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Shenipsit Lake Reservoir Recreation Program

Recreation is allowed under a permit granted to Connecticut Water from the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) which provides for approved recreational opportunities from the second weekend in April through October 31st with measures to protect the public drinking water source. Shenipsit Lake Reservoir is a public drinking water supply and there are precautions in place to ensure the continuous protection and quality of the water supply source.

The program includes:

  • Fishing from designated shoreline areas
  • Fishing from boats registered and stored at the boat storage area
  • Fishing from registered boats of property owners along the shoreline of Lake Shenipsit Reservoir
  • Hiking on trails around the reservoir

  View the program brochure and trails map here.


2023 Shenipsit Lake Reservoir Recreation Program Information

The 2023 Shenipsit Lake Reservoir Recreation Program will open at sunrise on Saturday, April 8, for the 2023 season. Important dates:

Saturday, 3/25 @ noon – Online Registration

Wednesday, 3/29 – Boat Slip Winners Announcement

Sunday, 4/2 – CLOSED (Palm Sunday)

Saturday, 4/1 @ 1:00 and Mon-Fri 4/3 – 4/7 – Boat Drop Off/Quarantine

Saturday 4/8 – Opening Day

Sunday, 4/9 – CLOSED (Easter Sunday)


Boat storage registration is now open. Click here to register


Thirty (30) boat slots will be made available for residents of the communities surrounding the lake: Ellington, Tolland and Vernon. Twelve (12) additional slots are available for individuals living in or beyond those towns.


The 2023 online registration is a two-step process.

STEP 1: Anyone wishing to register for boat storage will first need to complete the online Boat Registration Application and Agreement, which will include the following fields:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone #
  • 16 Years or Older (Yes or No)
  • CT Fishing License #
  • Driver’s License #
  • Shenipsit Lake Association Member (Yes or No)
  • Connecticut Water Company Employee (Yes or No)
  • Lake Monitor (Yes or No)

Once you submit Step 1 of your application, you are accepting the Boat Storage Agreement and Waiver, which is attached to this email. Once Step 1 is submitted, your place in line will be time-stamped and recorded.


STEP 2: Once you complete and submit the first form described in Step 1, you will be automatically redirected to another online form where you will be prompted to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone #
  • Vessel Type
  • Hull Material
  • Color
  • Boat Make
  • Model No./Name
  • Year Built
  • Length
  • Safe Boating Certificate Number is required if your boat has a motor (only electric motors are allowed on Shenipsit Lake). For more information on Safe Boating Certificates, please visit:
  • Any boat with a motor (only electric motors are allowed) is required to be registered with the State of Connecticut, Department of Motor Vehicles (vessel registration). If your boat is registered, you will need to provide the following information:
    • Vessel Number
    • Hull ID Number
    • Registration Expiration Date

Note: The time it takes you to complete Step 2, will not affect your place in line, which was recorded when you submitted Step 1.

The initial registration will close at midnight on March 26, and the 42 slots will be assigned. All registrants will be notified of the status of their registration request on March 29, and further instructions will be provided for those who received a boat slot. People are encouraged to continue to apply online, as a waiting list will be maintained for those who do not initially receive a slot — if openings become available. Those receiving a boat slot will have an opportunity to deliver their boat to their slot beginning Saturday, April 1 at 1:00 PM.



Registration Process for Shenipsit Lake Shoreline Property Owners 

The annual registration process for the Shenipsit Lake Reservoir shoreline property owner is different than the process for the general public.

If you are a shoreline property owner, please click here for registration.


Recreation Program Permit Conditions 

Please comply by all permit conditions to protect the safety of the Shenipsit Lake Reservoir Water Supply:

  1. The following activities are strictly prohibited:
  • Swimming in the reservoir or any tributaries
  • Wading in the reservoir or any tributaries
  • Littering
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fishing in restricted areas (including buoyed areas around CTWC aerators and intake channel to spillway and treatment plant).
  • Hunting or trapping
  • Pets not leashed on dry land
  • Motors (motor bikes, snowmobiles, motorized vehicles or vessels of any type except boats propelled by electric motors, etc.)
  • Fires
  • Camping
  • Removal of vegetation, animals, or minerals
  • Vendors
  • Carrying or discharge of firearms or dangerous weapons
  • Bicycles
  • Horses
  • Activities of any type, including fishing, on the ice of a frozen reservoir or tributaries
  • Disposal or discharge of wastes or other substances into a reservoir or tributary
  • Cleaning of fish within 250 feet of any waterbody


  1. All persons using CWC land shall:
  • obey all orders and directions of the CWC staff and security
  • remain only in the permitted areas/marked trails within any legal season of the activity and park in designated areas only
  • prior to participating have all required licenses, permits, and any prerequisite training


  1. All body wastes must be disposed of in sanitary facilities.