Mar. 04, 2015

HARRISBURG – The House Game and Fisheries Committee, chaired by state Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York), was reminded today of an important boater safety law during an informational meeting with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). The reminder occurred while the committee was receiving the PFBC’s annual report from Executive Director John Arway.
“In 2014, 17 fatalities occurred on Pennsylvania waterways, with 14 of the victims not wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs),” Gillespie said. “It is hard to tell how many of these were preventable, but the statistics are a reminder of the law that was established in 2012 regarding the required wearing of these devices.”
Under Pennsylvania law, “a person shall wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device or life jacket during the cold weather months from November 1 through April 30 while underway or at anchor on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak.” Wearing of the appropriate gear is optional the remainder of the year, but Gillespie advises wearing it year round as a common-sense measure.
“It takes less than a minute to slip on a PFD or life vest before you hit the water,” added Gillespie. “The mere moments it takes are an investment that could save your life.”
The committee also heard testimony regarding the effectiveness of the PFBC’s recent campaign to offer reduced fee three-year and five-year fishing licenses during the month of December.
“Sales were up more than 14 percent compared to December, 2013, and the commission is hoping its ‘Catch the Value’ campaign will result in a further boost,” Gillespie commented. “Online sales are slowly increasing since its inception a few years ago, and expansion of the Mentored Youth Trout Fishing program is aimed at growing the sport even further.”
Questions about this or any legislative issue should be addressed to Gillespie’s district office by calling (717) 840-4711. The office, located at 4188 Lincoln Highway East, York, now has trout stocking schedules for local anglers to pick up.
Representative Keith Gillespie
47th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Scott Little