Watercraft Regulations??



  1. 1)There are no regulations limiting the length of barges or size of tugs that operate on the Nanticoke River.

  2. 2)There is no speed limit for Tugs on the Nanticoke River.

  3. 3)To report problems with barges/tugs, there has to be a witness to the incident, photos of the incident and visible damage. Of course 8 or 9 feet of a loaded barge is beneath the water line - so how can the damage be observed?  See Nanticoke River Wetlands for photos of damage done that can be seen.


Boat Regulations:

1) There are no speed limits for boats on the Nanticoke River.

2) NO WAKE ZONES only apply if the boat is:

    A) within 100 feet of a No Wake Zone Sign.

    B) within 100 feet of a swimmer.

    C) within 100 feet of an anchored or drifting boat.

3) To report an incident involving a boat you must have the boat registration number, be able to identify the person operating the boat and have a witness - otherwise it is your word against the boat operator.

4) To report damage caused by a boat you must have the boat registration number, be able to identify the person operating the boat at the time of the damage and have a witness to verify the incident.

Delaware regulations state that PWC’s (personal water craft) are required to stay 300 feet from persons in the water -- EXCEPT on the Nanticoke River? The Nanticoke River is specifically excluded from this regulation? Why??

NOTE: If NO WAKE signs are not posted, there is no required distance a boat operator must maintain between the boat and the shoreline.  Even if a NO WAKE sign is posted, DNREC considers the size of the boat wake irrelevant as long as the boat is over 100 feet from the sign.

HOWEVER here is what DNREC had to say about dredging the Assawoman Canal:

Follow Bay-Friendly Boating Practices

DNREC Proposed Permit condition for dredging of Assawoman Canal - The Assawoman Canal is a nearly 4-mile long, man-made canal extending from White Creek to the Little Assawoman Bay

Establish and enforce a no-wake zone to promote boater safety on the canal and minimize boating impacts from noise on area residents and minimize impacts of boat wakes on the banks and slopes of the canal and on aquatic species. Also, consider a ban on jet skies.

And this about Boat Wakes:

Obey speed limits and no-wake zones. Slow your boat before coming to speed-limit markers. Boat wakes contribute to shoreline erosion. Be careful in shallow areas; do not disturb the sediment or uproot vegetation with the boat propeller.