North Lake. (i.e. if you canoe the Platte River you MUST follow this procedure BEFORE putting the canoe in North Lake.

1     CHECK and remove mud, plants, and aquatic life

2     DRAIN all water from bilge, lives wells, buckets, etc.

3     CLEAN the vessel and all gear by washing, draining, and drying

    DRY for at least 5 days, or clean everything with a full strength vinegar solution then dry.


Top 5 Rules of the Lake


T 1  No speeds (5mph) faster than an idle outside of published times.

Monday-Saturday:  7:00 am until ˝ hour past sunset

Sunday & Holidays:  9:00 am until ˝ hour past sunset


Speeds greater than an idle (5mph) are not allowed outside of the hours posted above.  This is a zero-tolerance policy for all North Lake boats. Association members or guest drivers violating this policy will subject that member’s lot to a 7 day loss of ALL boating privileges starting upon notification by a NLCA Board or Boat Safety member.


T2 Drivers must remain seated in the driver’s seat when operating faster than an idle (5mph). Drivers and passengers are not allowed to stand or sit on the side of the boat or back of the seat while operating faster than an idle (5mph).


T3 No plowing or overloading with passengers. Plowing is a situation when a boat is operated at an insufficient speed, motor at incorrect trim angle or is overloaded and is creating an excessive wake.  This situation causes damage to property, discomfort to other boaters, and potential harm to passengers due to unstable conditions.  Passengers must be limited to the rated capacity for the boat. People skiing or being towed must be included in that count.


T4 Boater Education Certificates:  All boat operators must have a valid Nebraska Game and Parks Boater Education certificate on file with the Boat Safety Committee


T5 Boat Numbering and Lighting: All boats must display their Lot Number on the right side of the boat and be properly registered with the State of Nebraska.  Boats must have legal navigation lighting displayed while operating between sunset and sunrise. Docking lights are to be used only while docking and NOT while underway on the lake.         









Boat Size Specifications


Speed/Ski/Fishing boats:  Maximum Length:  18’ or less. Maximum HP:  150 HP or less

Pontoons:  Maximum Length:  26’ or less.  Maximum HP:  115 HP or less

Boats not conforming to either of these classes such as deck boats, whalers, hydrofoils, flying bridge craft must be authorized by the Boat Safety Committee before being brought on the lake.  Only outboard engines are allowed on the lake.  Inboards or Inboard/Outboard (I/O) motors are not allowed due to the boat weight and wake size produced.  All types of outboard engine configurations are allowed (V4, V6, IL4, IL6 etc.) provided the rated horsepower is 150 HP or less. No turbocharged engines allowed. 




1.       It is the responsibility of each cabin owner to follow all lake rules and to ensure that their guests do so also.


2.       Official sunset “idle” (5mph) times are posted on the website.


3.       No wake or excessive noise is allowed during “idle speed” (5mph) times.


4.       All power boats shall travel in a counter-clockwise direction. Serpentine driving should not cross a line down the middle of the lake. Boats that are starting OR dropping off skiers, shall not cut across the lake – they must follow the shoreline. Boats in motion may cut across the lake only after the operator has determined that it will not interfere with the right-of-way of other boats.


5.       No power boat shall follow closer than 150 feet behind a skier.


6.       Downed skiers and non-powered boats shall have the right-of-way at all times.


7.       Power boats and skiers shall travel at least 50 feet from shore.


8.       Cruising boats shall keep toward the shoreline, leaving the middle of the lake for skiers and tubers.


9.       Inflatable items, sold for towing purposes, shall be towed on a 50-foot or less rope. No bungee tubing is allowed.


10.    No one shall be on the front deck or outside the railings of a pontoon while underway.


11.    The cove is considered a no wake only zone. Skiing is not allowed in the Beer Bottle Beach cove except for the following reasons:

a.  As a safety outlet.

b.  If you have the beach reserved.

c.  You are a cabin owner or guest of a cabin owner in the cove area.


12.    When there is high water on the lake, no fast boating is allowed. During these times idle speed only of no more than (5mph).  A cone and flag will be placed at the events (white) board and an email will be sent to owners advising of the high water. Fast boating can resume when the buoy and sign have been removed.


13.    Drivers and passengers of any powered boat shall always remain seated when traveling faster than idle (5mph) speed.


14.    No boat operators, passengers or water-skiers shall conduct themselves in such a way as to cause discomfort, hazard, or damage to the person or property of others.


15.    Plowing occurs when a boat creates a large wake, or waves. The most common causes are a throttle setting too low or trim angle set too high to plane the boat. This causes the bow to rise and the stern to drop. Plowing is not allowed because it causes wakes unsafe for boating and potential property damage.


16.    Absolutely no guest boats shall be allowed on the lake. A guest boat is any boat not registered to a cabin owner of North Lake.


17.    Only one boat pulling skiers or tubes from a cabin shall be allowed on the lake at one time.


18.    Boat drivers must be 16 years of age. Kids who are 14, but not yet 16, may operate a boat upon completion of an approved boating course in which they receive a boating safety certificate. The certificate is awarded after attending 6 classroom hours and passing an exam. More information on the Nebr. Boating Basics safety course is on the Game & Parks Commission’s web site at This is a state law which became effective May 1, 2000.  Nebraska law also states no one under 14 is allowed to operate any motorized boat.


19.    Air-boats, jet skis and hover craft are not allowed to operate on the lake.


20.    No swimming to shore or jumping from boats farther than 25’ from shore


21.    All swimmers and paddle boats shall stay within 25 feet of the shore.  Canoes, kayaks, and other non-powered vessels shall stay reasonably close to shore when boats towing skiers or tubes are in the area.


22.    There shall be one approved flotation device per passenger on board each boat. This includes non-powered vessels i.e. sailboats, canoes, kayaks etc.


23.    All skiers and people being towed on an inflatable item shall wear a U.S. Coast Guard approve ski vest/jacket.


24.    Boating is otherwise governed by the State Boating rules.




Because the safety of cabin owners, their families and guests is of primary importance to the Board of NLCA, a Boating Rules and Safety Committee has been established to help enforce the Association’s rules.


If a cabin owner witnesses a rule violation, he or she should report it promptly to a member of the Boating Rules and Safety Committee.  Please be specific in your report.


Once the committee member determines that there has been a rule or safety violation, the committee will draft a letter stating the nature of the violation and the ensuing consequences to be provided to the lot owner.  One copy will be given to the cabin owner and the other will go into the committee’s file. The purpose of the documentation is twofold: to be certain the cabin owner is aware of the rule violation and to have proof of the committee’s actions in case of a liability problem later. Exception: There is “zero tolerance” for after-dark fast boating (more than 5mph).  Offenders will be penalized by requiring them to forfeit use of ALL boating privileges for seven days starting upon notification by the Committee.


Should a second violation from the same cabin occur, the same procedure will be followed.  However, if a third boating policy violation occurs within the same calendar year, the offending cabin owner’s boating privileges will be revoked.


Upon successful completion of a Coast Guard-approved boating safety course (such as the Game and Parks program), at the cabin owner’s expense, and with approval from the Boat Safety Committee and the NLCA Board of Directors, boating privileges will be restored.

Please remember that you are responsible for not only your own actions, but those of your family members and guests. Compliance is up to all of us. Most cabin owners are very safety-conscious, and if we can use “peer pressure” to promote that attitude around the lake, we can keep our accident-free record.