Disclaimer: The Big Bear Municipal Water District is responsible for the management of most lake issues. The following information is deemed reliable but is NOT guaranteed! It is important to realize that rules and policies are subject to change. It is prudent and your responsibility to confirm any of the following information - especially any information that may influence your decision to purchase a Big Bear lakefront property - with the BBMWD. They can be contacted at (909)866-5796.
What is the difference between "dock rights" and "dock privileges"?
It is important to note that although many people use the term "dock rights", being that the Big Bear Municipal Water District (BBMWD) governs the lake and the lake bed, the correct term is "dock privileges". Ultimately, the BBMWD is responsible for the issuing of dock permits and has the right to deny them if their rules are not adhered to. Not unlike a drivers license, having the ability to have a dock on the lake is at the discretion of the BBMWD.
That being said, the BBMWD has a reputation of being accommodating and spend a good deal of their time and energy helping Big Bear lakefront owners - not hindering them. Their rules and regulations are in place simply to ensure fair and orderly use of the lake.
Does every lakefront property have dock privileges?
In general, Big Bear lakefront properties with less than 25 feet of shoreline do not have dock privileges. Properties with 25 to 50 feet of shoreline have the privilege to have a one slip dock. Properties with more than 50 feet of shoreline have the privilege to have a three slip dock.
Keep in mind that these are general rules. To find out the exact dock privilege for any given parcel, contact the Big Bear Municipal Water District at (909)866-5796.
Do all properties need a dock permit? How much do they cost?
All docks on Big Bear lake are required to have a permit. In general, for a single family residence, the cost of a dock permit is about $350.00 for the year.
And yes, the BBMWD does enforce the permit rule. If you have a dock on the lake, the BBMWD's lake patrol will regularly check to make sure your permit is current.
Where can I buy a dock? Where can I have a dock built or repaired?
The following is a list of dock builders that the BBMWD says have met the "current district ordinance for commercial activities on Big Bear Lake".
Larry Cooke - Big Bear Dock Systems - (909)866-7717
Joey Brown - The Dock Guys - (909)584-9533
Eric Jacobson - Lifetime Docks - (909) 866-6035
Doug Shyffer - ESA Inductries - (626)965-2536
Most of these dock builders will oftentimes broker the resale of used docks.
How do I move my dock to accommodate the fluctuating water levels?
The water level in Big Bear Lake fluctuates throughout the year. Depending on your lake frontage and dock configuation, this may require that your dock be moved to deeper or shallower water throughout the season.
Moving a dock is a relatively easy process with the right tools. You can contact the above list of dock builders for more information on moving your dock on your own or to employ them to move your dock when needed.
What do you do with your dock in the winter?
Although many dock owners will have their dock towed and winterized by a local marina, many Big Bear lakefront home owners will just leave their docks in the water or pull them up onto dry land.
Be aware that docks frozen in the water may get damaged due to shifting ice.
Whether or not you need to have your dock winterized depends largely on your location on the lake. In general, the more exposed your dock is to weather and wind, the more likely you will not want to leave it in the water.
A good rule of thimb is to consult neighbors as to what their experiences have been dealing with their dock in the winter.
If I have weeds growing in the water around my dock, how can I get rid of them?
Certain areas of the lake, specifically shallower water areas, are prone to aquatic weed growth. A portion of the cost of your dock permit is to subsidize aquatic weed abatement. If you contact the BBMWD, they will most likely address the weed issue with an EPA approved aquatic weed killing chemical.
Using your own chemicals to manage weed growth is not permitted on the lake. As well, it is not advised to manually remove weeds from the lake bottom as that may actually promote the spread of weed growth, exacerbating the problem in future years.