New By-law (Fall 2020): Mandatory Boat Washing

The Municipality of Otter Lake has enacted a new by-law that requires everyone to wash their boat before launching it into any body of water located in the Municipality. The by-law represents a huge step in the right direction in GORA’s efforts to protect our lakes. We are pleased with the progress made so far by the Mayor and Councillors, particularly Robin Zacharias and Carlen Lafleur, who have worked together with GORA on the ad hoc “Boat Wash” committee.


We encourage you to review the by-law (number 02-09-2020) posted on the Municipality’s website at under the 'Environment' heading.


Although there are details to be worked out by spring 2021, here are a few main highlights.


Boat washing must be done at the hot water pressure wash station located behind the Municipal Hall at 15 Palmer Street.  Hot water pressure washing is the most effective way to remove invasive species. The boat as well as the engine, trailer, holding tank, and any compartment that may contain or accumulate water (if applicable) must be washed.


How will it work for taxpayers?

  1. It will be free - go to the Municipal Office to obtain a magnetic card that will exempt you from payment;

  2. Attest to understanding and complying with the by-law;

  3. Swipe the card at the payment kiosk located at the wash station and wash your boat;

  4. The payment kiosk will issue a “wash certificate” and transaction receipt;

  5. Keep the “wash certificate” as proof of washing and place transaction receipt on dashboard of vehicle;

  6. Shoreline taxpayers who leave their boat permanently on the water will also be issued a sticker to affix to the front area of the boat;

  7. The obligation to wash the boat remains if the vessel is moved to another body of water and returns for re-entry.


How will it work for non-taxpayers?

  1. Non-taxpayers will need to pay $10 per motorized boat (non-motorized boats are free);

  2. Payment is accepted at the payment kiosk at the wash station;

  3. Once the boat is washed, the kiosk will issue a “wash certificate” and transaction receipt;

  4. The boat user must keep the “wash certificate” to show as proof;

  5. The boat user must place their transaction receipt on the dash of their vehicle so that it is visible;

  6. The wash certificate for non-taxpayers will be time limited. Duration of validity is yet to be determined.

GORA's 2019 Work on Mandatory Boat Washing

The passage of the Municipality's Fall 2020 By-Law on Mandatory Boat Washing was the culmination of four years' work on the Invasive Species issue. With the May 2018 installation of the Boat Washing Station at the Municipal Hall, GORA's efforts in 2019 turned towards a By-Law. Below are the key resource documents from that effort: