The main purpose of GMW’s lakes, dams and reservoirs is to capture, store and release water to customers but they are also great places to visit for recreation.
Many of our lakes, dams and reservoirs have fantastic recreation infrastructure like parks, playgrounds, boat ramps and camping facilities that make them the perfect place to stay and play.
GMW actively works with local clubs and organisations at lakes, dams and reservoirs to develop joint plans to support recreational and tourism development opportunities that will increase enjoyment of the waterways without adversely impacting on lake operations, water qualities, environmental values, or community safety.
The GMW By-law No. 1-2013 – Recreational Areas governs GMW’s development and management of public access and recreational use of its managed land and waterways.
At all water levels visitors need to be conscious of potential hazards and consider their own safety and the safety of other users.
Water levels either high or low can prompt increased safety requirements and changes to access for recreational areas and waterways.
Safety information and alerts will be signposted at public areas and boat ramps, and available on our website under News.
Guidelines for safe boating
When visiting be sure to stay safe at all times by following the rules for safe boating including following speed restrictions and keep a lookout for submerged trees and other hazards.
- On Victorian inland waters a 5 knot speed limit applies to boat operators and PWC operators within:
- 50m of the water’s edge (unless stated by notice)
- 50m of another vessel
- 50m of any fixed or floating structure in or on the water
- 50m of swimmers
- 100m of a diver's flag bouy or vessel
- Don’t drink and boat
- Zero blood alcohol concentration applies for operators under 21 years of age and supervisors
- 0.05 blood alcohol limit applies for 21 years of age and over
- Maintain a good look out and operate at a safe speed.
- Ensure you have the right safety equipment for all persons onboard including correctly fitted PFDs.
- Do not load your boat beyond its passenger carrying capacity
- Carry enough Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) for passenger carrying capacity of the boat
- You must wear the appropriate PFD for your vessel type at all times when operating on your own
- You and your passengers must wear the appropriate PFD for your vessel type in times of heightened danger, i.e. when operating in adverse weather and waterway conditions
- You must wear the appropriate PFD for your vessel type when in an open area of a recreational vessel that is underway.
- All masters operating a powered recreational vessel on Victorian waters require a marine licence and must carry it at all times.
- The Marine Safety Act requires the owner of a recreational powered vessel (one equipped with an engine that is capable of being used for propulsion) to register the vessel.
- Carry the minimum safety equipment required for your class of vessel under the Marine Safety Act.
- A person must not operate a recreational vessel (including personal water crafts) or hire and drive vessel at a speed or in a manner which is dangerous to the public, birds and marine animals.
For more information about the rules at particular waterways, visit Transport Safety Victoria’s interactive waterway map.
For more information about staying safe on the water, go to our Water Smarts page.