UNPOWERED BOAT REGULATIONS
Unpowered boats like canoes, kayaks, rowboats,
stand-up paddleboards can access most of the waterway accesses in Pennsylvania. Unlike boats with motors, because their equipment is less involved, paddlers and rowers have only a few simple regulations. On top of adhering to regulations, smart paddlers and rowers are always diligent about following sound safety practices.
Unpowered boats launched at Commission lakes and access areas or
Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests must display a boat registration, Commission launch
permit, or Pennsylvania State Parks launch
permit. Pennsylvania State Parks recognize PFBC
registrations and launch permits. (Choose either a registration OR
launch permit to access waters.) The Commission does
NOT recognize launch
permits from other
Each person in a canoe, kayak, rowboat or paddleboard must have a wearable, USCG-approved life jacket . Life jackets must be the appropriate type, size and fit for the person intended. Children 12 years of age and younger must wear a life jacket when underway on boats 20 feet or less and canoes, kayaks or paddleboards.
MANDATORY COLD WEATHER WEAR
Life jacket must be worn on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe, kayak or paddleboard from November 1 through April 30.
SOUND PRODUCING DEVICE
An athletic coach’s whistle makes an acceptable sound-producing device.
Be sure to have a hand-held light if you operate from sunset to sunrise.
Operating any watercraft under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. The law is strongly enforced for user safety.