The recreational boating industry is encouraged to submit comments by 14 April opposing the measure
It what appears to be growing trend, Valley County, Idaho has become the latest governmental body to propose restrictions on wakeboats and personal watercraft (PWC), in some cases, effectively banning their use.
In a call to action from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the recreational boating industry is encouraged to submit comments by 14 April opposing the measure that would limit wakeboat use to 1000ft offshore on Payette Lake and completely banned on Warm Lake.
In addition, County Commissioners are proposing any wake or wave “estimated to be over 24-inches will result in a fine,” and a third violation will result in a fine of US$1,000, six months in jail and banishment from all Valley County waterways for one year.
The County is also calling to restrict PWC use to those over age 16, unless accompanied by an adult on board; those who have passed a state boater safety course, and requiring operation of PWC at no-wake speeds within 300ft of shore.
The NMMA says the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation does not support the proposal, contrary to claims by the County Commission, and cautions that the measure could negatively impact tourism and local economies.
At least three other state or local governments have proposed similar or more restrictive bans in recent weeks, targeting one of the strongest segments of recreational boating.