If you were recreating on a river or lake over the Fourth of July weekend you may have encountered a lot of other folks.
It only makes sense to remember to be courteous at boat launches and takeouts as we all crowd together. So here are a few reminders from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks about boating etiquette.
- Be ready to float before you get on the ramp.
- Organize gear and load boats before approaching the ramp.
- Inflate and rig rafts away from the ramp.
- Be aware of the space available at the launch area and use only what you need.
- Rig and unrig fishing rods away from the ramp.
- Once in the water, clear the launch area as soon as possible.
When taking out, leave.
- Profanity and obnoxious behavior is inappropriate and offensive.
- Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous — be responsible when drinking alcohol on and around the river.
- Be discrete when changing clothing.
- Keep dogs under control and on a leash.
- Be friendly and communicate when encountering others on the river.
- Give anglers wide berth to avoid floating through the area they are fishing.
- If it is impossible to avoid floating through the area someone is fishing, politely explain your situation and apologize for the intrusion.
- Don’t monopolize a fishing hole. Fish for awhile and move on.
- Nonmotorized watercraft usually have the right-of-way over powerboats.
- Nonmotorized watercraft should yield the deeper channel to powerboats, which require a deeper channel to navigate safely.
- Powerboats should use no-wake speeds when passing non-motorized watercraft and wade anglers.
- Paddlers "surfing" on a wave should yield to "through boaters."
- Don’t leave your trash — Pack it in-Pack it out.
- Use existing restrooms or pack out human waste and toilet paper with a portable toilet.
- Avoid using the streambed as a pathway and instead — walk along the shoreline within the high water mark.
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