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The CLA has published a new Official Boating Safety Map of Charleston Lake, as part of its ongoing Boater Awareness of Safety System (BASS) program. The map was developed by a
committee of CLA board members, working with professional cartographers and graphic designers.


“Over the years, there have been many maps of the lake, but none that has provided the level of detailed marine and navigational information that boaters need to operate safely on the lake,” said Nicole Rozario, who is the CLA lead for the map project. The CLA team has extensively consulted more than 10 existing maps of the lake, published from 1899 to 2005, cross-referencing place names and other features around the lake.

The new map is printed on waterproof and tearproof paper, and shows water depths, shoal markers, and slow speed zones. The back side is filled with useful information on boating safety rules, local wildlife, prominent features around the lake and small


A free copy of the map will be sent to all CLA members with the Spring 2022 Newsletter. The map will also be available for sale at local marinas and retail outlets.

The volunteer CLA committee included Rozario, Mary Mansworth, Michael McAdoo, Rocci Pagnello, and John Webster. The map project, including cartography, design, and production,
was supported by a financial contribution from Transport Canada under the Boating Safety Contribution Program (BSCP).


Click here for PDF of the map

Click here for PDF of back of map


Great news!  The Charleston Lake Association Boater Awareness and Safety Initiative made it into the October 2021 issue of Cottage Life.  See article


In the summer of 2021, CLA launched a major new initiative aimed at reducing boat speed and noise and promoting safe boating etiquette.  As part of this initiative, CLA conducted a Boater Awareness survey which 294 people answered, 45% via the CLA website and 55% via in-person interviews at the three boat launches on Charleston Lake. The key findings are: 

  1. Survey Respondent: 82% of the Website respondents were lake residents (e.g. full time residents, seasonal residents, cottagers) whereas 55% of the dock respondents were day visitors (e.g. 40% visiting Anglers, 15% day users).

  2. Boat Usage: The website respondents were slightly more frequent users of boats

  3. Boat Speed: Significantly more Website respondents indicated that boat speed was a major / minor problem (63%) vs 40% for dock respondents. When asked what the legal speed limit within 30 meters of shore, over 75% of all respondents answered correctly.

  4. Boat Noise: Over 80% of the respondents of both groups did not know the rules on boat noise.

  5. Boat Wake: Damage to shoreline, docks and other boats: 47% of the dock respondents indicated that boat wake was not a problem to the shoreline, docks and other boats.

  6. Endangers wildlife: The website respondents were more sensitive to boat wake endangering wildlife (82%) vs 44% for dock respondents.

Click here for survey results


In the Summer of 2021, the CLA launched a major new initiative aimed at reducing boat speed and noise, and to promote safe boating etiquette.   The initiative, known as BASS (Boater Awareness and Safety System), will have five key elements:  ​

  • Improved signage at public boat ramps (Click here to see sign)

  • Traditional media (e.g. CLA member newsletter)

  • Web-based media (e.g. Boating section on CLA website)

  • Collateral material (e.g. educational pamphlets and plasticized map)

  • Youth programs (e.g. boating safety modules via CLA summer camp)

“For many years now, about 80% of the complaints we get as an Association are related to boat noise, speed, and wake,” said CLA President Bill Hallam, “and while it is up to Transport Canada and the OPP to enforce the law, we certainly have the moral authority to promote safe and respectful boating.”


Charleston Lake is not alone in seeing an increase in faster, noisier boats.  And more recently, wake boats have become more common, and when operated close to shore can cause significant shoreline erosion, and damage to wildlife such as Loon nests.  The BASS initiative aims to increase boater awareness of the different Federal and Provincial laws that govern the use of powered and unpowered watercraft, and build awareness of how operators can enjoy their boats while considering the interest of other users and residents of the lake, including wildlife.

CLA is especially proud that the BASS Initiative was selected from among dozens of applications from across Canada to receive financial support from Transport Canada’s Boating Safety Contribution Program. This contribution will off set a significant portion of the costs of the initiative. Transport Canada article


The BASS initiative was developed by a committee of the CLA Board, chaired by John Webster.  Other members included Steve Arthur, Bill Hallam, Michael McAdoo, and Rocci Pagnello.  Said Webster: “Our committee looked at several different ideas, and then decided that we needed to take a systematic approach that would reach boaters in several ways,”  Watch for new signs to go up at the main boat launches by early Summer, along with more and better information on the CLA Website, as well as at local marinas and shops.


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