This information is copied from the Columbus City Code Title 9.

921.01-1 Vessels and Operations on Waterways.

(A) In all waterways of the city except Griggs, O'Shaughnessy and Hoover Reservoirs and the downtown Scioto River Pool or as otherwise authorized by this chapter, no person shall operate any vessel of:

  1. Less than eight (8) feet or more than twenty-two (22) feet in length or;
  2. Less than thirty-six (36) inches in beam or;
  3. Less than fifty (50) pounds in weight;
  4. More than ten (10) horsepower.

(B) Canoes, kayaks, rowing shells, pedal boats and inflatable watercraft bearing a Hull Identification Number (HIN) recognized by the United States Coast Guard as vessels and watercraft are permitted and specifically exempted from the length, beam and weight requirements.


(C) No watercraft shall operate beyond the safety cable at those dams where safety cables have been installed. In those areas where there are no safety cables, no vessel shall operate within one hundred (100) feet of any dam. No vessel shall be operated within one hundred (100) feet of the downriver side of any dam.


(D) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person shall operate any motorized vessel on any waterways of the city at a speed exceeding idle speed within a distance of one hundred (100) feet of the shorelines.


(E) No person shall swim or wade in any waterways of the city, except as a means of rescue, nor allow a minor, who is in custodial care, to swim or wade. This section shall not prohibit wading for the purpose of fishing.


(F) Personal watercraft, which are classified by the Coast Guard as small Class A-1 or A-2 vessels and which use, as their primary source of mechanical power, an inboard or outboard motor powering a jet pump, and which are designed to be operated by a person in a sitting, standing, or kneeling position rather than that of the conventional manner of either sitting or standing inside the vessel, are prohibited on all city controlled waterways.


(G) No person shall operate any motorized vessel on waterways of the city at a speed exceeding ten (10) miles per hour between sunset and sunrise.


(H) Between the dates of November 30 of each year to April 1 of the following year, all vessels must be removed from all stakes, boat docks, sailboat moorings and waterways. Any vessel found unattended in any waterways of the city or park controlled by the city of Columbus between the dates as specified in this paragraph will be considered abandoned by the owner and will be impounded by a law enforcement officer and will be subject to provisions as set forth elsewhere in this chapter.


(I) Sailboarding for the purpose of this chapter shall be limited to those sailboats without a rigidly affixed mast and which meet all the other requirements of this chapter.


(J) No person shall engage or attempt to engage in any sailboard activity without wearing an adequate and effective Coast Guard approved type one, two or three personal floatation device in good and serviceable condition and of appropriate size, or a jacket or harness specifically manufactured for sailboarding, and which provides for positive buoyancy in the water.


(K) This section shall not be construed or interpreted so as to prevent or prohibit boating on waterways of the city between the dates of November 30 of each year and April 1 of the following year, except in restricted areas, provided that the vessel is not stored on city property and is immediately removed from the waterway after use. (Ord. 805.05-1 (part).)

921.01-2 Vessels and Operations on the Downtown Scioto River Pool.

(A) Unless otherwise authorized by this chapter no person shall operate in the downtown Scioto River Pool from one hundred (100) feet south of the intake dam opposite the Dublin Road Pumping Station, south to the safety cable at the Main Street Dam and from one hundred (100) feet south of the Main Street Dam to the safety cable at the Scioto River Park Dam (Greenlawn Dam), and north on the Olentangy River to the Goodale Avenue Bridge, any vessel of:

  1. Less than eight (8) feet or more than twenty-two (22) feet in length or;
  2. Less than thirty-six (36) inches in beam or;
  3. Less than fifty (50) pounds in weight;
  4. More than ten (10) horsepower.

(B) Canoes, kayaks, rowing shells, pedal boats and inflatable watercraft bearing a Hull Identification Number (HIN) and recognized by the United States Coast Guard as vessels and watercraft are permitted and specifically exempted from the length, beam and weight requirements.


(C) No person shall operate any motorized vessel in this area at a speed greater than ten (10) miles per hour.


(D) No person shall operate any motorized vessel at a speed exceeding idle speed within a distance of one hundred (100) feet of the shorelines. (Ord. 805.05-1 (part).)

921.01-3 Vessels and Operations in Griggs Reservoir.

