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The Lake Breathing Life Into Big Bear

Bear at play.
Bear enjoying the lake.

As one of Southern California’s four season resort towns, there is always something to do! Come enjoy the Lake and all it has to offer. From fishing to water sports to soaking up the sun on the shoreline, we hope Big Bear Lake provides a unique adventure for everyone!

Community Directory Emergency Fire, Sheriff, Ambulance 911 Lake Patrol (909) 866-5796 (After Hours) (909) 838-2967 Bear Valley Hospital (909) 866-6501 Big Bear Discovery Center (909) 382-2790 Big Bear Visitors Center (909) 424-4232 Chamber of Commerce (909) 866-4607 City of Big Bear Lake (909) 866-5831 Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (909) 484-0167 Forest Service (909) 382-2790 Non-Emergency Sheriff (909) 866-0100

Changing Lake Levels As Lake levels fluctuate it is important to pay attention while boating. Dropping water levels can expose new hazards, which may have been underwater for decades. Lake Patrol and maintenance staff work diligently to identify, remove, and mark hazards that exist in the Lake. A rise in water level can also bring new hazards to the surface, such as debris from the shoreline being swept away. It is also not uncommon for docks and dock pieces to be floating around the lake after an increase in lake levels. Keep an eye out while you are boating on Big Bear Lake, and give us a call if you find anything so we can take care of it appropriately.

There are over 250 species of bird that visit Big Bear Lake over the course of the year. Some of the most common are shown below.

Common Birds in Big Bear City and Around the Lake

Bald Eagle
Eagles fish too.

Bald Eagle California Gull Bald Eagle Common Egret American White Pelican Coopers Hawk Clark's Grebe Wood Duck Great Blue Heron Killdeer Golden Eagle Great Blue Heron

Common Coot Kingfisher Eared Grebe Great Horned Owl Mallard Duck

Decontamination Information All wakeboard style boats with water ballast and any vessel that fails inspection will need to be decontaminated prior tolaunch, NO EXCEPTIONS! The BBMWD offffers decontamination services to accommodate boaters. A single PersonalWatercraft is considered a simple decontamination. Two personal watercraft on a single trailer or a boat without ballasttanks is a normal decontamination. Any vessel with a ballast system is a complex decontamination. All decontaminations are performed by WIT II certifified staffff. Decontaminators will flflush all affffected systems andareas with hot water (120°F-140°F) to ensure that any aquatic invasive species are dead and down the drain.

Bears Do It Better
Bear Decontaminating Boat

The BBMWD also offffers a quarantine band as an alternative to decontamination. An option available to all boat owners;the process is easy. First, call the Main Offiffice at (909) 866-5796 to schedule an appointment. When you show up foryour appointment, one of our WIT certifified staffff will inspect your vessel to ensure that it is free of aquatic invasivespecies. Once the inspection is completed, your inspector will attach a quarantine band and sealed sticker between yourboat and its trailer. Then you are free to take your boat home to sit for the next 30 days. After the 30 days have passedbring your boat back to us and we will swap the intact quarantine band for a regular band. Decontamination Pricing Simple $40 Normal $75

Complex $125 Eurasian Watermilfoil The Big Bear Municipal Water District spends tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours each year in an attempt to control milfoil populations. These noxious weeds choke out native species of plant and fish, while also clogging navigational channels to Marinas, launch areas, and private docks. The BBMWD has two tools at its disposal when it comes to the control of invasive plants, mechanical harvesting and chemical treatment. Mechanical harvesting physically cuts and removes most of the plant from the lake while chemical treatment systematically kills the plant all the way to the roots.

Bears in Big Bear
Bear in Eurasian Watermilfoil

There are pros and cons to both methods of invasive plant control, and for best results they are used in conjunction. However, when lake water levels are low, the use of chemical treatments can lead to water quality issues as the dead plants begin to decay, releasing nutrients into the water column. These are the same nutrients that algae thrive upon. Eurasian Watermilfoil is a species of invasive plant found in Big Bear Lake. Likely introduced either by the dumping of aquariums into the lake or by hitching a ride on an unsuspecting owner’s vessel. It has become the most prolific species of vegetation in the lake. Part of what makes Eurasian Watermilfoil so invasive is its life cycle. The invasive weed begins growing earlier in the spring than most native plants. It also reproduces mainly through fragmentation, where pieces of the plant break off and take root wherever they can. These two advantages allow the milfoil to spread early and quickly across the Lake.

