what are the REGS in your state?

just saw a post that memtioned getting a “launch permit” from the DNR in the state of Penn to allow non-motorized craft to be launched on inland waters. question for y’all. what regulations are you faced with by your local/state gov’t with your paddlecraft? are you required to have boat numbers shown on your kayak/canoe. do you have to pay an annual tax on your watercraft? do you have to pay a fee to access your state waters?

here in Florida, at least for now, there is no fees/regulations on paddle craft (other than the usual C.G safety regs) and no tax on our paddlecrafts. now if one puts an electic trolling motor on a canoe then that canoe needs to have boat numbers shown on the bow, same as a powerboat. and an annual fee is charged. also, if one is carrying a fishing pole on their paddlecraft, they better have a state fishing license (both fresh & salt).

a very distrubing trend on the west coast of Florida is having local county gov’ts putting on basically a “user fee/tax” on our local boatramps & beaches. i know this is done is other areas such as in the northeast & even over on the east coast, but to have to pay a fee to park at my county beach for a few hours is crazy. why pay a launch fee for my powerboat at the county ramp when a portion of my annual state boat registration fee is already earmarked for ramp maintenance? I am trying to take a deep breath & not go on a rant here about taxation and having the local gov’t make the beach/water a better/safter experience for me by charging me a “fee”. I think it’s time to drive the 2 miles to the dirt lane & launch my yak into Sarasota Bay for a nice long paddle.

no fees in north carolina - - -
no boat numbers, no fees, no nothing but clear and clean, people free water to play in. y’all come.

The Buckeye State
In Ohio, kayaks and canoes must be registered. You have your choice of putting the “OH XXXX XX” -style numbers on and buying a sticker for $15, or paying $20 for a larger sticker which includes the boat number. The $20 sticker is the only choice for whitewater boats with no space for regulation size boat numbers. The stickers are good for three years.

Admission to state parks and access to the water (including ramps) is free. Some county and city parks charge admission or ramp fees.

Washington State
I’m pretty new at this, so I may have some details wrong, but as far as I can tell, here in Washington (Washington State, that is - the “other” Washington) there are no registration requirements, no fees. Of course, some state parks (and some county parks, too, I think) do have day-use fees, usually of the if-you-park-you-must-pay sort, sometimes leading to hoards of vehicles massed just outside the park boundaries.

no fees, no requirements for paddle craft. Slip a motor on your canoe though and you’ll need to comply with all motorboat requirements.


– Last Updated: Aug-07-04 3:52 PM EST –

no license or permit on canoes and kayaks unless you use a motor. no regs for public access. WARNING, i wouldn't use access at ha ha tonka state park on lake of the ozarks again. very slick, rocky, inhospitable to canoe launching. you could end up with broken bones as i found out! ww

nothing in VA that I know of
There are no registration laws in Virginia that I know of. Some ramps and parks charge fees obviously. I’m flabbergasted that some states actually make you register a canoe or kayak. It’s a human powered vehicle for crying out loud. Do they make you register a surf board? Do they make you register bicycles? Talk about over regulation.

None here in NY for the moment
Caveat…I live in the western end of the state…God only knows what goes on at the other end. All the State Parks have a $7.00 entry fee so it’s not all free…Ya want to launch from a state park…be prepared to pay.

One way or another
"I’m flabbergasted that some states actually make you register a canoe or kayak."

As a lifelong Ohioan, I’m flabbergasted that most other states actually CHARGE ADMISSION to state parks! And charge a fee to launch from a state owned ramp! The money to run public facilities has to come from somewhere. I like our way better.

I launch my kayak at state parks maybe 40 times a year. If I were paying the $7 fee that New York state parks charge, that would be $280, compared to the $20 I pay to register a kayak here for three years.

Plus, there are a couple of advantages to registration. First, the vigorous enforcement of registration makes it very difficult to use a stolen boat in Ohio, discouraging theft. Secondly, paddlers using public facilities contribute to building and maintaining them just as the power boaters do, which gives a right to claim access, unlike unregistered paddlers in other states who can rightly be viewed as freeloaders when they take up space a public launches.

