How will the River Management Plan Affect Private Boaters

The updated River Management Plan requires noncommercial boaters to "register" if their river trip takes place in large groups or through institutional organizations. Also, Quiet Zone regulations will be extended to noncommercial boaters.

Noncommercial trips of less than 18 people

For most noncommercial boaters, there will not be any new requirements for 2002 on the South Fork. The annual boater tag system will continue. The tag is an educational device used to inform boaters of their responsibilities while running the river. The County wants to reach all boaters with the message to boat safely, observe private property rights and protect river resources. The tags will be available at all developed river access points and campgrounds.

Accompanying the tag is a waterproof may that depicts the location of all public lands and public river access points along the river. The tag will show the latest information on BLM public lands in the river corridor.

New Quiet Zone regulation

The Quiet Zone was established as a management effort to diminish the impacts of boaters' noise on area residents.

The Quiet Zone begins at Indian Creek, about one mile above Trouble Maker Rapid, and ends at Greenwood Creek. Outfitters must maintain noise in the Quiet Zone at levels associated with normal downstream travel. A permit violation and $100 fine may be issued for any non-emergency yelling or screaming by passengers that is not being actively discouraged by outfitter guides. The plan extends quiet Zone regulations to include noncommercial boaters.

Large group registration

  • A large group is any group of 18 or more people boating together on a noncommercial river trip.
  • Pre-trip registration will be required.
  • Registration form will be available On-Line(PDF, 182KB), through the US mail and at the major put-ins.
  • Purpose of registration:
  • Ensure the trip is noncommercial;
    • The group receives information on boating safety and boaters' responsibilities;
    • The group receives information on how to avoid contributing to on-river congestion during summer weekends.

Institutional group registration

  •  Institutional group river trips are noncommercial trips operated as a program of a non-profit organization or as a part of an accredited academic program.  
  •  Pre-season annual registration will be required.  
  •  Registration form will be available on-line and through the US mail.  
  •  Registration requirements will include:
    •  Proof of nonprofit or academic status  
    •  Liability insurance  
    •  Trip leaders must have current swiftwater rescue technician and first aid certifications  
    •  Annual reporting of river use

Purpose of registration

  • Ensure the organization's river trips are noncommercial;
  • Ensure the organization's program meets basic river safety and skill requirements;
  • The organization receives information on boating safety and boaters' responsibilities on the river;
  • The organization receives information on how to avoid contributing to on-river congestion during summer weekends.
  • Organizations are made aware of potential for further County regulatory actions under the River Management Plan's river use capacity strategy.