Marine Patrol

One of the draws to Lake Stevens is - you guessed it - the lake!

As a result, the Marine Unit is out enforcing laws, educating the public in safe boating practices, responding to calls and investigating water related accidents.
  • Courtesy vessel inspections are available. Please call the police department to set up an appointment with a marine patrol officer.
  • The Lake Stevens Police Department provides information and low-cost boater education classes to make your boating experience safer.
  • A publication, Washington Boating Basics, A Guide to Responsible Boating, and other free brochures are available at the police station.

You can help keep Lake Stevens safe by becoming familiar with and implementing water safety. Here are basic rules and guidelines. Keep in mind, they are just a handful of the rules. Visit the Police Department for a comprehensive guideline.


About Boating on Lake Stevens

  • 35 mph speed limit
  • No wake during hours of darkness and in the North Cover after 1pm
  • No wake or 8mpg speed limit, whichever is less, if within 100 feet of any swimmer, diver's flag, other vessel, or floating objects.
  • Vessel operators must be at least 14 years old and possess a boater educations card if the boat has a motor if 15 HP or greater.
  • When underway, everyone must remain seated with legs inside the vessel. Sitting on the bow or gunwale is prohibited.
  • Do not enter the buoyed aerator area in the center of the lake.
  • Avoid fuel spills by not fueling your vessel on or near the water.
  • The use or operation of any audio system on a vessel on Lake Stevens shall not disturb the peace and reasonable comfort of persons in their homes or businesses. Music or noise emanating from a vessel at a distance of 100' or greater shall be prima facie of evidence of a violation of this rule.
  • Where water skiing is permitted, swimming is permitted at distances greater than 100 feet from the shoreline if the swimmer is within 50 feet of the vessel and a skier down flag is displayed on the vessel.
  • No boat, vessel, watercraft or houseboat, moored in the cove or off the shoreline of the City, shall be used as a place of habitation.
  • Remember that all U.S. Coast Guard inland navigation rules apply on Lake Stevens.
  • Be alert for marked danger areas.
If you have any boating related questions or want boating safety material, please contact us via email.

Required Equipment

  • All vessels required to be registered must display a current registration.
  • All vessel operators born after January 1, 1955 must possess a boater education card if operating with a 15 HP motor or greater.
  • A U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device is required for every person on all vessels. The PFDs must be readily accessible, in good condition, and fit the person.
  • Children under 13 years old must wear a personal flotation devise while on board a vessel that is less than 10 feet long.
  • Vessels longer than 16 feet long are required to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type IV throw-able flotation device immediately available. Canoes and kayaks are exempted from this requirement.
  • Fire extinguishers (U.S. Coast Guard-approved) are required on vessels that have an internal combustion motor or electrical system.
  • All vessels are required to have a sound-producing device (horn or whistle).
  • Mufflers must be effective, in working order, and in constant use.
  • Paddle boards are required to have a personal flotation device and a whistle when operating outside the normal swim area (beyond 100' from shore).

Water Skiing, Wake Boarding and Tubing

  • All vessels puling skiers, surfers, wake boarders, or tubers are required to travel in a counter-clockwise direction.
  • All persons engaged in these types of activities must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device.
  • An observer, other than the vessel operator, is required to maintain continuous observation of these persons engaged in these types of activities. All observers must be 10 years of age or older.
  • A skier down flag is required when engaged in these types of activities. The skier down flag must be at least 12" x 12" on a 2' pole. The color can be bright red or brilliant orange. Faded flags should be replaced before engaging in these activities. A skier down flag is required to be displayed when a person is getting into the water, falls into the water, or getting out of the water.
  • All vessels engaged in these activities must be rated to carry at least the number of persons on board plus those being towed. You may not exceed the vessel's safe carrying capacity.

What to Do When an Accident Occurs

  • Provide assistance to those in need
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately and report the accident
  • Each operator/owner is required to report a boating accident when any of the following:
    • Loss of Life/person disappears
    • Injuries requiring treatment beyond first aid (transportation to the hospital)
    • Damage to vessel and equipment exceeds $2,000
    • Vessel was (or likely) a total loss

About our Services


The Lake Stevens Police Department has a fully-operating Marine Patrol program and is available to provide assistance 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.
  • Courtesy vessel inspections are available. Please call the police department to set up an appointment with a marine patrol officer.
  • The Lake Stevens Police Department provides information and low-cost boater education classes to make your boating experience safer.
  • A publication, Washington Boating Basics, A Guide to Responsible Boating, and other free brochures are available at the police station.
The above information is only a partial list of rules and regulations. Every boater has the responsibility to know and follow the law.

For more information, you can research the following websites: