Nevada boat regulations also apply to sportsmen | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada boat regulations also apply to sportsmen

By Don Quilici

According to a recent press release by the Nevada Department of Wildlife )NDOW), Nevada boating regulations also apply to sportsmen.

NDOW says: With the arrival of fall, the recreational boating crowds of summer make way for the relatively small number of boating sportsmen who pursue their outdoor hobbies on Nevada waters.

These outdoor enthusiasts, generally consisting of hunters and anglers, often do not consider themselves to be boaters.

This is a mistake that can bring unwanted attention from game wardens with the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

“Our concern, first and foremost, is the safety of all boaters, hunters and anglers included,” said David Pfiffner, supervising game warden for NDOW’s southern region. “However, our sportsmen have to realize all boating laws pertain to them as well as to the pleasure boater.”

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Common violations found among boating sportsmen include registration problems, overloaded vessels, failure to carry the proper safety equipment, harassing wildlife and wakeless violations.

Sportsmen often forget to register their motorized fishing and hunting boats before taking them out for the fall season. “Sometimes they get so excited to go hunting or fishing that they forget to take care of the necessary paperwork,” said warden Pfiffner.

Nevada law requires all motorized vessels to be registered and to display valid registration with current decals when they are operated on Silver State waters.

Why make more than one trip if you can fit everything and everyone into the boat at the same time?

This, Pfiffner said, seems to be a common philosophy among boating sportsmen and overloading violations are common. Overloaded vessels pose a serious safety threat because they swamp easily and often overturn. Load recommendations can be found on a vessel’s capacity plate.

Another area where boating sportsmen seem to struggle is with their required safety equipment. Each boat must have at least one wearable life jacket of the correct size for each person on board.

“Life jackets are not one-size-fits-all,” explained Pfiffner.

Boats 16 feet in length or longer must also have a Type IV throwable cushion on board.

Passengers under 12 years of age must wear their life jacket whenever the boat is underway.

Boats with enclosed compartments where gas fumes may accumulate must carry a serviceable fire extinguisher.

Each of these items must be readily accessible.

“It is important for waterfowl hunters to remember that it is unlawful to stir or drive wildlife. Doing so can unnecessarily injure birds and other animals, not to mention that it can create an unsafe situation,” said Pfiffner. “When the birds don’t fly on their own, hunters must simply be patient.”

Many of the state’s waterfowl hunting areas have wakeless speed requirements.

This means a boat must be operated at idle speed; slow enough that there is no white water disturbance behind the boat.

“The important thing is for boating sportsmen to use common sense and think of their safety and the safety of those around them,” Pfiffner said. “They must also realize that they are boaters too, and are therefore subject to all other boating laws and regulations.”