Navigation & Recreation

Navigation & Recreation

The Navigation & Recreation Committee has the mission to promote safe recreational activities on Keuka Lake and in the Keuka Lake Watershed.

Safe navigation and recreation is addressed in the following areas:
1. Increase awareness of NYS navigation laws.
    a. Post speed limits at lake access points.
    b. Distribute summaries of navigation laws to the KLA newsletter & web site, local vacation guides, rental agencies, town clerks, marinas, etc.
    c. Reports to the membership.
2. Assist Yates and Steuben County Sheriff's Marine Patrol with enforcement of NYS navigation laws and the DEC Enviromental Conservation Officers with communication of fishing and wildlife regulations.
    a. Publicize issues of mutual interest.
    b. Resolution of areas of concern from the KLA membership.
    c. Assistance with equipment acquisition.
    d. Distribution of dock plates and other methods of site identification.
3. Publicize recreational opportunities on Keuka Lake.
    a. Publish and distribute fishing regulation summaries.
    b. Identify & publicize special events.
    c. Highlight swimming and other water recreation safety.
    d. Submit Newsletter articles on things to do in the watershed.
4. When needed, seek modification to NYS Navigation Laws.
    a. Communicate concerns to appropriate agencies.
    b. Research experiences in other locations.
    c. Monitor pending legislation.
    d. Report issues to the membership.
5. Identify research, coordinate, publicize, and help resolve member concerns on issues of navigation, recreation, and safety.
    a. Scuba diver identification and treatment.
    b. Fishing tournament identification, publicity, and impacts.
    c. Water fowl feeding, hunting, and pollution.
    d. Water ski slalom courses and jump ramps.

Complete List of Navigation & Recreation Content

Cisco -Bait Fish Research Tracking - DEC
I addition to the info in the attacehd PDF, we plan on doing some night electrofishing the weeks of June 3 and June 10th, water temperature and weather dependent. So there will be boats with bright lights out on the lake along the shoreline during nighttime hours generally 9 PM to 1 AM. We will let our ECO’s and the sheriffs dept know in case they get any calls. We usually get a few curious onlookers and some folks that are a “little concerned” about what we are doing.

Additionally in July and September we will be doing our standard lake trout assessment and our new forage assessment. The lake trout assessment is tentatively set for the weeks of July 15 and 22nd. The forage assessment is tentatively set for the weeks of Sept 9 and 16th.

Reminder - Fire Safety Afloat
The recent boat explosion and fire during the antique boat show in Hammondsport is a reminder about the need for safe handling of fuel afloat. It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security about the use of gasoline (and to a lesser extent diesel fuel) in boats because of the wide spread use in motor vehicles on land. However there is a very important difference because gasoline vapor is heavier than air and if it leaks in a boat it collects in the bilge rather than dispersing along the ground.
It does not take much gasoline to create an explosive mixture of 14 to 1 air to gasoline and a spark from the electric starter motor can cause an explosion. The bilge blowers that are required on board gasoline boats with inboard engines built since July 1980 are sealed to prevent such explosions. The best way to verify that there are no leaks is before you insert your ignition key, use your nose and sniff the air coming out of the blower vent (usually on the port or left side of the boat). If possible open the engine compartment and check for leaks especially if your boat does not have a blower.
Of course if you are checking for the source of a leak or refueling your boat, you should not smoke and you should turn off any stoves, heaters or electric equipment on board. Once you are done and anytime you start your engine, you should run the bilge blower for four minutes first. These steps also apply when you attempt to restart an engine that has stalled unexpectedly. In that case, open the engine hatch just enough to confirm that there is no fire before opening it fully to sniff for a leak.
If you have an outboard engine, the risk of a fuel fire is less but there are still some precautions you need to take as well. Portable fuel tanks should be removed from the boat and filled on the dock so that any spills do not collect in the bilge of the boat. If you have a built in fuel tank, you should be careful not to overfill the tank and perform the same “sniff test” to verify that there are no leaks.
Finally, if you do discover a fuel leak do not attempt to clean it up yourself, especially not by using electric fans, work lights, pumps or vacuums that can cause a spark when switched on " call 911 (or radio the Coast Guard on the Great Lakes) and get professional help.

NYS Boaters' Guide 2018
NYS Boaters' Guide can be accessed by clicking on this link; 

NYS DEC's 2017 Angler's Diary Report
The DEC presentation at last June�s Keuka Lake State of the Lake meeting described the significant population collapse of the alewife, the primary forage fish sustaining the coldwater lake fishery. This was confirmed this past summer when sampling yielded only 14 alewives in Keuka Lake. Stressors include a decline in lake productivity resulting from both nutrient reduction programs begun in the 1970�s within the watershed along with the introduction of zebra mussels in 1994 and later introduction of quagga mussels. The final straw was likely the recent two back to back cold, long winters.

Given the current status of the lake and its� fishery, the DEC is taking several management actions to address the concerns regarding forage and its subsequent impacts on the coldwater fishery. They will temporarily eliminate the stocking of brown trout and Atlantic salmon, and this will alleviate some predatory pressure on the forage base. They are also pursuing plans to reintroduce cisco into Keuka Lake, a native forage species better suited to the current nutrient poor lake conditions. Currently Bath Fish Hatchery is experimentally raising cisco and plans are to stock the approximately 10,000 fingerlings they raise into Keuka Lake this fall. We are also developing a forage assessment plan to build off the work that was completed in 2017. The DEC will continue to monitor the lake and its� fishery in order to develop management strategies that will provide the best fishing opportunities given the current lake conditions.

The DEC is also establishing a warmwater angler�s diary to collect additional data to complement the longstanding coldwater diary program on Keuka Lake. We encourage all KLA members who regularly fish the lake to participate in both diary programs.

Boater Safety Courses - Yates Co. Sheriffs - 2019
Re: The Yates County Sheriff's Marine Patrol will be offering a boater's safety courses for Kids ages 10 through 18 and all persons 14 and older who wish to operate a Personal Water Craft on May 18, June 8 and July 13. 8:00am to approximately 4:00pm

*** Please note: All operators of Personal Water Craft must have a boater safety card, regardless of age.

This course is between seven and eight hours long and class size is limited to the first 20 students.
Location---- Yates County Public Safety Building, 227 Main Street, Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527


Marine Safety Alert
The U.S. Coast Guard is concerned about the sale and
availability of unapproved recreational and commercial
vessel navigation lights.

Help Keep Fishing Great - Keep an Angler's Diary!
Help us (NYS-DEC) keep fishing great in your favorite lake (KEUKA)! 

Become an Angler Diary Keeper today. 
Click on and read the attached PDF now!

NYS DEC's 2018 Anglers' Diary Report
Anglers' Diary Report 2018

Sky Lanterns
Beware of sky lanterns!

Safety Alert from New York DHSES

Boater Safety Courses - General Info
Boater Safety Courses - General Area Information

Chinese Flying Lantern Info

PFD Laws of New York

USCG Float Plan

Vessel Equipment Guide

To Preserve and Protect Keuka Lake