Operating Rules:

  1. All State of Illinois and US Coast Guard rules and regulations apply to all water craft operated on the Little Swan Lake at all time. Some of these are reiterated below for emphasis.
  2. ■ Those participating in motorized water sports must wear Coast Guard approved life-preserving devices. (State Law)
  3. ■ Motorized water sports shall be permitted from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. (State Law)
  4. ■ No skier shall ski or attempt to ski with tow bar placed around the neck.
  5. ■ Motorized water sports are restricted to area between the Dam and NO WAKE buoys.
  6. ■ All boaters must respect the NO WAKE zone west of the NO WAKE buoys.
  7. ■ All persons shall be COMPLETELY inside the boat while riding. No standing or sitting on decks, seat backs, or gunnels is permitted when the watercraft is underway. THIS WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.
  8. ■ Speedboats and participants are required to stay at least 100 feet from other boats, docks, and shorelines, except when beaching or leaving shore or dock.
  9. ■ Two persons are required to be aboard a boat when engaged in towing any person participating in a water sport. (Sec. 15, Illinois Regulations)
  10. ■ Ski boat operators are advised not to trail tow ropes in the water except when returning for a fallen skier. Other boaters are cautioned against crossing the ski boat’s wake closer than 100 feet to the boat. Each boat operator is responsible for his/her own dropped loose skis.
  11. ■ Allow up to 2 tow ropes and a maximum of up to 3 persons in any combination of up to 2 towables built to accompany such.
  12. ■ Children 13 years old and under must wear a life jacket when in a boat that is not tied to a dock.
    ■Boat traffic shall be in counter-clockwise pattern.
  13. ■ State law places restrictions on motorboat operators between the ages of 12 and 17. Such persons must operate the boat under the supervision of a parent, guardian or someone at least 18 years old that has been designated by a parent, or must hold a Boating Certificate issued by the State Department of Natural Resources. Such certificates can be earned by taking an 8 hour boating safety course approved by the department, and offered by organizations, school systems and volunteers throughout the state. The new law also bars anyone age 9 or under from operating a motorboat, and requires anyone at 10 or 11 to have a parent, guardian or someone over age 18 aboard.
  14. ■ There will be NO BOATING on the lake when it is at or above flood stage.
  15. ■ Guest watercraft of any type are NOT PERMITTED at any time.


The State of Illinois requires all powered watercraft (motorized and sail) operating on Little Swan Lake be registered with the Department of Natural Resources. Little Swan Lake Club also requires all boats, both powered and non-powered, to be registered and decaled by the Club.

  1. The boating committee will review applications for registration of motorized boats when all of the following information is received.
    1. ■ A COMPLETED registration application (including answering all Yes/No questions).
    2. ■ A copy of the applicant’s current state registration card when applicable.
    3. ■ If any false information has been supplied for the purpose of registering a boat not meeting the rules, the member supplying the false information will be suspended from lake privileges for that boat for the entire season.
  2. ■ No boat requiring the club’s decal shall be launched until that Little Swan Lake decal has been obtained AND affixed to the boat. The committee will meet once a week to review all pending applications. If a boat meets the requirements for registration approval, a permanent season decal will be mailed to the applicant. The boat committee reserves the right to inspect any boat before or after a permanent season decal is issued if questions arise regarding the boat falling within size and horsepower rules. Any current member whose dues are paid may request an inspection of any boat for good cause. The request must be made in writing and state the reason for cause.

  3. Size and power restrictions are as follows:

Boat Type

Maximum length

Maximum Outboard Horsepower

Maximum I/O
and Inboard Horsepower

Speed, Pleasure, cuddy, sail, ski or fishing

19.5 feet



Deck boat

22 feet




28 feet



No permanent enclosed structures are allowed on the deck. Current marine standards apply.

  1. ■ No air boats, jet boats, houseboats or personal watercraft are permitted.
  2. ■ No homemade boats are permitted without consent of the boat committee as to structural content and material. Homemade pontoon boats must be constructed on commercially manufactured, Coast Guard approved aluminum pontoons.
  3. ■ All boats must have a Little Swan Lake Club decal. Annual Fee for registration is $15 for each motorized boat and $5 for each non-motorized watercraft.
  4. Boat trailers, pontoons, and boats registered with a valid and current LSL Club sticker can be placed temporarily on unimproved lots from April 1st through October 31st each year. Items placed as described must be moved or trimmed around often enough to prevent weed growth and they must be removed from the lot from November 1st through March 31st each year. Unregistered boats and trailers, campers, or recreational vehicles shall not be allowed on unimproved lots or Club outlots at any time. The Little Swan Lake Board of Directors shall notify owners of lots with violations by registered letter, asking that the said object be removed within 30 days. If not removed, the owners will lose lake privileges and be fined $100 per month until removed. Failure to remove the object within a period of three months after receipt of notice shall subject the owners to legal proceedings for collection of fines and/or removal of the object at the direction of the Board of Directors. Costs for removal and storage of the object will be the responsibility of the owner.