Recreation

We offer boating and fishing at University Lake and the Cane Creek Reservoir from late March to mid-November. Because OWASA's reservoirs are sources for drinking water, recreation is limited and controlled. For example, swimming and other body contact with lake water are not allowed.

2014 lake recreation season:  Saturday, March 22nd - Sunday, November 9th.

Hours and days for recreation: Our lakes are normally  open in the recreation season from 6:30 AM to 6 PM* on the following days.** (Friday is added to the University Lake schedule for April through August.)

 Dates

University Lake

Cane Creek Reservoir

Saturday, March 22 – March 31

Saturday - Sunday

Friday and Saturday

April - August

Friday - Sunday

September- November 9

Saturday - Sunday

* For safety, recreation at the lakes is not allowed before dawn so we open somewhat later in the early spring and close earlier in the fall. We also  close in bad weather.

** Our lakes close for the Good Friday holiday (April 18, 2014) but are open for the Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day holidays.

To contact us

University Lake: 919-942-8007; e-mail: University Lake

Cane Creek Reservoir: 919-942-5790; e-mail: Cane Creek

Boating

We offer kayaks (starting in April 2014), canoes and flat-bottomed boats for rent. (Please see the fees listed below.)

Citizens may use small private boats if they are brought in or on a car or truck; are clean of mud, vegetation, etc.; and are inspected by our lake staff. (Boats on trailers are not permitted.)

The limits on private boats are intended to help prevent aquatic weeds, which cause problems for fish and water treatment, from getting into the reservoirs.

To help protect water quality, we allow only electric motors at University Lake and the Cane Creek Reservoir. You may use your own electric motor after we inspect it for aquatic weeds, etc. or you may rent an OWASA electric trolling motor.

Directions to University Lake

  • Click here for interactive University Lake Recreational Facilities Map.
  • Vicinity Map
  • From the east: follow Main Street west through Carrboro to Jones Ferry Road; turn left onto South Old Fayetteville Road; go 400 feet and turn right onto University Lake Road, the entrance road to University Lake.
  • From the west: follow NC 54 or Jones Ferry Road east and turn right (south) onto Old Fayetteville Road; follow Old Fayetteville to University Lake Road, the entrance road to University Lake.

Directions to the Cane Creek Reservoir

Lake recreation fees

We accept payments in cash and by check with proper identification. An identification card with a photo is required for renting a boat. The minimum age for renting a boat is 16.

 

Service

OWASA Customer or Orange County Resident

Other Citizens

Boat rental (flat bottom or canoe)

$4.50 plus lake use fee(s) per person

$8 plus lake use

fee(s) per person

Kayak rental

$15 plus lake use

fee(s) per person

$20 plus lake use

fee(s) per person

Lake use fee, ages 13 to 64

$4.50 per person

$5.50 per person

Lake use fee—child (under 13)

$2 per person

$2.50 per person

Lake use fee-- senior citizen (65 and older)

0

$2.50 per person

Launch fee for a private boat (for inspection by OWASA)

$3.50 plus lake use fee(s) per person

$7 plus lake use

fee(s) per person

Electric trolling motor rental

$15

$22

Individual pass for boat rentals

$82

not offered

Individual pass for lake use (ages 13-64)

$46

Individual pass to rent a boat and electric motor

$163

GROUP pass for 3 people--boat rental

$163

GROUP pass for 3 people--boat and electric motor rental

$245

 

Fishing Licenses

Under State law, a fishing license is necessary for anyone 16 or older except on July the Fourth. For more information on licenses, please contact the NC Wildlife Resources Commission at 888-2huntfish (888-248-6834) or licenses@ncwildlife.org or see the license information on the Commission's website, www.ncwildlife.org. You can purchase a State fishing license by mail or on-line through the NC Wildlife Commission's website, and at places including Wal-Mart and Dick's Sporting Goods.

Swimming and other body contact with lake water are not allowed because our lakes are public water supplies.

Picnicking

We have free picnicking and sunbathing areas at both lakes. The Cane Creek Reservoir also has a nature trail with about 60 identified plants.

Pets

To protect water quality, pets are required to be on a leash at all times at our lakes. No pets are allowed in our boats and domestic animals are not allowed within 50 feet of the water.

Safety at the lakes

All citizens who use the lakes are encouraged to put safety first.

  • Both lakes are alcohol-free facilities.
  • Life jackets are available in various sizes for adults and children at no charge, and we have a few life jackets for infants. However, people with unusual size requirements or other special circumstances may need to bring their own life jackets. Under Federal and State rules, all lake users are required to use a properly fitted lifejacket or  equivalent flotation device suitable for the person’s size and weight.

For people with disabilities

Citizens with disabilities can receive assistance from OWASA staff as needed to enjoy boating and other recreation at our lakes. University Lake has a fishing dock for use by people with disabilities.