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GFP News - June 16, 2014

new boating rules in effect

PIERRE, S.D. -- Boating season is officially underway across the state and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) would like to remind boaters of the latest boating rules.

In March, the GFP Commission adopted two new rules to ensure South Dakota waters remain a safe place when it comes to outdoor recreational activity.

1.       Federal Inland Navigation Rules
The Federal Inland Navigation Rules address boat operation and the official “rules of the road” for inland waters across the country.  Navigation rules have always been in effect in South Dakota, however, they were incomplete and did not address all navigation situations. By adopting the federal rules, a more comprehensive list of navigating waters is provided and there is more consistency to how boaters both interpret the “rules of the road” and operate on the waters of this state.
2.       Overloading Boats
Federal laws and regulations addressing the overloading of watercrafts have been in effect since 1972. The maximum weight or number of occupants a boat is designed to hold as well as the maximum horse power have been required for all motorized monohull boats that are less than 20 feet in length. South Dakota has never had any law or rule specifically addressing instances of overloaded boats. This new rule serves to remind all boaters to be aware of their boat’s safe carrying capacity and to adhere to these safety requirements.

For these and other South Dakota boating regulations, please visit Boaters are encouraged to review the 2014 South Dakota Boating Regulation Handbook (which can be found at the above mentioned link or any GFP local office) on an annual basis and to perform a safety check of their vessel prior to each boating trip.


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