Filming on the Lake


Do I need a film permit?

If your prospective filming location is anywhere on the waters of Big Bear Lake, its shoreline (high water mark and below), or any property owned by the Big Bear Municipal Water District, a permit to film issued by the Big Bear Municipal Water District is required. Please inquire if you are unsure whether your prospective location falls within the District’s interests.


First, contact District offices (909) 866-5796 for an application. Applications may also be downloaded by clicking below. Email completed applications to Film permit applications should be submitted as early as possible and no less than three (3) business days in advance. Filming permits are generally not approved for weekend days and never for holidays. All filming requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Seasonal Alpine Lake
Big Bear Lake, while conveniently close to Los Angeles (about 100 miles), is a world apart. The boating season begins annually April 1st with the opening of the East Public Launch ramp. The spring weather in April and May can still be cold and snow has been known to fall. Memorial Day through Labor Day represents the warmest time in Big Bear and the peak season on the Lake and therefore the busiest. In September, the weather begins to cool and even when the rest of Southern California is experiencing an Indian summer, Big Bear residents are donning scarves and jackets. Winter has been known to arrive early and come October and November it may be too cold for recreational boating. December 1 – March 31 annually, the USFS closes the entire north shore of the Lake in order to protect the Bald Eagle habitat. During this off season time, the Lake often freezes over and boating is impossible.
Be aware of these weather and accessibility factors when considering filming on Big Bear Lake.

Permit fees are based on the number of production employees and dates required for the shoot. All fees are due and payable by cash, check, Visa, or MasterCard, prior to the issuance of the permit to film.

Click Here for Film Permit Application and Policies