Boating restrictions causing confusion

Published: Apr. 12, 2020 at 6:41 PM EDT
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The Stay-At- Home order has now extended to include using motorized boats, jet skis, and other similar watercraft.

However, non-motorized boating like kayaking, canoeing, and sailing are permitted. These restrictions are causing confusion and frustration amid boat users.

"I would like to hear more clarity on the fishing part. Can I have more than one person in my boat or not? We need more clarity on that," Jack Garcia, a fisherman at Sleepy Hollow state park said.

The DNR says yes you can fish, but there are limitations on non-motorized boats.

"You can have people from the same household in a boat, that's the rule," Ron Olson, Chief of Parks & Recreation with MI Department of Natural Resources said.

Olson says motorized boats requiring any sort of gasoline in order to run are prohibited under the extended order. He says this is to reduce the need to gather when refilling gas tanks.

"The executive order of the governor does bring with it a fine, up to a 1000 fine so this isn't something that is advised, it's something that's required," Olson said.

Olson says the emphasis is still on social distancing and while some were participating in it, some were not and that's why the order was put into place. Garcia says as a fisherman, he can see why the governor is pushing for restricted fishing.

"Us fisherman, when we get to the boat launch we get to talk to one another and that right there can be a problem with this virus. driving multiple people to fish and stuff, that can be an issue," Garcia said.

He says he didn't completely understand the order prior to bringing his boat out, but he'll respect it.

"Whatever the governor and whatever the laws call for I know that I will follow it to a T. I think the more that we follow these rules, I think the faster that we'll get over this," Garcia says.

The new inclusion is set to stay in place until the end of the Stay at Home order, on April 30th.