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Beaches & Sand, Docks, and Swim Lines

Beaches & Sand

Lakes act as settling basins for their watersheds, collecting and accumulating materials that move downslope and drain into them.  This is known as "lake aging."

Any activity that adds more material to a lake increases the rate at which it is filled in.  Periodically adding sand to beaches greatly accelerates lake aging.  For this reason, the SLA would urge you to refrain from adding sand to your beach.  Instead, consider constructing a "perched beach."  

Because of the negative impact of sand on lakes, New Hampshire regulates beach sand replenishment by means of PBN (permit-by-notification) approval.

Replenishment of sand on an existing non-tidal beach is allowed  provided that:

  • No sand shall be placed below the normal high water line or full pond elevation;
  • No work shall be conducted in or adjacent to a prime wetland;
  • No more than 10 cubic yards of sand shall be used; and
  • Beach replenishment cannot exceed the limit of one replenishment every 6 years. 

For complete information contact, NH Dept of Environmental Services  at (603) 271-2147.


In a lake the size of Spofford, NH mandates that a property with fewer than 75' of water frontage may have a dock that is no more than 4' X 24' (seasonal only). Frontage greater than 75' may have a dock no greater than 6' X 30' (seasonal only).  Dock permits are required.  Check the orange sidebar for details. 

For the most current and complete information, visit NHDES Docking Structures or contact the NHDES Wetlands Bureau a(603) 271-2147. 

Swim Lines

Unless a swim line variance is requested and approved, no swim line shall be placed beyond the point where the depth of water exceeds six feet or a distance from shore of 50 feet, whichever occurs first.

For more information call NH Marine Patrol (603) 293-0091. 

Page Updated March 20, 2022

Spofford Lake Association

PO Box 177
Spofford, NH 03462

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