HARRISBURG, Pa. – At its quarterly business meeting held here today, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) adopted a proposed rulemaking order which would allow wake surfing in or on the wake of a motorboat provided the boat’s propulsion system is specifically designed for the activity.
Currently, boating regulations prohibit wake surfing behind boats using outboard motors, inboard/outboard motors or water jets. In late 2015, however, Volvo Penta asked the PFBC to allow boaters to use its new Forward Facing Drive for wake surfing.
Traditional motors have propellers which face away from the boat, creating a potentially dangerous situation if an individual is wake surfing and falls into the wake and the path of the blades.
The Volvo motor’s propellers are mounted on the inside of the engine’s mid-section and face the boat, effectively creating a safety barrier between the blades and the person who is wake surfing.
“These motors are specifically designed to reduce the chances of an individual who is wake surfing from coming into direct contact with the propeller blades during a fall,” said Col. Corey Britcher, Director of the PFBC Bureau of Law Enforcement.
Today’s proposal will be open for public comment for 30 days after it is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. If adopted as a final rulemaking order by the board, the amendment would go into effect upon a second publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
In other action, Commissioners added 99 waters to the list of wild trout streams, revised the section limits of six waters and removed one water from the list. The list can be found on the PFBC website.
Another 41 stream sections were added to the list of Class A wild trout streams. The list can be found on the PFBC website.
Also, Commissioners added Mercer County’s Lake Wilhelm to the Brood Stock Lakes Program. Lakes managed under this program are used by PFBC fish production staff to collect brood stock for Muskellunge, Tiger Muskellunge, Northern Pike and Chain Pickerel. From April 1 through May 31, fishing for these species is permitted on a catch and release basis only.
At the same time, four lakes were removed from the program, including Duck Harbor and Miller ponds, Wayne County; Lake Wallenpaupack, Pike County; and Union City Reservoir, Erie County.
These changes to the Brood Stock Lakes Program will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
A complete copy of today’s agenda is available on the PFBC website.