Water Use Regulations

Water Use Regulations of the Berenda Reservoir

The following list of rules and regulations are not all-inclusive but do highlight those of utmost importance.

  • All state boating regulations in the California Harbors and Navigation Code are in effect.
  • All vessels, boats and personal water crafts (PWC) used in California must be registered and numbered according to California law; valid registrations of another state are recognized provided the vessel will not be used in California for longer than 90 days.
  • Personal watercraft is defined as a vessel less than 12 feet in length, propelled by machinery designed for person to stand, sit or kneel;
  • California law requires that all vessels must be equipped with a Type I, II, III or V U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person on board.
  • California law requires any person aboard a personal watercraft, or being towed behind a vessel must wear a Type I, II, III or V U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket;
  • California law requires a vessel to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher on board and readily accessible.
  • No person shall operate any craft under the influence of intoxicants or narcotics.
  • Persons under 16 years of age are prohibited from operating any motorboat or personal water craft of more than 15 horsepower.
  • A person 12 to 15 years of age may operate a motorboat of more than 15 horsepower if supervised by a person on board who is at least 18 years of age.
  • Maximum speed for all water crafts (boats, jet skis, etc.) is 35 miles per hour;
  • All boat traffic and boats towing skiers and personal watercraft will operate in a counter clockwise traffic pattern.
  • Jumping or attempting to jump the wake of another vessel within 100 feet of that vessel is prohibited.
  • Spraying down another person or vessel is prohibited.
  • Operating at a rate of speed and proximity to another vessel so that either operator is required to swerve to avoid a collision is prohibited.
  • All powerboats and personal watercraft must be off the lake waters by 1/2-hour before sunset.
  • No watercraft are allowed between the shoreline and the Keep Out buoys.
  • No person will operate a watercraft in designated swimming area;
  • Swimming is not permitted in no Boating and no Wake areas.
  • Speed is limited by law for certain conditions and areas. The maximum speed for motorboats within 100 feet of a bather (but not a water skier) and within 200 feet of a bathing beach, swimming float or lifeline, passenger landing being used, or landing where boats are tied up is 5 miles per hour.
  • The Berenda Reservoir waterway is limited to 15 launched vessels at any one time (first-come, first-serve basis); the number of vessels or speed enforcement by the Chowchilla Police Department may be changed to a safer limit for users on the reservoir, as deemed necessary.