Guidelines for Motors, Boating & Fishing

Kennebago Lake is one of the State of Maine’s five designated “wilderness gem lakes” and the largest fly-fishing-only body of water east of the Mississippi River.  To preserve its wilderness character, the quality of “the Kennebago experience,” and its exceptional fly-fishing for native trout and salmon, the Association strongly recommends that camp-owners limit themselves to the use of boats powered by motors of 10 HP or smaller.  Recognizing that a few current camp-owners already own larger motors, the Association encourages these camp-owners, when retiring these larger motors, to replace them with motors meeting the 10 HP limit.  The Association will keep a list of these grandfathered motors. 

Further to preserve the wilderness character of Kennebago Lake, the Association discourages all recreational towing activities (such as waterskiing, tubing, and wakeboarding) on Kennebago’s pristine waters. 

Finally, the Association strongly encourages Kennebago boaters and fishermen to abide by the principles of “The Courtesy of the Waters,” which were formulated a generation ago to enhance the Kennebago experience, and which are updated here below:

  1. State of Maine law requires that boats travel at “headway speed only” within 200 feet of  any riverbank or shoreline, including islands.  This law governs the upper and lower River, the entire Logans area, and a 200-foot corridor around the entire Lake.  
  2. When approaching or leaving an area where others are fishing (or canoeing or  kayaking), give other boats a wide berth and travel at headway speed only.  
  3. When positioning your boat to fish, leave a distance of two – preferably three – of  your best casts between your boat and any others.  
  4. Fly-fishing-only means no spinners, no spoons, and, of course, no bait.  Any added weight, including split shot, must be made of material other than lead. 
  5. TROLLING IS ILLEGAL on Kennebago waters:  anglers must retrieve the fly as soon as the fly-line straightens behind a moving boat.
  6. State of Maine law requires that lights be displayed on boats after dark and prohibits keeping fish alive on a stringer or in a bucket or live-well.
  7. When walk/wade fishing THE RIVER, seek out unoccupied pools and stretches of its twenty-mile length.  Don’t crowd others.  If you encounter another angler,  ask or wait to be invited before fishing nearby.  Share the water.
  8. Anglers should comply with all current State of Maine fishing regulations and exercise discretion in the decision to kill and keep fish.             

May 2008