Valley County Waterways Ordinance
- Establishes a 300-feet no wake zone for all lakes in Valley County (Payette Lake, Little Payette Lake, Lake Cascade, Deadwood Reservoir, Horsethief Reservoir and Warm Lake).
- Some exceptions apply on Lake Cascade in the Boulder Creek, Gold Fork and Lake Fork Arms as well as around islands in both Lake Cascade and Payette Lake. Find geo-referenced pdfs noting the exceptions on the Valley County website (http://www.co.valley.id.us/departments/recreation/)
- Sets 12 years old as the minimum age to operate a vessel under 15 horsepower.
- Sets 16 years old as the minimum age to operate a vessel over 15 horsepower or personal watercrafts (jet skis). Operators can be 14 years of age if they have attained an Idaho Boater Education Card or 12 years old if under the direct supervision of an adult.
Life Jackets Save Lives
Don’t have a life jacket? Borrow one! Many docks around Valley County have Idaho Parks & Rec “Loaner Stations” – pick one up to use for the day then return after your outing on the lake. Local stations include Ponderosa State Park and McCall City Marina on Payette Lake and Boulder Creek, Buttercup, Poison Creek, Sugar Loaf, Van Wyck, Blue Heron, and Campbell Creek on Lake Cascade. A station is also available at Deadwood Reservoir
- Children 14 and under must wear an approved life jacket when they are aboard a boat 19 feet in length or less whenever the boat is underway or under power. This applies to manually propelled boats such as canoes and rafts in addition to powerboats, sailboats, personal watercraft (jet skis) and fishing float tubes.
- PFD’s (personal flotation devices) must be Coast Guard approved, properly sized, and in good condition (no broken buckles, torn straps, rips, tears, etc). They must also be within easy reach.
- Regardless of age, you must wear a personal flotation device (PFD) aboard a personal watercraft (jet ski) and when being pulled behind a vessel (I.e. – waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, etc.)
- The size of the boat determines the specific design types and quantities of PFDs required:
- Boats less than 16 feet long, as well as canoes and kayaks of any length, must have at least one (1) Type I, Type II, or Type III PFD for each person on board. A Type IV cushion or ring buoy will not meet this requirement.
- Boats 16 feet and longer (except canoes and kayaks of any length) must also carry a Type IV PFD (ring or cushion buoy).
General Boating Etiquette
- Steer clear of all other lake users (motorized and non-motorized), docks and shorelines.
- Keep music volume down, especially near homes.
- Never follow behind another boat or wake-jump, especially when a boat is towing a skier, tuber, boarder or surfer. This includes personal watercraft (jet skis).
- Limit repetitive passes along shorelines or near docks.
- When pulling a tube, do not make erratic turns near other boaters.
- Obey no-wake zones. Generally speaking, all Valley County lakes and reservoirs have a 300-foot no-wake zone.
- Be efficient, especially when loading and unloading boats at community ramps during this busy weekend.
- Give respect and get respect. We are all out here to enjoy this beautiful place safely!