At least one couple in the area learned the hard way that a launch permit is required by the state of Pennsylvania before launching an inflatable kayak from the PA Fish & Boat Access at Mangan Cove.
Patricia Lendener said she and her husband, Ulrich Lendener, went to enjoy Wally Lake Fest on August 24. They live at Woodledge Village where there is a pond where they take out their kayak, and hadn't taken it to Lake Wallenpaupack before.
They went to Mangan Cove Access off Route 590 and paddled out on the lake to get up close to the music from Battle of the Bands. She said they were having a wonderful day, until they paddled back and climbed back onto land.
Two Waterway Conservation Officers from PA Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) met them and asked to see their boat launch permit. Taken by surprise, she said they didn't know they needed one and the officers were told they didn't have a permit.
At first they heard they heard they might get a warning, she said, but then the officers came back with a ticket for $109.
She complained that there should have been a sign telling them they needed a permit, and said $109 is a lot of money.
A check of the area later did reveal a sign stating that a boat launch permit is required for un-powered boats. While not visible as one enters Mangan Cove, the sign is attached to a larger bulletin board with other posters on the far end along the shoreline and visible from that part of the parking area.
--- ' A travesty'
Keith Williams, manager of the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center of the Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau, said this concern has come up before, and said it was a "travesty" to treat their guests at Lake Wallenpaupack this way.
He noted that around the 52 mile shoreline of the lake, this is the only spot where a state permit is required to launch a boat without a motor. He said at the Visitors Center, when someone asks where they can launch their canoe or kayak, they send them to the left end of the Tafton Dike off the parking lot provided by PPL along the beginning of Route 507. There is a path down to the lake at that spot and no launch permits are required.
Williams said he has asked the PFBC to only issue a warning, unless there is some reason such as multiple offenses, where a ticket will be warranted. He commented that the sign at Mangan Cove is there but "it is like reading War and Peace" find it. It also should say where to go buy the permit.
Page 2 of 2 - They had one instance where a lake visitor was very upset getting a ticket for not having a boat launch permit. Williams, as well as the manager at the Wilsonville campgrounds tried hard to placate the offended person so they would want to return.
Eric Levis, spokesman for the PFBC, said he could not comment on the particular instance, not knowing the circumstances. He said it is up to the discretion of the officers of when to issue a warning or a ticket. He also said that they do not just automatically issue tickets in order to raise more revenue.
The violation, he said, is a third degree summary offense, punishable by a $75 fine plus court costs. He noted that it is a clear offense and one should expect a ticket.
--- Getting a launch permit
According to the PFBC:
Non (or "un")-powered launch permits sell for $10 for a one-year permit and $18 for a two-year permit.
Pennsylvania law requires that a launch permit be purchased for non-powered boats such as canoes, kayaks or tubes before launching from an access of either the PFBC or PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR).
PFBC issuing agents for non-powered boat launch permits in Wayne County include:
• Pocono Mountain Licensing, 69 Welwood Avenue, Hawley
• A A A North Penn, 1126 Main St, Honesdale
• Kathy's License Service, 1225 Main St, Honesdale
• Northeast Title & Tag, Route 6 Mall, east of Honesdale
• Seamans Marine Inc, 2017 Roosevelt Hwy, west of Honesdale
• Ds Notary Service, 21 Gto Alley, Waymart.
In Pike County they may be purchased at:
• Pickerel Inn Deli, Llc, 1524 Route 402 Rd, Dingmans Ferry
• Sisters Country Sport Shop, R D 1 Box 86v10 Rt 739, Dingmans Ferry
• Kathy's License Service, 156 Route 507, Tafton
• R & M E Licensing, 693 Route 739 Suite 2, Lords Valley.
They may also be purchased online at The Outdoor Shop, a site maintained by the PFBC at www.pa.wildlifelicense.com. The permits are also available at PFBC regional offices and at many state parks.