Observe the "10 rules for navigating watercourses". When doing sport or leisure activities on the water, even on inland lakes and narrower watercourses, hazard situations may arise; it is important to be prepared for these.

Key points

1. Plan your boat trip carefully
Note the navigability of the waterways for different types of boat. Signposted or blocked-off backwaters must not be navigated.

2. Find out about dangers
Use of the waterways is at your own risk. Please wear a life jacket for your own safety. Please note that you must travel on the right-hand side on all waterways. You must read the instructions for operating the locks. Pay close attention to currents in the vicinity of weirs and dams. Always stay well clear for your own safety.

3. Find out about the waterways
Before starting your boat trip, find out the current condition and situation of the waterways. Information about high-water warnings and water levels can be found online at www.hochwasserzentrum.sachsen.de and www.gewaesserverbund.de and can also be obtained from the Department for Environmental Protection for the city of Leipzig, the district administrative offices and hire companies. If the waterways are in high spate, if there is poor visibility, or during a storm, you should abort or temporarily abandon the boat trip for your own safety. When water levels are high, Palmengarten weir provides a clear warning in the form of a red ball above the central pillar of the building that is visible from far away. You should also refrain from navigating the waterways when water levels are low (< 30 cm for muscle-powered vessels and < 60 cm for motorboats); this is not only for nature conservation purposes and the ecology of the waterways, but also for your own safety.

4. Additional information for canoeists
All routes in the network of waterways are navigable for canoes. However, please note the special regulations for nature conservation on certain sections of the White Elster.

5. Additional information for motorboat users
Motorboats are permitted on sections of the White Elster and the Pleisse, on the Elster and Pleisse flood relief channels, on the Karl Heine Canal, in Lindenau Harbour and on certain canals between the lakes. Motorised craft may only be used on the waterways with a permit. This can be obtained from the relevant water authorities in the city of Leipzig and from the district administrative offices. Please ensure that the use of your motorboat does not interfere with the training practice of the various rowing and canoeing clubs, nor disturbs those seeking to relax and unwind.

6. Use landing and entry points
Use the places provided specifically for this purpose, which are signposted. Avoid the easily damaged areas near the banks
where there are reeds, waterside plants, wet meadows and densely wooded banks, so as not to intrude the habitat of birds, small animals and plants.

7. Protect plants and animals
Especially in sections of waterway that are close to nature, keep well clear of the bank to avoid disturbing plants and wildlife.

8. Observe seasonal restrictions on navigating the White Elster
So that the White Elster can be used in harmony with nature, the section between Knauthain and Grosszschocher weir may NOT be navigated between 15 February and 15 May. After the entry point at TSV 1893 LeipzigWahren football club, navigation is only permitted as part of a guided group from 1 August each year.

9. Observe speed limits
When using a motorboat, there is a general speed limit of 5 km/h on watercourses, canals and millraces. On the White Elster between Pistorissteg and Palmengarten weir, on the Elster and Pleisse flood relief channels and on the lakes, the maximum speed limit is 10 km/h.

10. Be considerate of nature and your fellow human beings
Please be generally considerate of nature and your fellow human beings; do not travel in large groups, especially in sections of the watercourses that are close to nature; and avoid unnecessary noise. Likewise, it is not permitted to pass through bathing areas in the lakes or in other locations; these are marked with buoys (e.g. at the southern end of Lake Cospuden). Note: The regulations preventing navigation of the nature conservation areas during particular seasons, which require you to cease travelling in low-water conditions, are voluntary agreements intended to protect nature and the landscape. The effectiveness of all regulations is being reviewed as part of a monitoring programme accompanying the development of water tourism in protected areas. If the boundary conditions change, this may lead to changes to these regulations. The voluntary agreements in place to date could be replaced with anything from formal agreements (signing of a book of rules by teams and associations, commercial operators, regional corporations) to legislation tied into the Nature Conservation or Water Acts.