ODNR Map of Griggs Reservoir

(A) Unless otherwise authorized in this chapter, no person shall operate in Griggs Reservoir any vessel of:

  1. Less than eight (8) feet or more than twenty-two (22) feet in length or;
  2. Less than thirty-six (36) inches in beam or;
  3. Less than fifty (50) pounds in weight;
  4. More than ten (10) horsepower.


(B) Exceptions: Canoes, kayaks, rowing shells, pedal boats and inflatable watercraft bearing a Hull Identification Number (HIN) and recognized by the United States Coast Guard as vessels and watercraft are permitted and are specifically exempted from the length, beam and weight requirements provided;

  1. Rowing shells are permitted during the months of May through September on weekdays from one (1) hour before sunrise until sunset and on weekends and holidays from one (1) hour before sunrise until 10:00 a.m. Rowing shells are permitted at all times during the months of October through April on all days of the week. Rowing shells will be operated parallel to the shoreline at a distance no greater than one hundred (100) feet except that north of the Hayden Run Bridge rowing shells will be operated no greater than fifty (50) feet of the shoreline. Rowing shells longer than forty-five (45) feet will not be permitted north of the Hayden Run Road Bridge. There will be four (4) crossing areas and rowing shells will utilize only those areas designated for crossing.

  2. The crossing areas will be:

  3. (a) The no wake zone south of buoy number one (1).

    (b) Between the north side of the Fishinger Road Bridge and buoy number three (3).

    (c) At buoy number four (4) (Fishermans Wall). Rowing shells will not stop within the open zone when crossing.

    (d) Between buoy number five (5) and the south side of the Hayden Run Road Bridge.

  4. The rowing shell course shall be:

    (a) Northbound shells leaving the west side boathouse shall immediately assume a course on the west side of the river to the Fishinger Road Bridge. Shells launching on the east side, shall cross to the west side in the no wake zone south of buoy number one (1) to begin the course and use the same route when returning.

    (b) Northbound on the east side of the river from the Fishinger Road Bridge to the Hayden Run Road Bridge.

    (c) Northbound on the west side of the river between Hayden Run Road Bridge and the Griggs Park northern boundary line approximately two hundred (200) feet south Rt. 161.

    (d) Southbound or returning shells shall hug the west bank all the way back to the boathouse.

  5. Canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and inflatable watercraft shall operate parallel to the shoreline at a distance no greater than fifty (50) feet from the shoreline in all areas parallel and adjacent to an open zone except for the safe operation around a navigational hazard. There will be two (2) crossing areas and canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and inflatable watercraft will utilize only those areas designated for crossing.

    (a) The crossing areas will be:

    (1) Within one hundred (100) feet either side of the Fishinger Road Bridge.

    (2) Within one hundred (100) feet either side of the Hayden Run Road Bridge.

    (b) Canoes, kayaks, rowing shells, pedal boats and inflatable watercraft will not operate on the east side of the river between buoy number six (6) and buoy number seven (7).
(C) Operations of sailboats and sailboards are prohibited.


(D) The waterway from the safety cables north of the dam shall be open to boating at all times.


(E) Motorized vessel operations, zones, and their speed limits shall be:

  1. From the safety cables north of the dam to buoy number one (1), motorized vessels shall be operated at idle speed;
  2. From buoy number one (1) to buoy number two (2), on the eastern half of the river, motorized vessels shall be operated at idle speed, and on the western half, motorized vessels shall be operated at a speed not to exceed forty (40) miles per hour;
  3. The speed limit from buoy number two (2) north to buoy number three (3) is idle speed;
  4. The speed limit from buoy number three (3) north to buoy number five (5) is forty (40) miles per hour.
  5. The speed limit from buoy number five (5) north to buoy number six (6) is idle speed.
  6. The speed limit from buoy number six (6) north to buoy number seven (7) shall be forty (40) miles per hour, except within the eastern two-thirds (2/3) of the waterways when skiing is being conducted, no motorized vessel, which is not actively engaged in towing water-skiers shall be operated at a speed exceeding idle speed;
  7. The speed limit from buoy number seven (7) north to two hundred (200) feet south of Rt.161 shall be idle speed.

(F) Water-skiing will be permitted only between buoy number three (3) to buoy number five (5) and between buoy number six (6) to buoy number seven (7).


