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Ask the Chrome Catchers

Have a question you want answered? Ask the Chrome Catchers!


Nathan asks:
"I want to use my big boat that has a 60 HP main motor on a lake that is restricted to 9.9 HP motors. My kicker motor is a 6 HP motor. Can I use my boat on this restricted lake if I only run my 6 HP motor?"

Thanks for the question, Nathan. This is a very good question, and one that I have wondered myself but have never took the time to research.


I also have an interest in this since I too have a boat that I would like to use in certain lakes if I am allowed.


It is time for a little research!

BC lake engine size restriction

The first place I looked was the freshwater fishing synopsis. As I went over the information on "engine power restrictions" I began to believe that maybe you can have the bigger motor as long as you don't run it, but it was still a little unclear to me. I ran the information by my wife and she was on the opposite side of the interpretation believing that it meant that you can not have the motor on a restricted lake, period.

While looking at the synopsis I noticed a note that said "most boating regulations are the responsibility of Government of Canada, Marine Transportation. They are published here as a courtesy to anglers but, due to space limitations, may not be complete."

After reading that, I decided to ask the question to both Transport Canada's office of boating Safety, and also the Fish and Wildlife Branch.

Transport Canada responded with: "Unfortunately, the regulation states that if the vessel is even equipped with a motor greater than the specified horsepower rating , it cannot be operated in these waters. In order for you take take the vessel into these waters and not be subject to fines/charges, the motor would need to be removed."

The Fish and Wildlife Branch responded with: "If there is a body of water that has an engine power restriction Transport Canada has advised us that their interpretation of the VORR is that regardless of operation, it is an offence to possess a motor on a boat that exceeds the maximum allowed. For example, if you are on a water body that has a 7.5 kW (10 hp) engine restriction you cannot have a 25 hp engine on the boat even if it will not be used."


The responses left no grey. You can NOT be in possesion of a motor that has a higher power rating than that of the restriction on the lake.

A tuff day at the office.jpg
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