Civic Association of Smallwood, New York, Inc.

Watercraft, Fishing 


Watercraft Registration Sticker Rules

To see if there is a space available for your watercraft at the Boat Launch please email Mr. John Caracci, Director of Lake Patrol, at 

The following terms must be agreed to in order for a Member to receive a watercraft/boat sticker for use on Mountain Lake and other associated Lake Privileges

1.  Watercraft users must present life jackets/personal flotation devices (PFD) and Membership credentials when asked to do so by a Smallwood Civic Association (SWCA) representative or a member of the SWCA Lake Patrol. 

Failure to cooperate on the part of SWCA Members, their household members, guests, or renters with our representatives or our volunteer Lake Patrol may result in revocation of Lake Privileges.  Continued lack of cooperation will put a Membership in jeopardy.

2.  All watercraft on Mountain Lake and its shoreline shall have a registration sticker for the current year affixed to it.  This year we will be providing members with 2 stickers per water craft. Stickers shall be affixed on the front right AND front left side of the craft, above the waterline.  This includes, but is not limited to, rowboats, kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, inflatable boats and paddleboards.  

3.  Guests may not use their own watercraft on Mountain Lake. 

4.  Watercraft users and those who fish must be Members with Lake Privileges or a renter of a Member’s primary or secondary home, for whom the Member has paid for Civic Association Benefits, or the houseguest of a Member with Lake Privileges.  While guests or renters may use SWCA facilities the Member is ultimately accountable for their adherence to all SWCA Rules and Regulations and subject to all revocations or loss of benefits or Membership described herein.  All of the persons described above must have proof of Membership or a valid Guest Card on their person when on SWCA properties.

a) A New York State fishing license is required for anyone sixteen (16) years of age or older;  This is New York State Law. If found in violation of this law you are subject to a fine of up to $250 and/or 15 days in jail.

b) For the health of the lake and the propagation of our bass stock, the SWCA is committed to a catch and release protocol for bass and larger fish.  The SWCA encourages you to please use your good judgment and limit your take of pan fish.

5.  Gas engines (internal combustion engines and boat mounted combustion engines) are forbidden on the lake at any time of the year whether they are being used or not.

6.  Jet Skis, WaveRunners, Sea-Doos, AquaTrax or any other personal watercraft colloquially referred to as Jet Skis or water scooters are prohibited.  Additionally, jet boats are prohibited.

7.  Electric trolling motors with a maximum speed of 5 mph are permitted.  No other types of engines or motors are permitted.  New York State law requires that all mechanically propelled boats must be registered; this includes small boats, canoes and kayaks with electric motors.  All boat registrations are handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Follow this link for more information.

8.  Snowmobiles, ATVs, other electric or gas powered motor vehicles, and self-propelled vehicles are forbidden on the lake, except when expressly permitted by the Board of Directors, or otherwise permissible by law.

9.  New York State law requires that PFDs must be in/on the watercraft while using watercraft on our lake.  There must be one PFD for each person on board (for example, 2 adults, 2 PFDs).  All children under the age of twelve (12) must wear a PFD and the PFD must be the size appropriate for the child.

Children under the age of fifteen (15) must have an adult, at least eighteen (18) years of age or older, on the boat with them.

10.  The number of people aboard any watercraft shall not exceed the manufacturer’s maximum prescribed capacity of the watercraft.

11.  For the year 2024 watercraft may be launched onto the lake from the following four areas only**

i. Watercraft may be launched from the Association’s official Boat Launch on Lake Shore Drive. 
ii. Watercraft may be launched on Lake Shore Drive from the area directly below Laura Avenue where the road meets Lake Shore Drive. 
iii. Watercraft may be launched from the dock, so designated, on Lake Shore Drive across from the beach and around the "curve".

iv. During beach operation hours, under the supervision, and at the discretion of the Waterfront Manager, kayaks, paddleboards, and inflatable rafts may be launched from the beach, beyond the swimming area.  All watercraft may be sailed to the beach and stored beyond the swimming area while a boater uses the beach but such watercraft must be removed from the beach no later than the end of the beach day.  Storage of any watercraft on the beach overnight is prohibited.

