Kayakers enjoy a morning at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge

Boating Permits 

A City boating permit is required for all watercraft used for transportation or recreational purposes on City waters and must follow boating regulations for each body of water. The following watercraft require a boating permit:

  • Authorized motorboats, ski boats & fishing boats (including those with an electric motor
  • Personal watercraft
  • Sailboats
  • Racing shells and water skulls
  • Kayaks, canoes & paddle boats
  • Inflatable boats used for boating/fishing and are not categorized as a toy

Boating permits are not required for fisherman floats/tubes.

Oklahoma boat registration is also required for all watercraft, except for kayaks, canoes and paddle boats. USCG-approved safety equipment (including life-preservers) must be in use at all times while boating. 

Permit stickers should be adhered to each side of the boat near the stern. Boat owners should also carry a copy of their paper permit on their person when in the water. See our authorized vendor list for pricing and vendor locations.

Permit Costs
Daily Permit: $6.25
Daily permits are valid for 24 hours from time of purchase. 

Annual Permit: $33
Annual permits are valid for one year from the date of purchase.


Where to Boat

Boating by permit is allowed on all three of the City's lake reservoirs, the Oklahoma River, the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge and several Close to Home fishing waters. Restrictions apply.

Lake Reservoirs

Lake Hefner

  • All watercraft are permitted, except for engine-propelled personal watercraft under 12'
  • Wakes allowed in open areas only, and not within 150' of other watercraft, 150' from any boat ramps or docks, or 100' from shorelines
  • No swimming or water skiing allowed
  • Boat ramps are located at the City Boat Harbor and the Lake Patrol Station near the southwest side of the lake

Lake Overholser

  • All watercraft permitted, including personal watercraft (jet skis)
  • No swimming or water skiing allowed
  • Boat ramps are located on the east side of the lake behind the boat house and on the south end of the lake by the dam

Lake Stanley Draper

  • All watercraft permitted, including personal watercraft (jet skis)
  • Water skiing is allowed except in lake coves
  • Skiers are allowed in water only to get ready to ski or immediately after they finish
  • Boat ramps are located at the Lake Draper Marina near SE and 104th and Lake Stanley Draper Drive

Wet slips and dry stalls are available for rent at the Lake Draper and Lake Hefner.

Oklahoma River

Oklahoma River, between I-35 and Portland Ave south of I-40 in downtown Oklahoma City

  • All watercraft permitted, including personal watercraft (jet skis)
  • The Oklahoma River is a no-wake zone
  • Watercraft must stay at least 100 feet away from dams and locks
  • Boat ramps located near the Lincoln Avenue Bridge, on the Exchange Avenue Bridge and at SW 15 and Portland.
  • Fishing floats are authorized for use (must be USCG certified) in the wetland ponds. Floats may be used only during daylight hours, and only in coves, necks, and areas within 100 feet of the shoreline. 

Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge

Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, located at NW 51 and Stinchcomb

  • Canoes and kayaks permitted only
  • No boat ramps inside gated area
  • No unauthorized vehicles inside gated area
  • Water access to refuge only from Lake Overholser

Close to Home Fishing Waters

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Flash Player QuickTime Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer