Government Affairs State Boating Info California Boating News

California Boating News

April 7, 2011
Life Jacket Rule at Pine Flat Lake, California

Jumping off your boat for a swim in Pine Flat Lake, California without a life jacket? As of April 1, 2011, anyone found swimming more than 100 feet from shore without a life jacket – including boaters who routinely jump in to try to beat 100-degree-plus temperatures – could result in a $175 fine as part of the new life jacket regulations put in the place by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), which manages the lake.

In addition to life jackets now being mandatory for all swimmers outside of designated swim areas, new USACE regulations say that US Coast Guard approved life jackets must be worn by:

  • Everyone aboard all non-motorized vessels, regardless of length, at all times.
  • Everyone aboard motorized vessels up to 16-feet in length, at all times.
  • Everyone aboard motorized vessels 16-feet in length or larger when underway (except when powered by trolling motor or if you are inside a fully-enclosed cabin or the boat is stationary.)
Boaters are encouraged to share their thoughts about these requirements by sending emails to the Park Manager and their Members of Congress by going to

For specific questions about boating issues or BoatUS Government Affairs, please e-mail the department at
  • Quick Links:

  • Contact Your Officials

    Search and contact your local officials.

  • BoatUS Grassroots Toolkit

    Boat owners have a big stake in what goes on in their community. Visit the BoatUS Grassroots Lobbying Toolkit and learn how to get involved!

  • BoatUS Press Room

    Visit the BoatUS Press Room for national boating and BoatUS news, videos and podcasts.