All persons arriving at the Beach via watercraft must report in to the Gate Keeper and sign in with proper I.D.                                                      

**The exception to the above-designated areas is that Members whose property abuts Lake Shore Drive or Stratton Avenue, and only those Members, may launch their boats onto the lake directly across from their property.            

12.  All watercraft stored on SWCA property must be stored at the SWCA’s Boat Launch or at another area so designated by the Board of Directors.  At this timein addition to the Boat Launch, boats are permitted to be stored where Laura Avenue meets Lake Shore Drive.  As of April 10, 2023 no watercraft other than those already documented as being stored here are permitted to be kept at the Laura Avenue site.  Additionally, NO WATERCRAFT, WHATSOEVER, may be stored at the area on Lake Shore Drive across from the beach and around the "curve" as this area of the shoreline will be undergoing restoration by the Association.  The exception to this Rule is that Members whose property abuts Lake Shore Drive or Stratton Avenue, and only those Members, may store up to four of their watercraft on the SWCA property directly across from their property.                      

Members whose property does not abut Lake Shore Drive or Stratton Avenue, will be eligible to apply for storage permits, at the above-mentioned sites, for up to two (2)* watercraft per Membership household for the 2024-2025 SWCA Membership Season which runs from July 1, 2024 - June 30, 2025. Only one watercraft per storage berth.   *At this time, as there is no shortage of storage space for paddleboards, members may store two paddleboards at the designated area at the Lake Shore Drive site (which may be in addition to other watercraft they store at the Lakeshore Drive and Laura Ave. facilities.  However, if one is not storing any watercraft other than paddleboards, they may store up to four paddleboards at the Lake Shore Drive site, subject to available space).  Additionally, because of their size, bulk, and the logistics of launching them, pedal boats will continue to be stored only at the Lakeshore Drive launch and only one of these boats can be accommodated per Member.

The deadline to apply for storage permits is May 31, 2024. Membership dues for the season must be paid in full and watercraft stickers purchased before applying. If either SWCA Boat Launch (Lake Shore Dr. or Laura Ave.) has capacity remaining after June 1, additional permits will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis.  As space allows, members may apply for up to an additional four permits as of June 1. As the month progresses and it becomes more clear what spaces are available, we will be contacting interested watercraft owners.

Per the SWCA’s Watercraft, Fishing, and Watercraft Registration Sticker Rules,  “Members whose property abuts Lake Shore Drive or Stratton Avenue, and only those Members, may store up to four of their watercraft on the SWCA property directly across from their property.”  If these members store their watercraft in front of their property they may not store watercraft at the Lake Shore Drive or Laura Avenue sites.   These Members must also purchase permits.  All others must apply for a space at a boat launch.  

Members may not apply for storage permits in advance of boat/watercraft ownership. Also, Members may not apply for storage permits for watercraft belonging to another household. The SWCA Membership, watercraft stickers, and storage permits must all be for the same household.

The cost for storage is $25/seasonal permit. Each permit allows one craft to be stored in a designated space at one of the two sites. Permits are not craft-specific, but associated with each household. This allows Members to rotate different craft to their storage area based on desired usage throughout the season. For example, if a family with 2 storage permits owns 2 kayaks and 2 paddleboards, at any given time, any combination of 2 of those craft may be stored at the designated location. Please note that the SWCA Boat Launches have space limits by craft type which impacts space for larger craft such as rowboats, pedal boats, and canoes.

