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Q & A
Tubing at Access Areas
Question
I would like to find out more about the regulations on tubing. We heard about a regulation saying we are not allowed to launch our tubes from the state access area into the river. How can this be? You mean to tell me the state of Pennsylvania has a law against tubing on the river?
Answer
Pennsylvania has no general law prohibiting launching of inner tubes or tubing on the Pennsylvania rivers. There is no special fee to tube on Pennsylvania waters.

Whether it is legal to launch or retrieve inner tubes at particular access areas depends on the regulations for those sites. Under Fish and Boat Commission regulations (58 Pa. Code 53.16(c)), it is unlawful to launch or retrieve swimming aids, such as inner tubes and similar devices, from access areas managed for fishing and boating by the Commission.

Why? As a general proposition, Commonwealth properties managed by the state Fish and Boat Commission are maintained for use by anglers and boaters for fishing and boating. In Pennsylvania, the Fish and Boat Commission operates on funds acquired from the sale of fishing licenses, related permits and boat registrations. It receives no general tax funding like most state agencies do. Activities, such as inner tubing, may interfere with the fishing and boating uses for which these properties were acquired and maintained. Persons who use a Fish and Boat Commission access area to park a car and launch or retrieve an inner tube may be taking up space reserved for (and paid for by) anglers and boaters. In addition, the incompatibility between swimming and use of swimming aids raises safety concerns when it occurs in close proximity to a launch ramp used by power boats. Field reports show that, in many cases, these are incompatible activities, and the Fish and Commission is duty bound to prevent activities incompatible with fishing and boating at PFBC access areas.

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