Dock season runs May 1
through Oct. 31
Public motor boat docks are available at Griggs, O'Shaughnessy, and Hoover Reservoirs. There is also a non-motorized boat (canoes & kayaks) launch area located on Nationwide Blvd. west of Neil Ave. downtown.
ODNR Div. of Wildlife Maps & Information
ODNR Division of Watercraft Boating Info
Please read below for additional boating regulations at City of Columbus Reservoirs
Public Boat Dock Lottery
The 2018 Public Boat Dock Lottery for Hoover Reservoir will be held at 9:00AM on Thursday April 26,
2018. This lottery is for new customers and returning customers that did not obtain a dock permit in 2017. Participants must provide a valid boat registration to obtain a dock permit. Bills of sale will fulfill this requirement until registration is processed. The dock and boat must be in the same name. Participants arriving after 9:00AM will be served after the completion of the lottery.
New customers for Griggs and O'Shaughnessy Reservoirs will be accepted on a first come, first served basis beginning Friday April 27, 2018.
Internal Switch Dates
For dock customers that obtained a dock or stake permit in 2017 and renewed for 2018 before the deadline, if you wish to change your public dock location (either a different slip at the same marina or to switch marinas) we will offer 3 days in which you can request this change. The dates open for moving your slip/marina will be April 23rd – 25th. Please contact us at (614) 645-3337 to see what is available. In addition, the waitlist for Red Bank Marina has been created. If you would like to be added to this list, to have the chance to move to this location when availability allows, let our office know and we will reserve your spot in line.
The Boat Dock Lotteries are held at:
Columbus Recreation and Parks (report to Recreation and Parks Customer Service).
The Jerry Hammond Center
1111 E. Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43205
Public Dock Fees:
$550.00 for Griggs or O'Shaughnessy Reservoirs
$550.00 for Hoover Reservoir
We accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard or Discover.
Stake season runs from April 1
through October 31
Public stakes are available at Hoover Reservoir only.
$130.00 per stake (two stakes are needed for pontoon boats)
New stake customers will be accepted beginning April 1.
Private Docks and Stakes
The permitting of private docks, stakes and moorings is governed by Title 9: "Streets, Parks, and Public Properties Code"; Chapter 921: "Watercraft on Reservoirs" of Columbus City Code.
921.01-8 (L)(1) - Minimum qualifications when applying for a private dock permit: "The applicants property, at a minimum, must be contiguous and parallel to undeveloped city controlled property for one hundred (100) feet" and "must own real property contiguous and parallel to undeveloped city property within two hundred and fifty (250) feet of the ordinary high water mark."
921.01-8 (L)(2) - Minimum qualifications when applying for a private stake permit: "The applicants property, at a minimum, must be contiguous and parallel to undeveloped city controlled property for ten (10) feet" and "must own real property contiguous and parallel to undeveloped city property within two hundred and fifty (250) feet of the ordinary high water mark."
A valid Land Stewardship Plan (LSA) is required to
obtain a Private Dock or Stake Permit. The Department of Public
Utilities, Watershed Management issues LSAs for property owners that live along
all three City of Columbus reservoirs. For additional information on LSAs
and other Watershed Management Programs, please visit /watershed/
Columbus, Ohio Code of Ordinances
Further information and eligibility requirements; please contact us at 614-645-3337.
Maximum Craft Length:
Griggs and O'Shaughnessy: All vessels maximum length is 22'.
Hoover: Power craft maximum length is 22'.
Hoover: Sail craft maximum length is 25'.
Horsepower and Speed Limits:
Griggs and O'Shaughnessy: Unlimited horsepower, 40 mph max.
Hoover: 10 horsepower max., 10 mph max.
Skiing, Swimming, Etc:
Skiing and wakeboarding are permitted at Griggs and O'Shaughnessy Reservoirs.
Jet skis, tubing and swimming are NOT permitted on any City of Columbus Reservoir.
May 1st marks the annual return of boaters to the City of Columbus' three large reservoirs: Grigg's, Hoover and O'Shaughnessy. Although boating occurs year round, a major increase occurs when the three public marinas are open May 1st to October 31st each year for boaters who would rather not trailer their boat to the water every day. These watercraft enthusiasts are able to enjoy the beauty, serenity and recreational options provided by these water resources without any of the normal inconveniences of trailering and launching at public ramps.
The marinas are operated by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department who lease slips for the boating season. A public lottery is held each spring for persons who wish to get a slip, however there are usually enough slips at Grigg's and O'Shaughnessy for interested boaters to get in at any point in the season. Participating in the lottery gives you the chance to get first choice at the location that suits you best. The current rules allow slip holders to continue to renew year after year assuring multiple seasons of boating enjoyment without worrying about not having a spot for your boat the next year.
The marinas provide a terrific opportunity for everyone in the Central Ohio area to enjoy these waterways. Whether you are a fisherman, waterskier, sailboater or pontoon family boater there is a spot on our reservoirs for your enjoyment. Grigg's and O'Shaughnessy are most popular with the power boaters where they can take advantage of the open zones allowing up to 40mph boating. Hoover Reservoir is more popular with sailboaters and pontoon boaters due to its 10 horsepower maximum limit across the entire lake. Before launching a vessel with a motor in excess of 10 horsepower on Hoover Reservoir, which is limited to 10 horsepower and 10mph, the motor must be tilted up and remain tilted while on the reservoir. Motors in excess of 10 horsepower may remain in a non-tilt position provided the prop is removed prior to launch and remains so while on the waterway. This rule is per City of Columbus Ordinance 921.01 and is subject to enforcement by any officer authorized per state code, including State watercraft officers. For questions, please contact the Columbus Department of Public Utilities, Watershed Management Office at (614) 645-1721 or e-mail
Security at the marinas is a common concern of people considering a slip at one of these public areas. The City of Columbus addresses this issue in several ways. First and foremost is to encourage the boat owners to take an active part in this process by not leaving appealing items on their boats to be removed. All of the marina areas are secured with locking gates which have the tumblers changed every season to further increase this safety precaution. On shore lights shine on the docks at night and a watchful vigil is maintained by the Columbus Marine Park Police at Grigg's and the Columbus Watershed Rangers at O'Shaughnessy and Hoover. At all three reservoirs the patrol watercraft are based adjacent to the marinas and the watchful eye of these officers coming and going contributes to the low incidence of problems at the marinas.
For more information on obtaining a dock for your watercraft contact the Recreation and Parks Department at 645-3337.