In the event, other than for a sticker violation, that watercraft needs to be temporarily moved or permanently removed from SWCA property, the SWCA will make reasonable attempts to contact the owner.  If the owner is unreachable or unable to remove the watercraft the SWCA will do so for them.  If the watercraft is chained and locked, the chain will be broken, the lock saved if possible, and the watercraft will be stored in a secure place.  No trailers or other types of apparatus used to transport watercraft are permitted on Association property overnight.

The SWCA is not responsible for theft or damage to watercraft stored on SWCA property.

13.  All watercraft on SWCA property, inclusive of paddle boards, must have a current sticker (i.e., the present year) affixed to both sides of the bow (front), above the waterline, no later than the end of the weekend following July Fourth of the current Membership year.***  Thereafter, the watercraft will be removed to a secure location and, additionally, be placed on a roster of watercraft for sale at the next SWCA boat auction, whenever that may be.  Prior to the auction the owner will be notified both electronically and via USPS of the watercraft's status.  Upon paying a storage fee of $100, the owner may reclaim the watercraft up until five days prior to the date of the boat auction.

Any SWCA stickers from prior years (i.e., not the current year) must be removed, or, if removal is not possible must be covered with tape so that the current sticker is singularly visible and easily identifiable.

*** As a courtesy, if you anticipate that you will be unable to personally affix your stickers to your craft(s) which is/are stored on SWCA property by the above stated date, you can arrange for a friend or neighbor to pick up your stickers, notify the SWCA via the website who that person is and the SWCA will release your stickers to that person.  

If you cannot arrange for a friend or neighbor to affix the stickers you can arrange, through the SWCA, to have one of our teen volunteers properly affix the stickers for a fee of $35.00, a portion of which shall be earmarked for youth activities. 

14.  No watercraft may be stored or used in the designated swimming area. 

15.  Watercraft registration stickers are not transferable and shall only be affixed to the watercraft to which they have been assigned.

16.  Swimming or using any type of recreational flotation devices, including but not limited to, inflatable rafts, plastic floats or rings and tire inner tubes, from watercraft/boats are without lifeguard supervision and protection, and have risks inherent in the act; doing so is at one’s own risk and peril.

17.  The island at the southern end of the lake (often referred to as Turtle Island) is an environmentally sensitive ecosystem in its own right.  It serves as a home for beaver, frogs, turtles, and deer and as a nesting place for birds and a variety of waterfowl.  No watercraft may be moored to the island, no watercraft may broach the shore of the island and it is strictly forbidden for anyone to set foot upon the island.

18.  If Smallwood residents desire to enjoy Association Facilities and access to the Lake, they are encouraged to purchase their own membership - they may not use another Smallwood resident's Membership Cards or Guest Cards.  Additionally, Members may not accompany a non-member Smallwood resident to enjoy Association facilities, be it the Civic Park, Lodge, Beach, Lake or surrounding property, as their guest, without the express written consent of the Board of Directors.  Doing so may result in the suspension or revocation of the Member’s benefits or Membership.

NB Please note that Lake Shore Drive and Stratton Avenue are not private roads and are not the property of the SWCA.  They are roads belonging to the Town of Bethel.  Parking and leaving your vehicle on Lake Shore Drive or Stratton Avenue is not permissible and you are at risk of receiving a citation and fine.

Failure to abide by the rules stated above and/or failure to observe common courtesies necessary to maintain the good order, safety and general enjoyment of everyone on and around the lake may result in the revocation of the watercraft registration, as well as Lake Privileges or Membership by the Conduct Review Board (please refer to the Code of Conduct)

I have read, understand and agree to the above rules and furthermore, agree to make a good faith effort to follow the guidelines regarding watercraft care and  invasive species as described below.

Watercraft, trailers, waders and other fishing and boating equipment can spread aquatic invasive species from water body to water body unless properly cleaned, dried or disinfected after use.  Although some invasive species such as water milfoil are readily visible to the human eye, many others are too small to be readily noticed.  To avoid spreading invasive species please watch the video and follow these DEC guidelines, as set forth here:

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