The Boat Owners Association has hit out at plans to give Lake Macquarie the highest possible environmental zoning.

Councillors voted last night to make the lake a natural waterway zone.

A mandatory clause in the zoning aims to prevent development which would have an adverse effect on the natural values of waterways.

The Boat Owners Association says the zoning is anti-boating because it will restrict jetties, marinas, moorings and boat ramps.