Water Recreation Program

boat on the lake pulling a person who is waterskiing

The purpose of this information is to give the public highlights on rules for recreation on Lake Stevens. This is intended for information purposes and not an exhaustive list of requirements and authority. For more detailed information, please reference Lake Stevens Municipal Code, Title 10.

The information contained in each tab is derived from common questions our staff receives and activities the Parks and Recreation Department and Lake Stevens Police Department staff have observed.

It is unlawful for any person or nongovernmental agency to place any buoy or marker within the jurisdiction of Lake Stevens without a permit.

  • Permits for temporary buoys or markers for a sporting event are processed through the Event Permit process and may require Hydraulic Permit Approval from Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. Applications for events can be made through the online permit center.
  • Residential property owners without a dock can apply for a private mooring buoy. Applications can be made through the online permit center. Select a Type I Land Use Application.
  • Residential property owners can apply for a Lake Safety Marker through the online permit center. Select a Type I Land Use Application. Lake Safety Markers are placed by staff within 30 days of approval.

For additional information on lake management or development regulations, please visit our Lake Management page. Other policies and documents that apply to the lake are:

Contact Parks and Recreation at parks@lakestevenswa.gov or 425-622-9406

Download a printable version of the Lake Stevens Water Recreation Program.

  1. Boating Safety
  2. Required Boating Equipment
  3. Required Skiing and Wakeboarding Equipment and Rules
  • Users should not power load or off-load their boats at the launch, this causes propwash and damages the launch.
  • The speed limit is 35 MPH on Lake Stevens.
  • No wake during hours of darkness and in North Cove after 1pm. North Cove is marked by buoys at the mouth of the cove.
  • Boats must yield to non-motorized uses, including swimming, kayaking, paddleboards, etc.
  • No wake or 8 MPH speed limit, whichever is less, if within 100 feet of swimming area, structures or floating objects. Or within the lake safety area between safety markers and the shore or dock.
  • Lake Stevens is a counter-clockwise lake meaning that when a boat is underway it must travel in a counter-clockwise path.
  • Boat skippers must be 12 or older if the boat has a 15 HP motor or greater.
  • When underway, everyone must remain seated with legs inside the boat. Sitting on the bow or gunwale with legs over the side is prohibited.
  • Avoid fuel and oil spills on the water and shoreline; spills are polluting.
  • Lake Stevens is a year-round fishing lake, please consult Washington State Fish and Wildlife for specific information.
  • Personal watercraft must follow same rules and required equipment as other boats and:
    • Operate during daylight hours only.
    • Everyone must wear a USCG approved personal floatation device for the activity.
    • Have a cutoff switch with lanyard attached to the operator is required when applicable.

Lake Stevens has floats, buoys and lake safety markers.

  • Buoys mark dangers in the water and swimming areas.
  • Floats are located around swimming areas.
  • Lake Safety Markers are placed approximately 100 feet from docks to visually show where the 100 feet from the dock no wake zone is located. This keeps non-motorized uses safe. Please see Required Boating Equipment, Required Skiing and Wakeboarding Equipment and Rules and Water Safety tabs on this page for more information.