Skip Navigation

Regulations Governing Boating

Boats and Kayaks on Loch Raven Reservoir

1. All fishing from boats and kayaks in the Loch Raven Reservoir is allowed and regulated under the management of the Maryland State Department of Natural Resources. For those who are fishing, a State Angling License is required of all persons 16 years of age and over. Fishing licenses are not available at the Loch Raven Fishing Center.

2. Polluting the waters of the Reservoir or any watercourse leading into it is prohibited. Toilet facilities have been provided at the Fishing Center and shall be used.

3. Throwing or depositing trash, garbage or refuse on the waters or shore of the Reservoir is prohibited.

4. All garbage, trash, wastepaper, drink containers, etc., must be placed in receptacles provided at the Fishing Center. Upon the return of rental boats, all trash must be deposited, by the renter, in the large receptacles placed in the landing area.

5. Mutilation of property or destruction of any equipment is punishable by law. This means absolutely no nails, screws or tacks driven in the boats, no carving on boats or oars and no cutting of anchor ropes.

6. When renting boats, kayaks, motors, batteries or any equipment, you are required to show your Maryland Drivers License or legal identification. You are responsible for returning all Fishing Center equipment.

7. Absolutely no shooting on or around the lake. It is prohibited to carry or discharge any firearm on Loch Raven Reservoir and lands adjacent to this lake, owned by the City of Baltimore. Firearms shall include air rifles and B.B. guns.

8. Bathing, wading, swimming and water skiing are prohibited.

9. No vessels are allowed below the Number One Bridge on Loch Raven Drive or above the Paper Mill Bridge at the north end of the reservoir. Any violation of these boundaries will result in loss of your seasonal permit and boating privilege.

10. Rental boats are limited to three passengers regardless of age or size. Privately owned boats must adhere to capacity limits as listed on Coast Guard Boat Capacity Plate.

11. All boats and kayaks must be returned to the Fishing Center at the termination of use. It is the responsibility of each boater to observe the time due in, posted both at the launching ramp and on the Center bulletin board. Failure to return at the posted time will result in a $10 fine. Any vessel returning later than the posted time on three occasions will have their permit to use the Reservoir revoked, with all paid fees forfeited.

12. All vessels rented or permitted must have an adult 18 years or older in each one.

13. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on the reservoir and watershed property.

14. There shall be no towing of boats by the Fishing Center except in emergencies, and then only after occupants of boats have been placed aboard the motorboat or shore. Canoes will not be towed.

15. Boats and kayaks must be kept in the water at all times and not pulled ashore.

16. All privately owned vessels shall be registered and will be assigned two stickers. One sticker shall be applied to each side of the vessel prior to launching for identification purposes. This refers to seasonal dockers and launchers of boats, canoes and kayaks.

17. Construction of boats shall be of marine plywood of one-quarter inch minimum thickness, wood plank, metal or fiberglass. Boats shall be buoyant if submerged and float in the event that they should be swamped. Metal and fiberglass boats must have permanently installed air chambers or flotation material such as cork or expanded foam.

18. Boats must have a minimum length of 12 feet, maximum length of 20 feet, a beam (width) of not less than 48 inches, and a depth of not less than 18 inches. Kayaks must be at least 12 feet long and also have a maximum length of 20 feet. Canoes have the same length requirements and must be at least 35 inches wide.

19. No painting or major repairs of boats on shore by private owners will be permitted.

20. No nets, other than orthodox landing nets, are permitted. No spears, gigs, bush-bobs or other irregular methods of fishing are allowed. 

21. All dogs must be kept on a leash.

22. All boats and kayaks, private and rented, must be equipped with a United States Coast Guard approved life jacket or preserver for each person in the boat.

23. No inflatable rafts or sailboats of any type are to be used on the reservoir.

24. All boats which are power driven, meaning any type of electric motor, must have a State of Maryland boat registration. The owner is responsible to apply the numbers and decal, as prescribed by law, on both sides of the boat. Applications may be obtained by contacting the Department of Natural Resources at:

Department of Natural Resources
Annapolis Service Center
1804 West Street, Suite 300
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

25. The Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks, through its management at Loch Raven Fishing Center, reserves the right, on any given day, to refuse access to the Reservoir, due to heavy winds or extreme weather.

Note: Fishing Center staff will patrol the reservoir in order to insure safe boating and compliance with regulations as well as provide assistance if necessary. 

Operated by Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks in cooperation with Baltimore City Bureau of Water and Wastewater and assisted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police, the Baltimore City Watershed Police and the Baltimore County Police Department.

For more information, contact the Loch Raven Fishing Center.

Revised April 7, 2021         


A new website for Baltimore County

We're working to provide you with a better experience, and want your feedback. Learn more about our project and give your feedback.

Did This Page Help?
Fields marked with * are required.
Page Rating*