Rules & Regulations



Permitted Activities

Hiking – Nature Study – Wildlife Observation-Wildlife Observation   NOTE: Hiking is permitted on Marked/Blazed trails only.

Fishing – From boats and shoreline, except from the shoreline of the Environmental Preserve and other restricted areas, including from boat ramp docks and boat launch ramp area.

Boating – fishing boats, sail boats, row boats and canoes must be at least 11.6 feet in length.All boats must be launched from the Boat Ramp area ONLY

  • A full list of boating and fishing rules is available.
  • All public vessels shall move at a NO WAKE speed
  • ONLY Electric motors ( 5 horsepower max) are acceptable.
  • There is NO use of gas-powered motors on a public vessel ever, that includes power loading or charging of electric motors.
  • NO boat is to plane EVER on the water.
  • Rigging within the boat launch area is NOT allowed ever.

VERY IMPORTANT: Due to repeated violations regarding the use of gas power motors by visitors on the water at Merrill Creek Reservoir that were not emergency situations-Merrill creek Reservoir is considering implementing a mandatory removal of engine propellers from vessels with built-in fuel tanks prior to launching. Please abide by the rules of not using gas power motors ANYWHERE on the water at Merrill Creek, including power loading or charging of electric motors, as your actions will determine the outcome of this decision. Keep Merrill Creek safe and fun for EVERYONE.

Kayaks – must be at least 9 feet in length. NOTE: Paddleboard/kayak combos are Prohibited.

Inflatables – must be a minimum of 10 feet in length and have at least 3 air chambers.

Hunting – restricted hunting under the auspices of the established hunting club, the Merrill Creek Conservation and Sportsmen Association (MCCSA).

Cross-Country Skiing


Dogs and other pets are permitted outdoors only and MUST be leashed at ALL times.


Prohibited Activities

  • Swimming – Wading – SCUBA diving – Snorkeling
  • Photographing any of the facility structures
  • Water skiing – Board sailing – Jet skiing – Stand up paddle boarding or any modified versions of paddleboards 
  • Wind Surfing
  • Tubing or other use of water flotation devices
  • Picnicking – Camping – Sports activities
  • Any activity on ice
  • Snowmobiling
  • Vehicles of any kind off paved areas
  • Bicycles off paved areas
  • Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages or illegal substances or possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Commercial groups or activities
  • Collecting, picking or disturbing plants or wildlife
  • Feeding wildlife
  • Fires of any kind
  • Radios, tape or record players, or other sound-producing devices unless used with earphones
  • Smoking, except in parking areas and on the water
  • Firearms, bow and arrow, or other weapons, except for hunting permitted under the auspices of the MCCSA
  • Archaeological activities, including metal detectors
  • Radio-controlled model airplanes, cars, boats and drones
  • Fireworks and other explosives
  • Skateboards or roller skates
  • Sledding
  • Horses
  • Climbing on structures or trees
  • Protesting or picketing – Soliciting
  • Posting or distributing signs or literature


Restricted Areas

No walking, climbing, docking or other access on or at:

  • All parts of the Main Dam and its instrument access stairway, with the exception that walking on the roadways across the top is permitted.
  • All parts of the three Dikes, with the exception that walking on the roadways across the top is permitted.
  • Stoned areas at the bottom of the outside slope of the Main Dam and the Dikes.
  • Inlet/Outlet Tower and its bridge.
  • Fenced areas posted “Restricted Area.”
  • Other areas that are posted with temporary restrictions.