Proposed Federal Boating Regulations Create Concern In Lake Havasu City

Published: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 2:11pm
Updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 3:58pm
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(Photo by Andrew Wilkinson - CC BY 2.0)
Lake Havasu.

Close to 1,800 people showed up Monday night for a public meeting held by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in Lake Havasu City. That’s because of a proposed change in boating regulations in and around Lake Havasu.

“We had existing restrictions along 17.5 miles. What we’re proposing now is to extend those restrictions an additional two miles,” said FWS spokesperson Christine Tincher.

The two-mile zone is at the north end of the lake. The proposed changes would restrict speeds of motorized boats to five miles an hour, and would prohibit waterskiing, tubing and wakeboarding.

“So we’re talking about a small area, and keeping it open for passage but restricting the speeds within certain areas,” Tincher said.

But Lake Havasu City mayor Mark Nexsen said he’s concerned about the proposed changes because it’s an important area to local watercraft businesses. This time last year, FWS imposed similar restrictions on a half-mile stretch in the lake, which Nexsen said received push back.

“It may not sound like much, a half a mile, but it turns out that that one-half mile was an area of a backwater that was used by recreational boaters to teach their kids how to wakeboard, water ski, etcetera, for decades,” Nexsen said.

The Fish and Wildlife Service says animal habitats — like those of migratory birds — are being damaged. That, along with safety concerns, creates a need for these changes. The next public meeting on the proposed changes is Tuesday night, and the Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public comment through May 12.

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