RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Anyone using a facility owned or managed by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), including boating access sites, must now have a valid permit or certificate.
The requirement went into effect Jan. 1, 2021.
According to the DWR website, acceptable documentation includes a Virginia hunting, trapping, or fishing permit, a Restore the Wild membership, an access permit, or current certificate of boat registration issued by DWR.
This does not apply to those under the age of 17 or passengers with a permitted operator.
DWR officials say this change is due to state legislation that brought rules governing DWR-owned and managed boating access sites in line with rules already in place at other DWR access sites, in order to allow all users of DWR sites to have equitable access.
The requirement applies to those launching a kayak or paddle board.
Anyone who violates the new mandate may receive a summons and be subject to a $50 fine plus court costs.
Officials say funding generated by penalty fees will help DWR meet the increasing demand for recreational opportunities through land purchases, ongoing maintenance of current boating access sites, construction of new boating access sites, and maintaining more than 225,000 acres that are open to the public.
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