View Full Version : Warmwater Float Tube Lakes
06-16-00, 03:21 PM
I've just learned from a ranger at Fort Yargo State Park that our GA State Parks only allow Coast Guard approved vessels on the waters of our parks. He said that maybe the Army Corps of Engineers may be more lenient. My question is (whew!! finally!!), does anyone know of some smaller lakes where you can fish from a bellyboat? I'm located in Gwinnett Co. and I'm looking for something I could get to in the evenings after work.
Would that mean my kid's going to get a ticket for riding his inflatable alligator? http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
Is a float tube a "vessel"?
You can try Stone Mountain. My dad caught a 4lb Largemouth outta there last week.
He was in a boat but I don't see any reason you can't float there.
06-17-00, 05:55 PM
I got a response in an email from someone in charge of this issue. The response was ridiculious, though, so I forgot their name. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
Anyway, I asked generally and in specific( about my closest state park, Tanner)why we couldn't use them. The person said that they were dangerous and that they( the state parks) had to consider the whole population and not just specific groups as to the rules on usage. One WEEK later a college kid drown while swimming in the lake. I do not see them banning swimming!? Clearly a case of government trying to avoid lawsuits by those evil float tube spouses.
I say, make all the swimmers wear PFD's or ban swimming in park waters.
I didn't write him back to discuss the drowning, although I did write back in an attempt to get a dialog going on the matter. My second letter was totally ignored. What I want to know is, is it a law? ( And if so, why is it not posted? ) and if it is, what must we do to change it?
Oh no, wait , that's right, we like to sit here and fuss about it, but few of us would ever do anything.....nevermind.
Now, let's not be so cynical NiteOwl . . . I'd like to ask the same questions and also am not sure of who to ask. I was once even told my canoe appeared to be against the regs (on water they allowed boats) though I was allowed to drop it anyway until this particular individual got questions answered.
Now what seems incongruous is that it doesn't appear to be that way at WMA's as I've heard quite a bit about tubes at CE. Or is it? If not, I'd be looking for WMA's to fish at.
But if you do find an appropriate person to contact, please let us (me) know and I will write as well. I know I was extremely disappointed to buy the tube for a Hooch trip just to find out I couldn't use it on most of the smaller bodies of water I visit.
06-17-00, 11:38 PM
Re: Float tubes on State Park lakes.
With all the recent changes in the fishing regs (Delayed Harvest etc.)....Perhaps this is a topic we should address when the legislature convenes???
Drifter...lobbying for float tubers.
06-18-00, 12:40 AM
I was told many years ago that you had to have a Coast Guard approved PFD on your float tube or belly boat if going from point A to point B on any body of water in Ga.I was given a warning Ticket.I have had a PFD on my tube since that day and that was about 6 or 7 years ago .That was the first time in 27 years on the river that I was told that I had to have it on my float tube. I would also like to see the rules or Regs on this about no belly boats on the lakes. I would also like to know that if I put a trolling motor on my belly boat and could get it registered under Class A under 16 feet and pay my 15 bucks if I would be exempt from this law if it even exists?
I will try to find out the exact rules on this and post it if I can find it.
Georgia Safe Boating Guide http://www.ganet.org/dnr/wild/
06-18-00, 02:04 PM
Shawn T..you can use float tubes at CE
ALSO IN THE SAME BOAT, WHAT DOES CE STAND
CE is Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. You can check out either http://www.mindspring.com/~poohatlcom.net/CEF.GIF (not sure who that's courtesy of but have it bookmarked)
Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center
[This message has been edited by ShawnT (edited 06-18-2000).]
Tribble Mill Park's reg board used to state "No float tubes or belly boats". I have asked people about Stone Mountain Park's lake and float tubes and no one has ever given me a definative yes or no.
06-19-00, 10:31 AM
Curious if anyone has actually used a float tube at Stone Mountain Park and what sort of reaction you got from their staff? I used to fish there quite a bit from my canoe, and like a float tube, an advantage of a canoe is that you can put it in the water almost anywhere. But not at SM Park. One of their patrol folks met me when I returned and informed me that I would have to use the boat ramp to put my canoe in. I pointed out that wasn't necessary with a canoe - but the patrol didn't care - rules was rules.
Then the park mangers decided to make life more difficult by limiting private boat use on weekends between May and October to the hours of 6:00am to 11:00am. Their contention was that it was to control lake traffic. My personal theory is that they wanted to rent more boats. And the patrol continued their high service levels. I was busting my humps one morning trying to get back to their boat ramp before 11:00am. And as is the nature of canoeing, whichever direction you travel, the wind will be in your face. So the patrol pulls up in their nice outboard run-about and growls at me about being out past 11:00am. And it is very obvious that I am headed for the ramp and working my tail off doing it. No offer of a tow or anything, just a nice big wake to contend with as they hit the gas and run off.
And while I'm at it, there used to be a wonderful bream bed just across the bay from the beach area. The bed lay next to a spit of land that was tree covered so the bed had afternoon shade. When you would float over it you could look down and see the dinner plate size holes. But, that tree shaded spit of land was clear cut to make way for an extention of their golf course.
I don't go to SM Park anymore even though I live only ten minutes from the east gate. They have a potential excellent fishery in the collection of lakes, but it is just not on their agenda.
06-19-00, 12:40 PM
Thanks for all the replies!! Looks like I stirred up a hornet's nest re: gov't regs!!!
I too am going to ask why one group (GA. Parks)within our State has one set of rules while another (WMA's) has a different set. Thanks for the info about CE - I'm going to give it a try!
I found my representative to the DNR Board of Natural Resources @ www.ganet.org/dnr/ (http://www.ganet.org/dnr/) and I've written him a letter asking for clarification of the rules.
[This message has been edited by woollybugg (edited 06-19-2000).]
Another good place I would LOVE to use a float tube is Unicoi Lake. In the mornings last year trout were everywhere, except where you could cast to them from the bank.
06-20-00, 08:47 AM
SWF already mentioned Tribble Mill. They used to have signs at various access points saying “No swimming, no inflatable water craft”. Now they just say no swimming. I asked the young fellow in charge of maintenance for Gwinnett parks about float tubes, and his reply was something on the order of:
“The average Joe won’t know your float tube is a 100 dollar miracle of PVC and nylon, and will let his 3-year old hit the water with a $3 inflatable alligator passed down thru the family for 5 years, then turn his attention back to his copy of WWF Today.”
Typical bureaucracy; they can’t just say, “Use your head!” so they go for all-inclusive overkill. I still think a kayak (particularly the sit-on-top variety) is the ideal craft.
After all that, I have seen a couple float tubes on the upper lake this spring.
07-07-00, 08:56 PM
Last year I called Fort Yargo and was told that I could use float tubes out there as long as we stayed close to shore. Things must have changed, I live only ten minutes from there, and I think I will just go over and talk to them in person. BTW- I used my float tube today, and I noticed there is a little tag that reads the US coast guard requires the use of a PFD on this craft, so this makes me think that my float tube is considered a us coast guard approved water craft!!!
07-07-00, 11:30 PM
Also note that DNR regs require that you have a PFD with you. Otherwise, we may be subject to learn how you got a ticket and we don't need to go there.
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