Lake Hopatcong Dodges Tough Legislation – Based upon Gentleman’s Agreement Code of Conduct

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With the assistance of Lake Hopatcong Foundation and Lake Hopatcong Commission, all parties have agreed to a new Code of Conduct on the lake that helps dodge new strict rules from Trenton.

In early January the Boating Regulation Commission proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:82-3.11(l) that would prohibit the following activities on the lake between May 15 and September 15 of each year:

  • Restriction of vessels anchoring within 200 feet of the shoreline
  • Restriction of more than ten vessels from anchoring together, or “rafting.”

These new regulations were based upon continued complaints from the Byram Cove residents who complained about frequent party boat jams on the lake in the summer, which they say are loud and disruptive.

In the meeting that happened in early February, all of the stakeholders is this disagreement attended a meeting hosted by the Lake Hopatcong Foundation and agreed to a gentleman’s Code of Conduct to work together to resolve the issues.

See proposed Gentleman’s Agreement Code of Conduct: New Proposed Code of Conduct - Lake Hopatcong for All

In attendance was President Eddie Mackin from The Knee Deep Club, who stated clearly that if this ordinance were enacted it would prevent fisherman from fishing the shallow areas of the lake, where most fish exist.

“We made it clear that the Knee Deep Club opposes any restrictions,” Mackin said Friday. “We never had any restrictions before. This new law was not intended for the fisherman, so we aren’t going to negotiate anything,” he said.

“It’s about having respect and common courtesy, and keeping the lake clean, instead of having new laws and regulations,” he said.

“It’s about common courtesy for all boaters, and it avoids trying to make a law that only affects one part"

Lake Hopatcong Foundation member Marty Kane added that the idea was to reach a compromise.

“Since nothing is going to occur this year, regulation wise, we got the parties together to reach a compromise that will work for all of us, on a voluntary basis,” Kane said Friday afternoon.

“We are very hopeful that we can make some real progress without action from Trenton. We have to make the lake work for multiple users. We are going to try and work together. There still may be a regulation in the future, but we got four groups together, the fishermen, the business owners, the Byram Cove homeowners and an assorted group of recreational boat users,” Kane said.

 “If we can make this work, we won’t need people in Trenton making decisions for us. That could still happen in the future, but we are going to try and work together on this,” Kane said.


Note: Elements of this article is based on reporting from Roxbury Register.

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