For the second year in a row, the New Jersey Boating Regulations Commission held its July meeting at the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club, which allowed several Lake Hopatcong-area residents the opportunity to share their thoughts without having to drive the Garden State Parkway. A couple dozen people were in attendance for the meeting on Wednesday, July 10, and those who spoke mostly shared their concerns about two topics:
- The impact that wakeboarding and wakesurfing boats are having on property, with several private residents and a couple of marina owners sharing stories of damage to their boats, docks, and lines from the waves created by the boats. The Commission discussed ideas such as increasing the distance from shore for boats to conduct those activities, or “self-policing” with regard to creating wakes. (They also encouraged anyone who witnessed boaters not maintaining a proper wake to report their registration number to the State Police.) A draft of any changes would be proposed after this season, with opportunity for public comment before being adopted in 2020.
- Allowing boat renters to operate motorboats without taking the same course that those with boat license/safety certificates are obligated to take. Suggestions included requiring on-board instruction before allowing renters to use the boat, or restricting rentals to those with boating licenses on busy weekends and holidays. The Commission said any such changes would have to be made through the State Police statute, and suggested that any concerns be shared with state legislators.
There were a few other issues that came up, such as the Byram Cove raft-up situation, loud music from boats, and questions about buoy-placement restrictions. All were familiar topics to Lake Hopatcong residents, and it was nice to once again have a local venue host the Commission to hear the concerns of residents about New Jersey’s largest lake and the vicinity. We hope that the group will continue to include Lake Hopatcong on its rotation in the years ahead. We will be sure to share information about any suggested changes the Commission makes to the existing regulations, so local residents will have the opportunity to comment.
To learn more about the Boating Regulation Commission, click here.