The final #NotesFromTheStreams of 2020 was submitted by SGT Walt Buckman, Assistant Region Supervisor, Northeast Region. He writes:
This past summer, Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer Walter Gutzan and I were patrolling Lake Wallenpaupack in our marked patrol boat. We observed a boat with an expired Kansas registration. It's occupants (2 juveniles and 1 adult male) were fishing close to the Wayne County shoreline. We observed the occupants for a few minutes before we headed over to conduct a boarding of their vessel.
At the onset of the boarding, I asked the boat's operator/owner for the vessel's current registration; it had expired in 2018. The gentleman stated, “I thought boats’ registrations were extended because of COVID?” He continued by professing he follows all the rules, and never breaks any laws. As we continued through the boarding process, I asked to see personal floatation devices for everyone on board. He could only produce one. I then asked to see his throwable device, since his boat was greater than 16 feet. Unfortunately he was missing that as well. He was able to produce the required fire extinguisher but it was not serviceable. Finally I asked to see his fishing license. His head slumped downward as he said, “I don’t have one.”
(Editor's note: Make sure that you are properly prepared for 2021. Purchase your fishing license and register your boat online. And be sure to read the Boating Handbook to make sure that you have all of the required gear for your vessel. Stay safe!)