Police remind public of fishing regulations, boat safety laws

Police remind public of fishing regulations, boat safety laws

NORWICH-City police want to remind residents of the state’s fishing regulations and boat safety guidelines before heading out in the water this summer.

At 6:00 p.m., June 6 the Norwich Police Department Harbor Patrol conducted vessel safety inspections and striped bass creel limit checks within the Norwich Harbor.

After their findings, Norwich police wants to remind the public of the 2016 Marine Fisheries Regulations for Striped Bass, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The regulations state the minimum length of a striped bass is 28 inches, the daily creel limit is one fish per angler and the open season is year round.

Regarding boating and life jackets, Connecticut law requires each person aboard a vessel to have a life jacket properly sized, in good condition and readily accessible. Children under age 13 must wear their life jacket unless below deck or in an enclosed cabin. All passengers on a boat must wear their life jacket at all times when underway or on a manually propelled vessel, like a kayak, canoe or rowboat from Oct. 1 through May 31 or when waterskiing or being towed in other water sports.

All of Connecticut’s fatal boating accidents in 2015 were caused by drowning and all victims were not wearing a life jacket, police said.

Additionally, police want to warn the public about boating while under the influence.

Nationally, alcohol was the leading contributing factor in deadly boating accidents and was listed as the leading factor in 21 percent of fatalities from recreational boating accidents, according to the United States Coast Guard’s 2014 statistics. It is illegal in every state to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Penalties for boating while drunk in Connecticut include fines, jail time and loss of boating privileges.

Courtesy of The Norwich Bulletin

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