Just and add on to what Les said…Ohio
now lets you put the 3"x6" registration sticker on the inside of a canoe. No more 2 foot long numbers on the outside of your boat. And since you don’t need to buy 16 numbers and letters the extra five bucks isn’t that bad.

Launch Fees
I live in an area of many lakes, in Southeastern WI. It is very common to be charged a launch fee at county or city owned boat launches. Fifteen years ago it wasn’t as common, but now most do charge.

However with a kayak, I can launch from non traditional locations where I’m not charged a fee, because it’s not a boat launch site as such.

Here on Mars
We’re I’m from we’re charged according to draft! …no, not ale, but depth.

Damn, fat bureaucrats!

in Mass, some cities will charge you
for your launch. Especially druing the summer. some towns have very tight parking regs which makes launching difficult. I know you are required to wear a PFD fron something like october through something like may, (to make sure your body floats) You might now be required to wear a PFD year round and have a compass.

bottom line is no kayak registrations required at this moment. Cars with kayakers on top and kayakers within are exempt fron state park parking fees but I happily pay $35/year for a family permit. My wife and daughter go to a state park every week, without me, now that I am working much more.

You have to license everything that hits the water except sea-planes. Windsurfers and technically innertubes as well. The fee is nominal but the licensing process is a royal pain in the backside the first time. I can live with that, but you also have to carry a registration and put numbers on your canoe. I hate putting numbers on the canoe, there is something so elegant about a canoe, so natural, and then you ugly it up in a big way.

Hi, Rob-re WA…
…I launch mostly from a county park w/ no fee, and a Fish & WIldlife site on the Black River, which does require an annual permit, usable on all F&W sites, I believe. I don’t know if we’re subject to navigation light stuff after dark-I think 16’ is the limit.

Love Seattle (we’re in Oly). We just spent a couple of hours at Freeway Park, which is an architectural masterpiece in my opinion.

The other end of NY
No motor, no registration as far as the state is concerned.

However, Harriman State Park hits you for a $15/year sticker to paddle on the lakes in the park. Then another $10 for the key to unlock the gates to two of the lakes. No day-use fees however.

Registration In WI
Only motorized watercraft in Wisconsin is required to be registered. Kayaks, canoes, rowboats, rafts and anything else that is not motorized is exempt from the registration and the corresponding fee.

Lucy Anna…
No registration required for non-motorized kayaks. canoes or pirogues.

State Parks = pay at the gate

Various launches around the state built by LDWF and paid for with Pitman Robertson Act funds are free to paddlers even though paddlers didn’t pay the normal boat related fees to help build them.

what are fees used for?
In south FL, we will soon be wall to wall condos and private residences along the waterfront. Finding parking or beach access with your boat is more difficult every year. Commercail facilities are taking advantage of this by charging launch and parking fees, even for canoes and kayaks. One local marina charges $15 launch and $15 parking fees! If registration fees are used to purchase and preserve undeveloped land and provide access for unmotorized craft, I am all in favor.

Washington State Dept of Fish & Wildlief

– Last Updated: Aug-08-04 11:55 PM EST –

(that's Wild*life*, sorry)

It has been pointed out to me that many sites fall under the jurisdiction of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, and users at these sites must display a $10 (free w/ a fishing or hunting permit) "Vehicle Use Permit". Again, this is one of those odd vehicle-oriented parking permits, essentially - if you park your car outside the boundary, you can still use the area, with no permit needed.

This particular permit I am familiar with, but in the context of my other major outdoor pursuit, rock climbing. For some reason (hunting?) the 'Frenchman Coulee' area (aka Vantage) in Eastern Washington is in a WSDFW area, and I have to get one of these permits to park and climb there. The exact rules surrounding how this permit needs to be purchased and used is a little, uh, poorly thought out, IMHO. I get a different answer from just about every DFW employee I ask. Don't get me wrong, I want to comply - heck, I've bought THREE of these permits in the last year, and will probably be buying another one soon. The main issue is when I go climbing with a buddy who doesn't have one, and, well, those stories about broke, cheap-ass climbers are somewhat true, so I have thrice bought and given permits to friends. Whether this is a) necessary, or b) legal, is the main question I can't get a straight answer about. So I just pays my money and takes my chances.

I'm sure this is way more than anyone cared to hear, but hey, thanks for listening! ;-)

- rob