As the largest lake in the Nebraska/Colorado/Kansas area, Lake McConaughy contains over 30,000 surface acres, making it a favorite with all types of boaters.
What you need to know:
Boat registration: Motorized boats that are currently registered in Nebraska or any other state may be operated at Lake McConaughy. If your boat is newly purchased, you have an “in-transit” period as designated by the state in which you plan to register your boat.
Nebraska does not require non-powered boats to be registered to operate on public waters.
Boat Education: Nebraska law requires anybody born after December 31, 1985, to have completed a boating safety course and have proof of completion in their possession.
Nebraska residents can find classes http://outdoornebraska.gov/boatereducation/ . Non-residents may present proof of completion from their home state.
Boat inspection: In 2016, Nebraska implemented an Aquatic Invasive Species Stamp to fund programs aimed at combating aquatic invasive species. Boaters who register their motorized watercraft in Nebraska will notice a $5 fee added to their three-year boater registration fee. Boaters who register their motorized watercraft in any other state will be required to obtain a $15 Aquatic Invasive Species Stamp each year that they boat in Nebraska. This stamp is available for purchase online. A temporary stamp may be purchased at some state parks and recreation areas.
Nebraska residents: Residents do not need to purchase a separate AIS Stamp. They will pay the AIS fee when they register their boat and provide that proof when affixing the boat registration number on the boat.
Non-residents: The AIS Stamp can be purchased online through the permit system at https://www.gooutdoorsne.com/login; select “Non-Resident Boat AIS Stamp” at the bottom of the permit system page. A temporary stamp may be purchased at some state parks and recreation areas.
Boat ramp availability can vary through the year due to water level fluctuations. Check with the park headquarters at 308-284-8800 for ramp status. Private tractor services can also assist you with boat launching/towing. The closest boat launch service to Eagle Canyon is located about 5 miles away at Van’s Lakeview.
Beach launching is currently legal at Lake McConaughy, but if you choose to do so, you are cautioned to know the capabilities of your tow vehicle.