Lagoon Permits

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Use permits

In order to operate any vessel on the lagoon, the purchase of either an annual or daily permit and the observance of lagoon regulations are required. For more information, please call the Harding Community Center at 442-339-2510.

Applications, requirements checklist and permits may be obtained online at

Use of areas at own risk: The city does not expand its liability, if any, for accidents or injuries sustained by the public user of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, and any person using the lagoon does so at their own risk.

Vessel registration

Provide a copy of the current year's registration/DMV Certificate of Number (the one kept on board), which is required for all watercraft except passive vessels and sailboats under 8 feet.

All vessels (except non-powered ones launching at the passive use area) require a launching facility permit.

  • If launching from California Water Sports (Open):
    4215 Harrison St.
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
  • If a Bristol Cove resident, contact Bristol Cove Property Owner's Association:
    c/o CHAMPS/The Kelly Group
    5731 Palmer Way #B
    Carlsbad, CA 92008

Lagoon patrol

The safety of people using the Agua Hedionda Lagoon is the main responsibility of the Police Department community services officer. In addition to educating boaters on the rules and requirements for lagoon use, the community services officer is also empowered to enforce Harbors and Navigation, Fish and Game, penal, state and city codes.

The city is also responsible for all buoys and their placement. Education, maintenance and enforcement are accomplished from a top of the line 19' Hydro Sport police boat. This fast, maneuverable boat is equipped with life saving and sonar devices, which helps make Aqua Hedionda one of the safest recreational lagoons in the state.

Compliance with orders

It is an infraction for any person to refuse to follow or comply with the stated rules of the road or with any lawful sign, order, warning signal or other lawful direction of a police officer, a community services officer or a lifeguard, or for any person to deface, injure, knock down or remove any sign or warning placed for the purpose of enforcing the law.

For more information, please reference Carlsbad Municipal Code 11.24.