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The City of Rochester, which regulates lake access, has clarified that the 16ft restriction applies only to motorized boats. Canoes and kayaks may be greater than 16ft provided they are not being propelled by a motor while in use on the lakes. The permit language has been changed to reflect this and I confirmed it in a phone call to the NYS DEC Police who enforce regulations on both lakes.
Just wanted to make sure paddlers with larger canoes and kayaks weren't needlessly scared off by perceived restrictions.
YakCatcher Rod Holder
Touring Kayak Paddles