Last fall the Deep Creek Lake Management office sent a letter to all dock permit holders outlining proposed changes concerning the way PWCs (personal watercrafts) will be docked/stored at lakefront sites. These changes to the regulations will essentially get rid of all current PWC racks/stands on the shoreline. The public comment period ended a few months ago and the proposed changes to the regulations are expected to be approved by the State of Maryland in the very near future.
As usual, and until notified otherwise, all Type A dock permit holders will be allowed to dock two (2) power vessels and one (1) non-power vessel (most likely a sailboat) at their dock. If you posses a Special Permit you WILL be allowed to place a PWC that weighs LESS than 500 pounds on a shoreline rack/stand for the meantime - but you will also receive a letter notifying you of forthcoming changes. Under current regulations, any PWC that weighs MORE than 500 pounds is NOT permitted on a shoreline rack/stand. Nearly all PWCs manufactured in the last 10 years weigh more than 500 pounds. Most lakefront homeowners currently store their 500 (+) plus pound PWCs on manufactured stands and racks on the shoreline and not tied up to their boat dock.
Early this summer, DNR is expected to take applications from dock permit holders that will allow them to have 1 PWC permitted at their boat dock. (PWCs are permitted at docks now but since they are more than 500 pounds they are considered a power vessel by definition). If approved, the new permit will then be valid for two (2) power vessels, one (1) PWC, and one (1) non-power vessel. This application will cost an additional $100 on top of the normal $200 paid in the spring. DNR expects to issue these new buffer strip permits for one (1) additional PWC at docks starting sometime later this summer.
It appears that all Type A permits will now have the ability to be granted three (3) power vessels and one (1) non-power vessel at their lakefront home - however, one of the three power vessels will have to be a PWC. This new regulation will benefit the lakefront homeowners who only have 1 power boat at their dock now and 2 PWCs on shoreline stands/racks - or the homeowners who have 2 boats now at their dock and 1 PWC on a stand. This new regulation will basically allow all 3 to be tied up their dock.
However, this new regulation appears to hurt the lakefront homeowner who already has 2 power boats at their dock now -for example, a Cobalt and a pontoon boat - and who also has 2 PWCs stored on shoreline stands/racks. This new regulation is going to force these homeowners to get rid of one of their PWCs - or get rid of one of their power boats. This situation of 2 boats and 2 PWCs is very common around Deep Creek Lake.
Homeowners in lake access communities with common docks may also suffer a bit with these new regulations. For common docks, DNR is going to permit 3 PWCs per every 10 approved boat slips. Therefore, the homeowner who has a power boat in one of the slips in the common dock and a PWC on a shoreline stand may be forced to get rid of either the boat or PWC if there are numerous PWCs in that particular community.
The intent of this change is to get rid of all PWC racks/stands on the shoreline - as DNR viewed these stands as an abuse of the number of power vessels docked/stored at these homeowner sites.