Carriage Requirements Carriage requirements refer to the mandatory safety equipment that must be on board a boat when it is operated in navigable waters. The specific requirements vary depending on the size and type of boat, as well as the body of water in which it is being operated. However, some common examples of required equipment include life jackets, fire extinguishers, visual distress signals, navigation lights, and sound-producing devices.

Bears on the lake.
Bears wear life vest too.

• California Boater Card (50 years of age and younger) • PFD's for everyone on board? (Type I, II, III, or V) • Type IV throwable? (immediately accessible) • Sound making device? (Boat horn, air horn, whistle)

• Type B1 Fire Extinguisher • Working navigational lights? (if operating past sunset or before sunrise) • Working anchor light? (If operating past sunset or before sunrise) • Orange flag and observer 12 years of age or older? (for towing activities) YOU MUST HAVE A CALIFORNIA BOATER CARD IN ORDER TO LEGALLY BOAT ON BIG BEAR LAKE. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE. As of January 1st, 2023, Under Harbor and Navigation code 678.11(a), boat operators in California 50 years of age and younger are required to be in possession of the California Boater Card. In previous years, the Big Bear Lake Patrol officers have taken an educational approach to enforcing the card. The educational period is now over and any boat operator in violation of this code will be cited. NO EXCEPTIONS. The District highly recommends all boaters obtain the card, regardless of age. Beginning January 1st, 2025, all California operators will be required to have a California Boater Card. For more information on how to obtain your California Boater Card, please visit Lake Buoys

Bears do it better.
Bear balancing on bouy.

DANGER Marks random hazards such as rocks, shoals, and pipes. Also indicated by a red or orange ball. SHALLOW WATER Black and white striped cardinal buoys indicate shallow areas. Boats should not pass between this buoy and the nearest shore. SPEED CONTROL White no-wake buoys are placed along the perimeter of the Lake and indicate a reduced speed area. Any boats traveling between the buoy line and shore must travel at or below 5mph. MOORING BUOY Located at the west end of the Lake near the Dam. This is the only buoy that is legal to tie off to.

WATER QUALITY MONITORING STATION Marks the points on the Lake where the District gathers Lake water data throughout the season.

SPECIAL USE AREA A solid yellow buoy indicates a special use area. Channel Markers “Red and Green, Stay in Between” When you see red and green marker buoys, stay in between them. This will ensure safe egress entering and departing your launch ramp or marina.

When you’re heading back to the launch ramp or marina, the red markers should be on your starboard (right) side. “Red Right Return” Ramp Hours

Boats on the lake.

EAST PUBLIC LAUNCH RAMP CAROL MORRISON LAUNCHING FACILITY (909) 866-5200 41911 NORTH SHORE DR. Early Season (April 1 - May 26) Daily, 7 am - 3 pm Peak Season (May 27 - September 4) Daily, 6am - 6pm

Late Season (September 5 - November 30) Daily, 7am - 3pm CLOSED FOR WINTER December 1 - March 31

Public Ramps

WEST PUBLIC LAUNCH RAMP DUANE R. BOYER LAUNCHING FACILITY (909) 866-2917 38925 NORTH SHORE DR. Early Season (April 1 - May 26) CLOSED Peak Season (May 27 - September 4) Thurs - Mon, 7am - 3pm Late Season (September 5 - November 30) CLOSED CLOSED FOR WINTER December 1 - March 31

Lake Use Permits

Lake Use Permits are valid April 1, 2023 - March 31, 2024

Non-Registered Vessels Non-Motorized Vessels and Sailboats 8 Feet or Less in Length. Kayaks, Canoes, Sailboards, Stand-Up Paddle-boards, Fishing Float Tubes 1 Day $25 2 Day $35 3 Day $45 4 Day $55 Seasonal Permit $60 Registered Vessels Motorized vessels up to 26 feet and sailboats over 8 feet in length, power boats, jet skis, personal watercraft

One Day $40 Two Day $60 Three Day $80 Four Day $100 Five Day @120 Seasonal Permit $130 (This page continues to update)

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