Strict Coast Guard license rules thre...

Strict Coast Guard license rules threaten Minnesota outfitters,...

There are 47 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Dec 15, 2009, titled Strict Coast Guard license rules threaten Minnesota outfitters,.... In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

As a canoe outfitter at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Blayne Hall has seen his business ravaged by windstorms and challenged by wilderness lawsuits and regulations.

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Sparky

Saint Paul, MN

#42 Dec 28, 2009
Minnesota watercraft counts:

Canoes 172,000
Motorboats 850,000

I have NEVER seen a motorboat capsized. I see at least one non-motorized watercraft capsized every year.

IF you see more motorboats flipped you are not on a lake with non-motorized watercraft used.

The BWCA is exclusive non-motorboat and EVERY year there are a number of capsized canoes with rescues needed and unfortunatly some die before help can get to them.

Remember the event where the father son capsized in the BWCA on a big lake and the father lived while his son died of hypothermia.

Had there been a couple of motorized fishing boats on the lake the outcome may have been different. People learn the hard way how dangerous the canoe is.

Motorboat users also drown but the numbers don't approach non-motorized craft.
Rick

Saint Paul, MN

#43 Jan 5, 2010
The comments by Mr Dahlberg are right on. This seems to the untrained observer to be a case of the CG saying "we need something to regulate and license inland water guides", and then saying"ooops, but we don't have anything", and then saying "well, let's use what we have for now, even if it's not applicable".
The comments in this posting by those from California and Alaska are good FOR THAT AREA. You forget however that in the plains, we never see oceans, harbors, or craft the size that you do. My 21' Ranger boat is one of the largest boats on any lake I fish. Granted, the big cruisers on the river are present, but regulate THEM. They need it handling the big craft. Here in Minnesota, most boaters never see those conditions, or watercraft in their lifetime.
As a licensed pilot, I spent thousands getting my private, then instrument, then commercial and finally my ATP certificates. All made me a better pilot but I would have been able to handle flying without most of them....particularly the commercial and ATP.
The message here is they "got us". No two ways about it.
As I see it, we have 2 choices.....comply with it, or shut down the majority of the guide services available. This will drive prices WAY out of site (no supply). Then the public in general may scream, and then others will listen. Until the general public cries "foul" it will not change.
Big Pike Mike

Saint Paul, MN

#44 Jan 9, 2010
More Poor decision making in the wake of this debacle.

It seems the CG has decided, citing personnel safety and cost, not to deploy the navigational buoys this summer on the St Croix River. See link below:

http://kstp.com/news/stories/s1353493.shtml

Let me get this straight.

They have the resources to enforce a previously unenforced (42 yr old law mind you)six pack regulation on Minnesota's fishing guides, which cost's tax payer dollars and who knows how much of their time. An action with no measurable positive result for anyone in the fishing revenue stream or on safety, which they claim as their mission.

Yet, they Do NOT have the resources to maintain a system of 15 buoys on the River, which most if not all users would agree are critical to the safety of boaters, particularly on busy weekends and in the area's of Afton and the Kinni narrows. Without these buoys, more accidents are almost a certainty as well as countless ground up lower units on crafts owned by weekend boaters unfamiliar with the bars and hazards. Enough accidents and you've got fatalities on a river already busy and chaotic enough. This is absurd and underscores the inept decision making being done on behalf of the 9th District CG.

If indeed the CG's mission is creating safer waterways, then they have failed us, yet again.

bigpikemike
Sam

Minneapolis, MN

#45 Jan 9, 2010
It only takes one lower unit to be damaged and a unpowered boat on the Kinni area with a coal barge coming to drown the occupants of the boat. A guided boat would be safer because the guide would know where the dams are but the CG is regulating them out of business.

I use the term Gestapo because it sure seems government really doesn't care about the needs of the citizens. Guess I'll write Betty McColumn and she will respond with a form letter to give me a sucker and shut me up, that's what I get out of her.

IMHO the budget defecit could be solved by eliminating lots of worthless government agencies starting with the Met Council and then the TSA, let the DOD do their job defending the country MARINES.

