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Requirements & Law
A powerboat using a Commission lake or access area shall be registered and shall display the official registration number and current validation stickers. Unpowered boats using a Commission lake or access area must either be:
  • properly registered, or
  • display an official and valid Commission use permit, or
  • display an official and valid watercraft launch or mooring permit issued by DCNR.

Overnight mooring of boats is permitted at designated mooring areas from March 1 through November 30. A boat utilizing mooring areas shall be registered and display the official registration number and current validation sticker. Mooring is at the sole risk of the boat owner.

Boats have the right of way over fishing from boat launch areas or boat docks. It is unlawful for persons fishing from a boat launch area or boat dock to permit their fishing activity to interfere with boat traffic into and out of the boat launch area or boat dock.

Overnight camping, building or maintaining open fires, swimming and picking, cutting or digging flowers, plants, shrubs and trees is prohibited.

The leaving or disposal of any rubbish on Commission property is prohibited unless placed in containers, if provided for this purpose. Disposal of any refuse accumulated off Commission property is prohibited.

Any personal, organizational or commercial use other than normally intended fishing and boating activities is prohibited, except that the executive director or his designee may issue permits to organizations for the use of Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission properties, when it is determined that such use will not damage Commission property and will not interfere with normal usage by others. Launching or retrieving swimming aids at Commission access areas is prohibited.

The removal or defacing of any sign, poster or property is prohibited, and it shall be unlawful to damage in any manner any lands or to interfere with any device or structure, or to alter or interfere with the flow of water over or through any structure.

Legal hunting and trapping is permitted on Commission property unless otherwise posted.

The carrying or use of firearms on Fish & Boat Commission properties is prohibited except while lawfully hunting or trapping. This does not apply to those individuals licensed to carry firearms under 18 Pa. C.S. 6109 (licenses) or those individuals authorized to do so in conformance with 18 Pa. C.S. 6106 (firearms not to be carried without a license).

The use of electric motors for boat propulsion is permitted on all Commission lakes. The use of internal combustion engines is not permitted.

On Fish & Boat Commission lakes, inflatable boats must be seven or more feet in length, be constructed of durable corded fabric reinforced with cloth and coated and have at least two separate buoyancy chambers, excluding inflatable flooring or bottom.

Vehicles must be parked in designated areas only. Blocking or obstructing driveways, access roads or launch ramps is prohibited.

No person may construct, place or maintain any structure, fixture or any other tangible property on or in Commission-owned or Commission-controlled property or waters without a permit from the executive director or his designee. Persons are further prohibited from encroaching upon Commission property in any manner incompatible with public use.

A vehicle properly registered and operated in conformance with the Vehicle Code (except all-terrain vehicles) is permitted on Commission-owned or Commission-controlled property on those areas that are open to vehicular traffic such as roadways, driveways, launch ramps and designated parking areas. It is unlawful to operate a vehicle on Commission property:

  1. on roads not open to the public,
  2. in a negligent or reckless manner,
  3. in a manner that obstructs or impedes public access to driveways, access roads and launch ramps,
  4. in a manner not in conformance with the posted traffic control signs or devices,
  5. on forested areas, grasslands, wetlands and lands under cultivation, and
  6. on frozen lakes, ponds, rivers or streams.

The use of off-road motorized vehicles, including trail bikes, Tote Gotes, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), air-cushioned vehicles, track vehicles, hydrofoils and the like, is prohibited.

Snowmobiles may be used on Commission-owned or Commission-controlled property that has been designated for such use by the executive director and is so posted. The operation of snowmobiles on frozen lakes, ponds and streams is prohibited. Parking areas on Commission-owned or Commission-controlled property shall not be used for general snowmobile operation.

Walnut Creek Access, Channel and Basin – Boats have the right of way over shore fishermen. Fishing from boats is prohibited in channel and basin. Shore fishing is allowed in the basin ONLY at places and times designated. Shoreline fishing on the west bank and wading is prohibited in Walnut Creek, from the mouth to the posted sign.

Trespassing on Fish & Boat Commission property is prohibited where posted.

Float tubes or similar devices are permitted while fishing on Fish & Boat Commission lakes so long as the device contains two air bladder systems. It may not be propelled by a mechanical device. The user must wear a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device.

Tagged fish contests are prohibited on Fish & Boat Commission lakes or access areas where prizes are awarded for catching tagged fish and where an entry fee is required to participate.

Please see bulletin boards at Commission properties for any additional restrictions that may apply.

Dogs are permitted on Commission property if they are licensed and otherwise in compliance with all other provisions of the Dog Law.

The maximum number of dogs that an owner or handler is permitted to have on Commission property at one time is two.

The owner or handler shall keep the dogs under his or her supervision and control by keeping the dogs on a leash not exceeding six feet in length while on Commission property. Mechanically retractable leashes of any length may also be used. Dogs on board boats are exempt from leash requirements. The owner or handler shall immediately scoop, contain and retain droppings of the dog and may not dispose of dog droppings on Commission property.

The leash requirements do not apply when an owner is training a dog for water retrieval purposes and when the following apply:

  1. The dog is actually performing customary water retrieval functions.
  2. The dog remains within 10 feet of the owner or handler while on land.
  3. The dog is under the immediate control of the owner or handler at all times.
  4. The dog does not interfere with anglers or boaters engaged in fishing, boating or other lawful activities.

An owner or handler of a hunting dog is exempt from the leash requirements and removal of dog droppings requirements when he or she keeps the dog off lawn areas, trails and parking lots and when he or she is engaged in legal hunting or training during the seasons established by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

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