From November 1st through April 30th, boaters will be required to wear life jacket while on a boat less than 16-feet long, as well as all canoes & kayaks. Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission spokesman Eric Levis says a disproportionate number of boating fatalities occur during these cold weather months.
Levis tells Radio PA that life jackets will save you from drowning in the event of cold water shock. “If you’ve ever been in cold water, and I have, it becomes very difficult to swim. Your body is cold, you’re shivering, you may start hyperventilating. The life jackets will help.”
The Commission passed the new, statewide regulation earlier this fall. It will be in effect annually during the colder months.
The Fish & Boat Commission has also approved a mentored youth fishing pilot program, which will be rolled out in the southeast region this coming March – the weekend before the regional trout season opens. Levis says details on which waters will be involved, and how to register, are still being finalized.