==========
Big Pike Mike wrote:
More Poor decision making in the wake of this debacle.
It seems the CG has decided, citing personnel safety and cost, not to deploy the navigational buoys this summer on the St Croix River. See link below:
http://kstp.com/news/stories/s1353493.shtml
Let me get this straight.
They have the resources to enforce a previously unenforced (42 yr old law mind you)six pack regulation on Minnesota's fishing guides, which cost's tax payer dollars and who knows how much of their time. An action with no measurable positive result for anyone in the fishing revenue stream or on safety, which they claim as their mission.
Yet, they Do NOT have the resources to maintain a system of 15 buoys on the River, which most if not all users would agree are critical to the safety of boaters, particularly on busy weekends and in the area's of Afton and the Kinni narrows. Without these buoys, more accidents are almost a certainty as well as countless ground up lower units on crafts owned by weekend boaters unfamiliar with the bars and hazards. Enough accidents and you've got fatalities on a river already busy and chaotic enough. This is absurd and underscores the inept decision making being done on behalf of the 9th District CG.
If indeed the CG's mission is creating safer waterways, then they have failed us, yet again.
bigpikemike
Cody

Stillwater, MN

#46 Jan 9, 2010
"Being in Eureka CA however, you would not know this."

All this coming from someone who hasn't taken the CG test.
And yes they do have a vessel in the metro area. Two if you count the Auxiliary.

Save the guides? LOL! The guides can save themselves. IF they want to. Take the test.
Big Pike Mike

Saint Paul, MN

#47 Jan 10, 2010
Cody wrote:
"Being in Eureka CA however, you would not know this."
All this coming from someone who hasn't taken the CG test.
And yes they do have a vessel in the metro area. Two if you count the Auxiliary.
Save the guides? LOL! The guides can save themselves. IF they want to. Take the test.
Your right. I have not and will not take the test, maybe if you want to spot me the money, pay me for my time off work and buy the updated equipment I need to pass the inspection, oh ya, take my drug test, fingerprint, retinal scan for me too. How can you not see this as overbearing? seriously? test be damned.

I think you need to spend some time looking at the issue from a slightly different view. The TWIC card is not there to tell you whether or not your guide is a felon, that is not the nature of the law. You can download and read it on the HomePort's site, all 72 pages. It was born of 9/11 and the homeland security act. It was created to allow "unescorted access to secure ports". buried in the fine print on page 60 something, one line, "boat pilots". The spirit of the law has nothing to do with inland guides and sadly for the guides, we got caught up in a broad, all encompassing legislation that has nothing to do with how we operate or do business.

As for the CG's vessels. I have been on the St Croix for 25+ years. I have seen the buoy tender from year to year but have seen a CG cutter but once, ground up on the afton bar after rolling through the channel on plane. Nothing like seeing a 70' craft, full of nav equipment and "highly trained" mariners stuck on the most obvious bar on the river. I had to laugh.
Rick

Ketchikan, AK

#48 Feb 10, 2010
Cody wrote:
I guess I stand alone.
I like knowing my guide isn't a drug user or a person convicted or even charged with a violent crime (THAT's what the TWIC card is for.)
If a business can not afford the cost of the CG license, how can they afford the commercial insurance? I would like to know that my guide has insurance, don't you?
Ok, it's too much money (or too large of a TAX lol!) you say. Guiding part time, 3 days a week for 3 months. 36 days and the license that will force these people out of business is about a grand. Oh yeah! For FIVE YEARS! That's $11.12 per trip. If that's going to force a business to go under gas prices should have done that a year ago.
Cut the B as in B, S as in S.
The "limited scope" oupv license is no longer being offered to guides. Check the USCG website. This is fairly new, so many aren't aware of it yet.
Good luck with having the law changed. They tried that down on Lake Texoma last spring after one in a guided party drown and the CG started cracking down.
Mr. Griz. I don't know you. Sounds like your a great guy with many well wishers. I wish you well too, but you can pass the tests. If you want to.
The TWIC is a total joke. I did not have to submit drug test results to get one. I had to submit finger prints, and a pass port, or birth certificate. Considering I already give my finger prints every time I renew my USCG license, and I have to carry numerous forms of ID with me. What good is a TWIC? I do not feel any safer. I am sure bad guys can still make a fake. Many folks in Alaska had to fly out of town to a TWIC center 2x to get their card. Very expensive.

BTW in Alaska, I have to carry a state guide license, USFS permit, proof of insurance, USCG license, business license, CPR/First Aide card, fish and game log books, photo ID, fish and game guide license, etc.

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