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PA DCNR Announces Boating Horsepower Changes at Six State Park Lakes.

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Michael DiBerardinis today announced a change to boating horsepower limits at six state park lakes, the culmination of a 17-month pilot program.

Effective today, outboard motor limits will increase from 18 horsepower to 20 horsepower at the state park lakes: Lake Marburg, Codorus State Park, York County; Lake Wilhelm, Maurice K. Goddard State Park, Mercer County; Lake Arthur, Moraine State Park, Butler County; Lake Nockamixon, Nockamixon State Park, Bucks County; Glendale Lake, Prince Gallitzin State Park, Cambria County; and Yellow Creek Lake, Yellow Creek State Park, Indiana County.

With the exception of Yellow Creek, all lakes involved in the pilot program are larger than 1,000 acres. Lake Pymatuning at Pymatuning State Park, Crawford County, is targeted for the 20-horsepower limit, but not before the needed approval in joint legislative action by Pennsylvania and neighboring Ohio.

Evaluation of the original 18-horsepower pilot program, completed by the Bureau of State Parks, clearly shows little or no adverse impacts noted by state park officials and very few objections from park boaters, anglers and other visitors, Secretary DiBerardinis said.

"While these observations are not likely to change with this 2-horsepower increase, the 20-horsepower limit will enable boaters to choose from a larger selection of outboard motors, as production of 18-horsepower models is limited," Secretary DiBerardinis said.

"It must be noted, however, that protection of the resource is paramount, the 20-horsepower limit again will be monitored closely and strictly enforced, and violators will be prosecuted."

Secretary DiBerardinis said state boaters seeking the 2-horsepower increase were especially active in conveying sentiments and support for the change to state Reps. Edward P. Wojnaroski Sr. and Gary Haluska, both of Cambria County, and John R. Evans, representing Erie and Crawford counties.

"It is important to keep in mind that these changes are minor and will not significantly change the character of the lakes involved," Secretary DiBerardinis said. "There will be no personal watercraft allowed, nor water skiing or recreational towing of any type."

Park officials at the affected lakes say boaters routinely circumvented the originally posted horsepower limits by altering carburetion systems, or displaying horsepower motor covers on motors that actually were more powerful.

Outboard motors larger than 20 horsepower may be attached to boats used in all state park lakes, but they can be operated only in those lakes approved for unlimited horsepower.

"The Fish and Boat Commission defers to DCNR with respect to horsepower regulations on state parks lakes, and we support the proposed pilot program," said PFBC Deputy Executive Director Dennis Guise. "The Commission agrees with DCNR's approach to horsepower limits on these lakes."

For more information on boating and other features at Pennsylvania's state parks, call 1-888-PA-PARKS or visit the PA PowerPort at http://www.state.pa.us/, PA Keyword: "state parks." For details on boating regulations, safety classes, public access areas and registering watercraft, visit the Fish and Boat Commission's website at http://www.fish.state.pa.us/.

CONTACT: Terry Brady of Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, +1-717-772-9101.

CONTACT: Terry Brady of Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, +1-717-772-9101

Web site: http://www.state.pa.us/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 1, 2003
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