Boat Registration and Safety

Boat Registration


We have a few rules that apply to boats on our lakes. Please review the rules to ensure you are in compliance. Here is a summary of some of the important things to remember when buying a boat.

Pontoon Boats are limited to an overall length that does not exceed 24 feet 6 inches with not more than two pontoons (tubes). All other watercrafts are limited to an overall length that does not exceed 20 feet as per original boat manufacturer specification and must measure 20 feet or less as measured by the Goose Lake Association. Measurement shall include molded platforms; excludes bolt-on platforms. The maximum overall width of any boat is to be no wider than 9 feet. The following watercrafts are prohibited:

  • Watercraft equipped with inboard rear V-drive engines or equipped with any wake or wake enhancing devices such as, but not limited to ballast tanks, hydro gates, etc. This type of boat is usually called a wake board boat.
  • Cabin cruisers or other boats with enclosed living quarters.
  • Deck Boats
  • Tritoon Pontoon Boats [having three or more pontoons (tubes)]
  • All Watercraft shall be equipped and maintained with an effective below waterline exhaust system.
  • Boats used on Goose and Beaver Lakes shall not be equipped with more than a 10 HP motor. Boats on these lakes are limited to NO WAKE speeds. Pontoon boats are limited to no more than 100 HP on Lincoln Lake.
  • Jet Skis are limited to no more than 130 HP. Operators and owners of jet skis and other like personal water craft shall obey all rules concerning "flow" of watercraft direction and shall not operate in such fashion as to endanger themselves, passengers, or other users of the lake. PULLING OR TOWING OF WATER SKIERS OR PULL CRAFT WITH JET SKIS IS NOT PERMITTED.

If you have any questions, please call the office.


Boat Information & Safety


Selling of Water Craft

During Boating Season, when you sell a boat that is currently stickered, you will need to remove and bring the old sticker in before your new boat is measured and issued a replacement GLA sticker as approved by the Water craft Review Committee. 

New Expandable Pantoon Boats Not Permitted

Pontoon boat manufacturers have designed pontoon boats that can expand in width and length. According to the GLA rules, these boats are not accepted on our lakes. 

Water Skiers

Please help us in minimizing erosion! If your skier falls and is not in any immediate danger, PLEASE throttle back to idle speed and pick up your skier at idle speed. This will greatly help prevent lake erosion, and your skier will not have three-foot rollers to contend with. 

Attention Pontoon Owners & Lake Cruisers


Please check your boats' face plate. It states the total number of people and the total weight your boat is allowed to carry. If your boat holds 6 people that includes the driver and spotter plus the people on tubes, wakeboards or skis.

This is an Illinois boating regulation. It needs to be followed or tickets will be issued.

Going for that afternoon or sunset cruise? Please watch the size of your wake. Idling back a few RPM's can drastically reduce the size of your wake, and you will go almost the same speed. We can all help in minimizing lake erosion.

Rules of the Waterways for All Boaters


As our boating season approaches, we would like to remind everyone whether you navigate rivers or lakes; if you are an avid fisherman, take a leisurely ride on your pontoon, or if you jet ski, water ski, tube or just plain enjoy the many recreational activities that our waterways have to offer, it is highly recommended (and required by law if you plan to operate a motorboat and are at least 12 years of age and less than 18 years of age) that you complete the Illinois Boating Safety Course.

Too often, people are seriously injured or killed while trying to enjoy a day out on the water. In many cases, we know someone or have heard in the news about tragic events that may have been preventable if we all knew the proper boating rules and regulations. Like driving a car, not every boater follows all the rules and regulations for safe boating. But as a responsible boater, there are boat safety and education courses available for you to take.

Some classes are offered as one-day or one-weekend courses or in some cases a more detailed course may be offered that spans over several weeks. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has taken the boating safety one step further and has made it even easier and more convenient for someone to learn the “Rules of the Waterway. (refer to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources web site for more information)

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources offers an Online Illinois Boating Safety Course and Exam (refer to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources web site for accessing the online course and exam). This free, self paced course allows you to navigate many different topics of boating at your own leisure. There are no time constraints or set schedules when taking the course. When you have finished studying the boating safety material and you feel you are ready to take the exam, this can be done in the convenience of your own home. Not only will you be a safer, more knowledgeable boater, you may also qualify for lower insurance rates with this certificate (check with your insurer for details).

As you may or may not be aware, on January 1st, 1978, the State of Illinois passed the following boating laws which are currently in affect:

  • No person under 10 years of age may operate a motorboat
  • Person at least 10 years of age and less than 12 years of age may operate a motorboat only if:

They are accompanied on the motorboat and under the direct control of a parent or guardian, or a person at least 18 years of age who has been designated by the parent or guardian.

  • A driver who is at least 12 years of age and less than 18 years of age may only operate a motorboat if:

The driver has in their possession a valid Boating Safety Certificate issued by the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Education or valid certificate issued by another state, province of the Dominion of Canada, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary or the United States Power Squadron or The driver is accompanied on the motorboat and is under the direct control of a parent or guardian or a person at least 18 years of age who has been designated by the parent or guardian.

As we move closer to another boating season, we urge all Goose Lake Association residents and especially those who are boaters to visit the IDNR website and review the safe boating material that has been made available and to take the time to take the Illinois Boating Safety Course and Exam so that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable season on our waterways. 

Watercraft Questions?

Please contact the GLA Office with any watercraft or waterway questions you have at (815) 942-4898.

Download Boating Safety Guidelines from the GLA Safety Committee.