Mill Creek MetroParks Boating & Fishing Regulations

The lakes of the Mill Creek Metropolitan Park District were established for the enjoyment of all Park District visitors. Because the lakes are limited in size and because the safety and pleasure of all must be considered, every person using the lakes for boating shall do so subject to the following regulations:

  1. Any license or licenses, as required by the State of Ohio, shall be obtained before using any private boat or private motor on any Park District waters.
  2. Only boats, canoes and outboard motors which meet the requirements of the Board of Park Commissioners, as stipulated in these Regulations, may be placed on any Park waters.
  3. Watercraft may be used only on Lake Newport and Lake Glacier and within designated areas of these lakes. No boating is permitted at any time, on Lake Cohasset, Vickers Nature Preserve or Yellow Creek Park.
  4. The use of any watercraft or outboard motor that falls within any of the categories listed below are prohibited:
    • Raft.
    • Collapsible or inflation-type craft.
    • Unsightly or unsafe boat.
    • Rowboat or motorboat less than ten feet or more than sixteen feet in length.
    • Canoe less than twelve feet or more than eighteen feet in length.
    • Designed for racing.
    • Motors larger than four horsepower (any electric motor is permitted).
    • Any canoe less than fifteen feet or less in length, equipped to sail.
    • Any canoe more than eighteen feet in length equipped to sail without lee boards.
    • Any canoe eighteen feet in length equipped to sail and carry more than fifty-five square feet of sail or without lee boards.
    • Any sailing dinghy less than eighteen feet in length or more than fourteen feet inlength without a cockpit, center board and rudder with tiller.
  5. Boat racks at the East Newport Boat Launch are available by reservation on a first-come; first-served basis. A rack may be reserved by contacting the Facilities Manager. Reservations must be renewed annually. The Mill Creek MetroParks assumes no responsibility for any boat placed on these racks.
  6. The boating season shall open on or about March 1 of each year, as determined by the Facilities Manager, and shall close on December 1 of each year. No private boats or canoes shall be placed on any Park District waters before the opening or after the closing of the boating season.
  7. Private boats or canoes may be used on Park District waters only between the sunrise and sunset.
  8. Any private watercraft launched for day use in Park District is subject to inspection by Park District police. Watercraft of any type may only be launched or removed from Park District waters at places prepared and designated for these purposes by the Board of Park Commissioners.
  9. During the period of livery boat operation, private watercraft shall not be left unattended at any dock used in connection with the operation of a boat livery.
  10. No person shall keep for rent any boat, canoe, or motor on Park District lands or waters.
  11. No swimming, wading or “kayak rolls” are permitted in Mill Creek MetroParks waters.
  12. At least one occupant of any boat or canoe shall maintain an upright position so as to see the approach of other watercraft to avoid possible collisions.
  13. Loud, provocative, or indecent language is prohibited.
  14. No watercraft is permitted to dock except at the boat liveries or the launch area.
  15. No watercraft are permitted within 50 feet of the spillways.
  16. Watercraft in the south area of Lake Newport must follow the channels through the wetland area. Absolutely no one is to dock in the wetlands, pick any plant material, disrupt any animal life, or disturb this area in any way whatsoever.
  17. A set of oars is required in all rowboats or motorboats, and paddles are required in canoes, kayaks, and sailboats.
  18. Occupants of all watercraft must wear life vests as required by state law.
  19. The boating hours and season for the MetroParks livery boats shall be determined by the Facilities Manager.
  20. No person shall occupy or operate any MetroParks livery boat unless accompanied by a person eighteen (18) years of age or over.
  21. Numbers of users on board MetroParks livery boats must not exceed stated limits. Exceptions may be made for infants in arms.
  22. Persons who rent MetroParks livery watercraft are financially responsible for any damage to or loss of boats or equipment.
  23. Park District staff or police may remove any person for the Park District lakes who is in violation of these regulations or State of Ohio regulations, or any person who, by their actions, endanger the life and/or property of themselves or others.
  24. No person shall refuse to comply with any reasonable order relating to these regulations or the general rules and regulations of the Mill Creek MetroParks.

Penalty for violation of any State Watercraft Regulations shall be as provided in the State Law governing the violation.
Penalty for violation of any Park District Regulation governing the use of watercraft or outboard motors shall be as provided under the General Rules and Regulations of the Mill Creek Metropolitan Park District.

Listed below are several of the most common sections of the Ohio Revised Code pertaining to watercraft and watercraft operation:

Disposal of refuse on the banks of, or in streams and lakes, prohibited.

(A) Except as otherwise is provided in this division, no person under 16 years of age shall operate personal watercraft (PWC) on the waters of this state. A person who is between 12 and 15 years of age may operate a PWC if a supervising person 18 years or older is aboard the PWC.
(B) No person under 12 years of age shall operate any vessel that is not a PWC on the waters in this state unless the person is under the direct usual and audible supervision, during the operation, of a person 18 years of age or older.
(C) No supervising person 18 years of age or older shall permit any person who is under the supervising person’s supervision and who is operating a vessel on the waters in this state to violate any section of this chapter or a rule adopting under it.

1547.07 Reckless operation–operating a watercraft carelessly or needlessly, or in disregard of the right or safety of any person, watercraft or property, prohibited.
1547.11 Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs prohibited.
1547.22 Standing or walking on moving crafts, restricted.
1547.24 Children under ten must wear flotation device.
– No person shall operate or permit to be operated any vessel under eighteen feet in length while there is present in the vessel any person under ten years of age, not wearing a coast guard approved type one, two, or three personal flotation device in good and serviceable condition of appropriate size securely attached to the person under ten years of age.
1547.25 Specifications for flotation devices –

  • A. No person shall operate any watercraft, other than a commercial vessel, on the waters in this state:
    1. That is sixteen feet or greater in length, without carrying aboard one type one, two, or three personal flotation device for each person aboard and one type four personal flotation device;
    2. That is less than sixteen feet in length, including canoes and kayaks of any length, without carrying aboard one type one, two, or three personal flotation device for each person aboard.
  • B. A type five personal flotation device may be carried in lieu of a type one, two, or three personal flotation device required under division (A) of this section.

Fishing licenses are required and officers are authorized to check for them. Foul-hooks are not permitted. For details about license requirements, the stocking program, and fish limits, visit the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s website at


Reviewed 5/2013