(G) The eastern two-thirds (2/3) of the waterway, from buoy number six (6) to buoy number seven (7) is designated as a water sports practice and tournament zone, with a ski jump area on the eastern portion thereof as well as a slalom course.


(H) No person shall operate any motorized vessel at a speed exceeding idle speed within a distance of one hundred (100) feet of the shorelines. (Ord. 805.05-1 (part).)

921.01-5 Vessels and Operations in O'Shaughnessy Reservoir.

ODNR Map of O'Shaughnessy Reservoir

(A) Unless otherwise authorized by this chapter, no person shall operate in O'Shaughnessy Reservoir any vessel of:

  1. Less than eight (8) feet or more than twenty-two (22) feet in length or;
  2. Less than thirty-six (36) inches in beam or;
  3. Less than fifty (50) pounds in weight;
  4. More than ten (10) horsepower.


(B) Exceptions: Canoes, kayaks, rowing shells, pedal boats and inflatable watercraft bearing a Hull Identification Number (HIN) and recognized by the United States Coast Guard as vessels and watercraft are permitted and are specifically exempted from the length, beam and weight requirements;

(C) The above exempted vessels are permitted provided that:

  1. Rowing shells are permitted during the months of May through September on weekends and holidays from one (1) hour before sunrise until 10:00 a.m. Rowing shells are permitted on all other days of the year from sunrise until sunset. Rowing shells will be operated parallel to the shoreline at a distance no greater than one hundred (100) feet except that between buoy number four (4) and buoy number five (5) rowing shells will be operated no greater than fifty (50) feet from the shoreline. Rowing shells will utilize only those areas designated for crossing.
  2. Crossing areas will be:
    (a) The No Wake areas.
    (b) Just south of buoy number four (4).
  3. Canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and inflatable watercraft shall operate parallel to the shoreline at a distance not greater than fifty (50) feet from the shoreline in all areas parallel and adjacent to an open zone, except for the safe operation around navigational hazards.

  4. Canoes, kayaks, rowing shells, pedal boats and inflatable watercraft will not operate on the east side of the river between buoy number four (4) and buoy number five (5) Tournament Water-ski Zone.
  5. Canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and inflatable watercraft may operate anywhere within the posted no wake zones.
  6. The designated canoe, kayak, pedal boat and inflatable watercraft crossing shall be between buoy number two (2) and buoy number three (3).

(D) Board type sailboats without rigidly affixed masts, referred to as Sailboards are permitted in the area from the safety cable at the dam north to buoy number one (1).


(E) The waterway north of the safety cable north of the dam shall be open to boating at all times.


(F) Vessel operations, zones, and speed limits shall be:

  1. From the safety cable north of the dam north to buoy number one (1) is a designated sailboat area and all sailboats shall stay south of buoy number one (1) on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
    (a) Exception: Sailboats launching or docked south of Home Road may sail in a path as direct as possible to and from the designated sailing area south of buoy number one (1).
  2. The speed limit in the area known as Eversole Run and Twin Lakes shall be no wake, idle speed.
  3. The speed limit between buoy number one (1) and buoy number two (2) shall be forty (40) miles per hour and is designated as an open zone;
  4. The speed limit between buoy number two (2) and buoy number three (3) shall be no wake, idle speed;
  5. The speed limit between buoy number three (3) and buoy number four (4) shall be forty (40) miles per hour and is designated as an open zone;
  6. The speed limit between buoy number four (4) and buoy number five (5) shall be forty (40) miles per hour except within the eastern two-thirds (2/3) of the waterway when skiing is being conducted, no vessel, which is not actively engaged in towing water-skiers, shall be operated at a speed greater than no wake, idle speed;
  7. The speed limit north of buoy number five (5) shall be no wake, idle speed.

[Note: The source material goes from F to E like this.]

(E) Water-skiing will be permitted only between buoy number one (1) and buoy number two (2) and between buoy number three (3) and buoy number five (5).


(F) The eastern two-thirds (2/3) of the waterway between buoy number four (4) and buoy number five (5) is designated as a water sports practice and tournament zone with a ski jump area on the eastern portion thereof as well as a slalom course.


(G) No person shall operate any motorized vessel at a speed exceeding idle speed within a distance of one hundred (100) feet of the shoreline. (Ord. 805.05-1 (part).)