Chester Water Authority Fishing and Boating Regulations For the Octoraro Reservoir

Fishing Headquarters
212 Spruce Grove Road
Kirkwood, PA  17536

The Octoraro Reservoir and its surrounding properties are owned by the Chester Water Authority (CWA). The purpose of the reservoir is public water supply. We are pleased to offer to you the use of the lake for outdoor recreation. All that we ask in return is that you respect our rules for its use and do your part to help maintain its beauty.


Use of a private boat on the Reservoir is at the sole risk and under the sole responsibility of the owner or operator. CWA will not be responsible for damage to, nor loss of any of your property, and shall be held harmless from all claims.


Please note the restricted areas on the lake and shoreline that are shown on the map of the Octoraro Reservoir. This is for your safety.

Safety First!

Safety is your responsibility! Please take the extra time and be careful. Enjoy your time at the reservoir. The depths indicated for the lake are taken when the lake elevation is at its peak. There are seasonal conditions that will cause the lake level to be lower. This will change the depths indicated on the map.


The map indicates the public access areas (in yellow outline) and restricted areas (in black outline) of the reservoir shoreline. It also shows the location of the Fishing Headquarters facility. 


Please obey the restricted areas on the lake and shoreline. There is a line of buoys marking the area of the lake that is restricted. DO NOT GO BEYOND THIS LINE. There is a spillway that creates a dangerous current.


For boat access to the lake, you must use the ramps at the Fishing Headquarters. Bait, tackle, boat rentals, and snacks are available at the concession stand located at the Fishing Headquarters; there are also trash receptacles and toilet facilities for your convenience.

General Rules
All PA regulations regarding fishing and boating are enforced.

Fishing is permitted from boats and from the shores of the reservoir where allowed by the Chester Water Authority (CWA). See map for restricted areas. Boats are not allowed to beach on the shores of the lake.


Boat access is from the Fishing Headquarters only. Rules are as follows:

  • boats must be a minimum of 10 feet in length.

  • oars or electric motors only (no gasoline motors).

  • no more than one person per seat is allowed in a boat.

  • minimum age of an occupant is 18 unless accompanied by an adult.

  • one personal floatation device per occupant is required (seat cushions are not acceptable). Children under 12 must wear the PFD at all times.

  • canoes are not permitted.

Each boat and its equipment will be inspected for conformity to the above requirements. If acceptable, it will be issued a number that must be placed on the bow. 


Camping and campfires are not permitted.


No alcoholic beverages are permitted on the property. CWA reserves the right to inspect containers.

Swimming is not permitted.

Dogs, horses, and other domestic animals are prohibited.

Cutting, damaging, or removing any wild plant is prohibited.

Hunting or the use or possession of firearms is not permitted.

CWA reserves the right to close access to the lake if unsafe conditions exist. The Octoraro Reservoir is not a flood control facility. Be advised that severe storms will cause unpredictable and unsafe conditions. In the event of storms all boats must leave the water.


Rowboat launching – Daily $  3.00

Rowboat docking – Monthly $15.00

Rowboat docking – Weekly $  6.75

Rowboat rental – Hourly $  2.50

(Rentals contingent upon favorable weather conditions)

There is a provision for limited docking and storage at the lake. See concessionaire for more details.

Fishing Headquarters opens the first day of trout season in April and closes October 31. Fishing is permitted from 6:00 am to 8:30 pm.

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