This claims that "in Maine a $20 fee is levied on canoes and kayaks and the proceeds are applied to controlling exotic and invasive species." The page at http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/topic/invasives/inspect.htm indicates that Maine has free "Courtesy Boat Inspections" and that "Maine law states that all motorized boats operated on inland (non-tidal) waters must display the current year's Lake and River Protection Sticker." Can anyone tell me where I can learn more about this Maine law for paddle craft? Thanks,
Hi Fitz and Benson
As a native of NH I always pay attention when this comes up. Also I argue against this fee with some of my hunting and fishing freinds.
I spent many years on the Lamprey Advisory committe and it has been designated a National Wild and Scenic River. In all the info I received while on the committee I found an interesting reason why this fee should not be applied in any state.
There is a national law, put in place by our founding fathers, that is still on the books. This states that access to all navigable waterways could not be blocked at traditional access points and canoists and boaters are allowed to portage around blockages of these waterways at bridges etc. It also states that no fees can be charged to use theses waterways.
This was put in place because the European landlords would block access and use of the rivers that flowed through their vast landholdings. In our country we wanted to prevent that from happening here.
This has been ignored by landowners who post their properties at these access areas and prevent others from portaging. Many find it not worth the cost and effort to fight this in court, but those who do win.
The states have gotten around or ignored this law also. Motor boats were not around at the time this law was made so states have been able to charge a fee for motors.
I think a source for more info on this is the National Rivers website. If you can not find the info I can dig up the e-mail I got on this from my old computer.
In NH if you bring up this law and ask what our state moto is ( Live Free or Die) it is bound to be defeated every time a bill is introduced. Someday though it is likely no one will remind them.
I have written to the newspaper and the reporter commenting on their sloppy journalism reporting that Maine has a $20 fee -- they should know that just because some supposed authority says something, "it ain't necessarily so." And it ain't necessarily so just because it appears in print. Basic fact checking -- 2 minutes googling [state] watercraft registration, would have taught these "journalists" that no immediately neighboring jurisdiction requires registration of canoes and kayaks -- the closest that any nearby state comes to a canoe registration requirement is Connecticut, which requires registration of boats over 19' 6" -- leaving almost all canoes and kayaks exempt.
I tried to copy the legislator, John Byrnes, with my email to the newpaper and reporter, but he does not give an email on his legislative directory listing
I guess he does not want to hear from those he represents, or anyone else.
Since I have the good fortune not to be represented by him, I don't care to spend $.44 to send him a snail mail telling him how half-baked, half-witted I think his idea is. I did suggest to the press that if using the pavement (to park a towing vehicle) justifies boat registrations/fees, New Hampshire ought to consider charging a fee to register other recreational equipment that uses pavement -- such as bicycles, or even sneakers. Gee, I should have also suggested skate boards. Lots of cash could be raised that way!
Needless to say, if such a bill is passed, I think we should not consider NH ever again for Assembly.
I got word through the interwebs today that this proposal has been withdrawn, even before going to committee. Apparently, members of the canoe and kayak racing community have once again been instrumental in educating and informing the government. They helped greatly in recent proposed MA PFD regs too.