|Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is warning boaters throughout the Commonwealth to be cautious when venturing out on the water after the recent flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Many aids to navigation, especially buoys, that boaters rely on to warn them of dangerous areas such as low-head dams, rocks or narrow channels, may have washed away or were removed prior to the flooding.
“Buoys that remain may have moved off station and may no longer mark the proper areas,” said Ryan Walt, PFBC boating and watercraft safety manager. “In addition, flooding creates new hazards such as debris and downed trees that were not there before. In many cases dangers that were hidden by high water will only emerge after water levels drop.”
Boaters are reminded that boating has inherent hazards and those who choose to go out do so at their own risk.
“Remember to have all required safety equipment on board and wear your personal flotation device,” added Walt.
Significant losses of PFBC-owned buoys have been reported on much of the Susquehanna River, including the Harrisburg Pool, Lake Aldred and Lake Clarke. PFBC-owned buoys were removed from Lake Frederic and Lake Augusta near Sunbury prior to the flooding. Also, buoys were lost or removed from the Delaware River, Schuylkill River near Norristown and the Neshaminy Creek in Bucks County.
Buoys owned by the PFBC are normally removed for the winter by late September or early October so missing buoys will not be replaced until traditional boating season begins in the spring.
Boaters who observe PFBC-owned buoys entangled in flood debris are encouraged to contact the appropriate regional office to report them. A list of the regional offices and phone numbers is available on the PFBC website at: http://fishandboat.com/dir_regions.htm.
In addition, boaters who observe what they believe to be hazardous materials such as chemical drums in flood debris should contact the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (www.dep.state.pa.us) or their county emergency management agency.
The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at fishandboat.com.