Boating in Santa Clara County Reservoirs

Please complete the Vessel Registration Declaration form prior to your outing, view here. Reservations are not required but effective with Memorial Day Weekend, we recommend reservations for all weekends and holidays due to increased reservoir use. Make your reservations here​ for launches and inspections.

Each vessel must pass a vessel inspection prior to launch, make sure your vessel is cleaned, drained and dry. Vessels are inspected at the reservoir where they are to be launched. See below for more information. ​​


    All vessels and floats placed upon a Santa Clara County Reservoir must pass a vessel inspection prior to launching. To pass inspection, your vessel must be clean, drained, and dry. This means that no dirt, vegetation, or water can be found anywhere on the vessel. This includes internal compartments of the vessel and the engine. When your outboard is lowered, not a drop of water can flow out. If any water is observed anywhere, however slight, your vessel will fail inspection and be placed on a quarantine.  Vessels are inspected at the reservoir where they are to launch.

    For more information on our Vessel Inspection Program and vessel registrations, view here​.

    Funded by California State Parks, Division of Boating and Waterways. Operated and maintained by Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department.

    California State Parks Logo showing illustration of 2 boats in the water



    • ​Boating is permitted on Santa Clara County Parks’ Reservoirs from 8 am to ½ hour before sunset.


    All vessels, stand-up paddle boards, float tubes, and RC boats are subject to Use Fees prior to launch on any Santa Clara County Reservoirs. Annual passes can be purchased at the main Parks Administration Building, 5965 Silver Creek Valley Road, San José, CA 95138 or at a staffed park’s entrance station kiosk.

    • Vehicle Entrance Fee: $6 per vehicle/day. Annual passes also available for $95 per vehicle.
    • Vessel Launch Fee:
      • One-time: $9 for registered vessels. $5 for non-CF vessels (Ex. Kayaks/Canoes). $3 for stand-up paddle boards (SUP) and float tubes.
      • Annual (Valid 12 months from date of purchase): $90 for one registered vessel. $50 for one non-CF vessel (Ex. kayaks/canoes). $30 for one stand-up paddle board (SUP) or float tube.
    • Vessel Inspection Fee (Non-Refundable): 
      • One-time: $7 for registered vessels. $4 for non-CF vessels (Ex. kayaks/canoes). $2 for stand-up paddle boards (SUP), float tubes, and RC boats.
      • Annual (Valid 12 Months from Purchase): $70 for one registered vessel. $40 for one non-CF vessel (Ex. kayaks/canoes). $20 for one stand-up paddle board (SUP), float tube, or RC boat.
    • Vessel Reservations Fee: $8 per reservation. Vessel launch reservation fees are required on Weekends and Holidays from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September. They are non-refundable and non-transferrable.​  Each vessel is required to have its own reservation (powered and non-powered). Please view here​ for more information on how to make a reservation.

    Calero (power and non-power) is the only body of water open year-round to boating.

    Coyote Lake, Lexington, & Stevens Creek: Recreational boating and water activities at Coyote Lake (power and non-power), Lexington Reservoir (hand launch/non-power boating only), and Stevens Creek Reservoir (hand launch/non-power boating only) opened for the season on April 13, 2024. 

    Reservations are available ($8.00) on weekends and holidays for recreational use on Calero Reservoir and Coyote Lake for the Memorial Day weekend through the end of September. A reservation guarantees you a spot on the water.

    Reservations can be made at

    All other reservoirs and bodies of water in Santa Clara County are closed indefinitely to all vessels and floats - these include: Almaden, Chesbro, Sandy Wool, Cottonwood, Grant, Guadalupe, Uvas, and Vasona.

    View the Park Closures Website HERE or call (408) 355-2201 before you travel to make sure your reservoir of choice is open.


    All vessel owners must present current original registration issued by the DMV to park staff before proceeding to a mussel inspection station. (No photo copies or digital copies will be accepted)​ Registration must be:

    • Current

    • Registered in a permissible California county (North of the Tehachapi Mountain Range). Vessels with out-of-state registrations will not be allowed to launch. Military Personnel are Exempt from this restriction.

    • See map below for more information on restricted counties.

    Map of Quagga and Zebra Mussel restricted Counties

    (View enlarge map​)

    *A Mussel Fee Sticker is required for registered vessels from the CA DMV. View ​Here​ for more information.

    ** For unregistered (non-CF) vessels, the registered county of the transporting vehicle will be used to determine eligibility. Vehicle registration paperwork will be required.

    ***Owners who have purchased a used vessel, or new from out of state, are quarantined for 30 days from the date of registration and must be registered in a permissible county. If the owner does not have credible evidence that you have possessed your vessel for 30 days, you will not be permitted to launch.​ 

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