Chapter 7: Water Cleanliness and Small Vessels

Safety, Anglers, and Hunters

Hunting and fishing, from a boat, requires a steady vessel and an alert operator. When using a boat to hunt or fish, one will need to adhere to the same rules as other recreational boaters with a few additional guidelines for safety and the safety of those around.

If using a recreational boater, give hunters and anglers plenty of space. Anglers will be casting all around the vessels and may be trolling fishing lines out behind them as they travel, while hunters may be aiming and firing rifles. Failing to give anglers and hunters their due space puts both at risk. Also, keep in mind that one's wake may swamp an angler or hunter's vessel.

Many fishermen and hunters die, tragically, from falls overboard. Wearing a lifejacket could have, dramatically, increased their chances of survival. For low-impact activities like fishing and hunting, inflatable PFDs are a great fit. In colder waters, consider a full body PFD or immersion suit to combat hypothermia in the event of a fall overboard.

Peak fishing hours are usually early morning and early evening. These are also times of limited sunlight. So, always display navigational lights and keep a flashlight handy during these times and any time when vision is limited.

Safety, Anglers, and Hunters

To avoid capsizing, load the boat properly and keep equipment low and to the center of the vessel. This keeps the boat steady on the water and helps prevent swamping and capsizing. If one needs to move around the boat, always keep three points of contact and avoid sudden movements. However, it is best to remain seated as much as possible especially when doing something which requires stability, such as casting a fishing line or firing a rifle. If one is unstable while trying to attempt actions like these, one could easily find oneself overboard.

Keep a safe speed and try best to limit any noise which carries over water. Be courteous to fellow boaters.

File a float plan, even if going out with a buddy. Leave a copy of the detailed float plan with a friend or family member so they know exactly where one plans to boat and when one should return. For additional safety, use the buddy system whenever possible. Always fish or hunt with a friend. Going it alone is dangerous.

The best practice is to be alert and aware of surroundings, whether hunting, fishing, or sharing the waters with others who are doing the same.