Boating Rules & Registration

For any boaters on the lake we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Maine Boaters Guide to boating laws and responsibilities which you can read here.




Highlights of regulations for Branch Lake:

  1. Branch Lake City boat stickers are required for every boat used on the lake.  Fines for not having this sticker, or other violation of Ellsworth Water Supply Protection Ordinance (City Code Chapter 55) start at $100.00 and go up to $2500.00. 

  2. Branch Lake boat stickers can be obtained at the Branch Lake State Boat Launch or at city hall for any user of Branch Lake at no charge. They are free.

  3. All boats other than boats previously operated in an infested lake, and personal water craft (PWC), may be inspected by a city certified Self Inspector.

  4. Boats from out of state should be inspected at the State Boat Launch by the Courtesy Boat Inspectors (CBIs). The State Boat Launch is open daylight hours and varies by month:
    Ice out April-5:30am to 7:00pm; May- 5:00am to 7:00pm; June, July, August-5:00am to 8:00pm; and September-6:00am to 7:00pm.

  5. We encourage all home owners, and especially those that rent their camps, to become city certified Self-Inspectors, which will allow the owners to inspect boats from uninfested lakes that their tenants may bring with them to Branch Lake. City certification courses are conducted at no charge in the spring & summer. See the City of Ellsworth website for the schedule by clicking here.

  6. While on any watercraft (e.g., motorboat, PWC, sailboat, SUP, kayak), you must have an approved PFD ( life vest) for everyone, children must be wearing them 

  7. If your boat is stopped by a state patrol ranger, depending on size and type of boat, you will be expected to have:

    • a whistle or horn that is audible for 1/2 mile. 

    • a class B fire extinguisher.   

    • an approved throwable PFD (this is a new regulation) 

    • registration and paid excise documentation - proof of age and boating license if needed (Rules change with ages 12- 18 years)

Branch Lake is the City Water Supply!!!