Rules & Regulations


This information is designed to cover the most commonly asked questions. It does not cover all of the regulations which govern the use of the City's facilities at Lake Lawtonka or Lake Ellsworth. Should you have further questions, please contact an enforcement officer, or a Lake Division representative.

Life Preservers
Personal Flotation Device (P.F.D.)

·         All vessels must have a U.S.C.G. approved P.F.D. on board for each occupant. The P.F.D. must be in good and serviceable condition, and of the size suitable to the person who is or will be wearing it.

·         A ski belt is not a U.S.C.G. approved P.F.D.

·         All persons 12 years of age or younger must wear a P.F.D. while the vessel is underway.

·         All operators and passengers of a vessel less than 12 feet in length must wear a P.F.D. at all times. A U.S.C.G. approved throwable P.F.D. must be aboard each vessel.


·         Night time speed limit 35 mph.

·         Idle speed only within 75 feet of the shoreline, within 50 feet of another vessel, in posted no wake zones, and within 50 feet of boat ramps, docks, piers, or anchored or moored vessels.

·         Do not sit or ride on the sides of a vessel, covered bow or the back of any seat, or stand while under way at any speed greater than idle or trolling speed; unless the vessel is specifically designed for standing.

·         No vessel shall be operated within 100 yards from any dam structure on any lake.

·         No vessel shall be left unattended except when attached to the bank of the lake.

·         No vessel shall be moored or attached to any waterway marker or municipally owned buoy.


·         Sailboats, rowboats, and other non-powered vessels have the right-of-way over powered vessels.

·         When approaching at right angles, the vessel approaching on the right side has the right-of-way.

·         One vessel may overtake another on either side but shall grant right-of-way to the overtaken vessel.

·         Any vessel meeting another vessel shall stay to the right of the other vessel.


·         No person under 12 years of age may solely operate a personal water craft.

·         Personal water craft must be equipped and operated as any other powered vessel in its class, (e.g. You must have a sounding device, horn or whistle).

·         All operators and passengers must wear a U.S.C.G. approved personal flotation device.

·         You can not stand up while operating your personal water craft at greater than idle speed unless your craft is designed to be operated standing up. (If it has a seat, it is not designed for stand up operation.)


·         When towing a person with a vessel you must have a spotter, in addition to the vessel operator, who is at least 8 years of age and in a position to observe the progress of the person being towed.

·         If the towing vessel is equipped with an efficient wide angle convex rear view mirror, a spotter is not required.

·         All towing of persons shall be in a circular counterclockwise manner (left turn only). Towing of persons is not allowed at night.

·         Towing of persons is allowed within the area marked by buoys only.

·         Persons being towed must wear a U.S.C.G. approved personal flotation device.


·         Pets are not permitted to enter the water and must be on a leash.

·         Glass beverage containers of any type are prohibited.

·         Intoxicating (liquor) beverages are prohibited at all City owned or operated lakes.

·         Nonintoxicating (3.2% beer) beverages are permitted at Lake Lawtonka and Lake Ellsworth only.


·         Swimming is permitted at your own risk.

·         Persons swimming from the shoreline must stay within 75 feet of the shoreline.

·         Persons swimming from an anchored vessel must stay within 50 feet of the vessel. A person over 17 years of age must remain aboard the vessel.

·         Persons swimming with an air mattress, innertube or similar device must stay within 50 feet of the shoreline. Swimming is prohibited: Within 300 feet from the dam; Within the boat house areas and launch areas; and Within 300 feet of the South shoreline of Lake Lawtonka from School House Slough to 300 feet west of the dam.

·         Scuba diving is prohibited at all City owned lakes.


·         Camping is permitted at commercial locations and designated City campsites.

·         If you wish to camp at a City campsite, simply setup at any vacant site and a fee collector will come by to collect the fee and answer any questions.

·         When not at a commercial or City designated campsite, no person shall loiter, camp or otherwise occupy any area within 60 feet of the high-water line of any Lawton lake between 11:00 P.M. and daylight unless such person is continuously, actively and in good faith engaged in fishing.


·         Recreational vehicles (e.g. motorcycles, dune buggies, A.T.V.s) may be operated at the Ellsworth R.V. track only.

·         Permits for R.V.s are required.

·         The Ellsworth R.V. track is closed the last Saturday in October through December15th each year.


·         Permits are required for the following and are available at concessionaires:

·         Fishing, Trotlines, Jug lines, Hunting, Duck blinds, Trapping, Boating (all vessels), Skiing, Tubing, Camping, Day Use, Group Use, and Off Road Vehicles.


·         Legal residents of Oklahoma age 64 or older with a State senior's license, and residents age 16 or younger are exempt from permit fees.

·         Legal residents of Oklahoma who are honorably discharged veterans and have a disability of 60% or more are exempt from permit fees.

·         Seniors and disabled veterans may obtain a free "exempt permit" from the Lake Division of Parks and Recreation upon proof of age or disability.

Fishing Poles / Devices

·         No more than 5 rod & reel fishing poles per person.

·         Limb line fishing is prohibited.

·         Seining as a fishing device is prohibited.

·         Seining for bait fish is permitted. A seine for bait fish must be no longer than 15 feet, no wider than 4 feet with the mesh thereof being no larger than 1/4 inch.

·         Throw nets no larger than 8 feet in diameter are permitted for obtaining bait fish only.


·         Trotlines are not permitted in any City owned lakes other than Lake Lawtonka and Lake Ellsworth.

·         No person shall have more than one trotline at any one time.

·         Trotlines shall be attended once every 24 hours (weather permitting).

·         No trotline or any portion thereof shall be placed within 300 feet of the high water line.

·         Trotlines shall be no longer than 300 feet, with no more than 50 hooks.

·         It is illegal to run another person's trotline without written permission.

·         Trotlines shall be placed not less than 6 feet under the surface of the water.

·         Permit tags must be placed at each end of the trotline within 2 feet of the last hook along with a buoy or float.

Jug Lines

·         Lawtonka Jug Line Season; September 15th through April 15th.

·         Ellsworth Jug Line Season; Open year round, however Jug Lines are not permitted in the marked ski area, April 15th through September 15th.

·         No person or family unit may have more than 20 jug lines in use at any time.

·         The jug float can not be larger than 2 liters, it must be non-metallic, non-glass (plastic) and filled with Styrofoam or other buoyant material.

·         All jug lines must be weighted with not less than a 12 ounce weight and placed in such a manner that they will not drift.

·         Each jug line shall have no more than 2 hooks.

·         Each jug line shall be marked with the owner's name and address and shall be numbered consecutively. Jug lines shall be attended once every 24 hours (weather permitting).

·         It is illegal to run another person's jug line(s) without written permission.


·         CATFISH: Blue & Channel - 15 per day any combination. Flathead - 10 per day 20" minimum length.

·         CRAPPIE: White and/or Black - 37 per day.

·         BASS: Largemouth, Spotted & Black - 6 per day any combination 14" minimum length. Smallmouth-1 per day 23" minimum length. White (sand bass) no limits.

·         WALLEYE, SAUGER & SAUGEYE - 5 per day any combination 18" minimum length.