MADISON - With the mild temperatures rapidly melting what ice cover remains on lakes and rivers, Wisconsin boaters should think now to prepare equipment and to refresh their memories about the rules and regulations of the water highways.
Department of Natural Resources Boating Law Administrator and Conservation Warden Roy Zellmer says boaters should consult the 2010 guide online to learn the new regulations and review safe boating practices.
“The 24-page booklet, which is must-reading for all water enthusiasts looking for safe fun this season, is available in English, Spanish and Hmong on the Bureau of Law Enforcement regulations page of the DNR Web site,” Zellmer said.
Among recent changes are a rule that makes it illegal for boaters to transport invasive species and to operate within 100 feet of the shore of any lake at faster than slow-no-wake speeds. Another rule change dealing with mandatory lifejackets for those 12 years old and younger was pending in the legislature at the time of publication.
“Check with local wardens for the current status on that regulation,” Zellmer said.
However, Zellmer stresses, wearing a lifejacket should be the norm for all of all ages.
“Most of Wisconsin's boating fatalities have occurred in small boats with victims who failed to wear lifejackets,” Zellmer said. “Remember, safe boating depends upon you. Start reading the new rules and regulations and have a safe and fun boating season.”