Boating in Santa Clara County Reservoirs

Boating is permitted at Calero (powered and non-power) and Lexington (hand launch/non-power boating only).

Please complete the Vessel Registration Declaration form prior to your outing, view here. When reservations are required, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, follow this link for more information on how to make reservations, here​.

Each vessel must pass a vessel inspection prior to launch, make sure your vessel is cleaned, drained and dry. Lexington water level is low at this time, hand launch is strictly enforced. No vehicles will be allowed to leave the paved launch ramp, plan accordingly. Trailers are not permitted.​​


    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

    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



    Calero and Lexington Reservoirs are the only two open to boating, at this time due to water levels and construction projects. Reservations are required on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. 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. 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.​ 



    • ​Boating is permitted on Santa Clara County Parks’ Reservoirs from 8am 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 Reservoir. Annual passes can be purchased at the main Parks Administration Building, 298 Garden Hill Drive - Los Gatos, CA 95032 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 Launch Reservations Fee: $8 per reservation. Vessel launch reservation fees are required during Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend and Holidays. They are non-refundable and non-transferrable.​  Please view here​ for more information on how to make a reservation.

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