First inspections planned for Aug. 2-3 at lake, with others to follow

Preparing for the opening of Diamond Valley Lake in early October, Metropolitan Water District scheduled the first two dates in a series of boat inspections planned in August at locations throughout Southern California.

The initial inspections will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 2-3 near the Diamond Valley Lake Visitor’s Center, located on the lake’s east end in Hemet in southwest Riverside County. Other inspections are planned for the San Fernando Valley, the Inland Empire/north Orange County/east Los Angeles County area, and San Diego County. Dates and locations will be announced.

All boats—power boats, fishing boats, sailboats, rowboats, kayaks, canoes and certain types of catamarans—and respective engines must pass inspection and be registered to be allowed on the lake, which opens Oct. 3. Once Diamond Valley Lake opens, the same boating requirements and rules will be enforced at nearby Lake Skinner.

“Boaters who don’t want to be left at the dock at Diamond Valley Lake should avoid the rush and make sure they have their boats examined at one of these upcoming inspections,” said Jill T. Wicke, Metropolitan’s manager of water system operations.

Metropolitan’s policy at both lakes will prohibit swimming, personal water craft, water skiing, float tubes or body contact of any kind. Boats powered by humans, sail or electric motors are allowed.

“Although many people are anxious to enjoy the boating and fishing at Diamond Valley Lake, they also must recognize, first and foremost, that the lake is a drinking water source for 18 million Southern Californians,” Wicke said. “In providing recreation at DVL, our main obligation is to protect water quality and guard the health and safety of the public.”

During the inspections, which will take less than 15 minutes to complete in most cases, engines must meet MWD-specified requirements and boats, including kayaks and canoes, must meet minimum length and width specifications before being registered by Metropolitan. If a boat passes inspection, owners will be issued yellow or red MWD-specific decals that must be displayed on the craft.

The Diamond Valley Lake Visitor’s Center is located along Newport Road, just west of the State Street intersection in Hemet.

Under rules adopted by Metropolitan’s board of directors, boats with four-stroke or direct-fuel-injection, two-stroke combustion engines are allowed. In addition, the rules allow combustion engines that comply with the California Air Resources Control Board’s 2001 or later model spark-ignition marine engine standard (or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2006 equivalent). Traditional carbureted or electronic fuel injected (EFI) two-stroke engines are prohibited. EFI four-stroke engines are acceptable. Metropolitan’s specifications call for boats to be at least 12 feet long, 42 inches wide, and have 12 inches of freeboard at idle speed. Touring and recreation-style kayaks are required to be at least 10 feel long with seating for all passengers. Sit-on-top kayaks are prohibited. Catamarans and other multi-hulled boats must have solid and fixed decking.

The speed limit for all watercraft on DVL is 25 miles per hour. The maximum speed for boats within 200 feet of the shoreline, dams and other operational structures is 5 mph. At Lake Skinner, the speed limit is 10 mph, while the maximum speed for boats within 100 feet of the shore, dams, structures and marinas is 5 mph.