A non-navigable watercourse is privately owned by the owners of the adjacent land and may not be used for public use without fair compensation.11) The owners of land on a navigable watercourse are owners up to the middle of the stream or river to the high water mark.12) However, navigable watercourses may be used by the public for recreational purposes, including creek bottoms,13) notwithstanding the fact that: that the creek beds of navigable rivers belong to the adjacent riparian owner.14) The property rights of riparian owners are subordinated to the right of the public to use navigable waters.15) The Public Navigation Act also includes the right to temporary anchorage.16) In Kentucky, It is illegal to operate a boat in a careless, negligent or dangerous manner that may endanger the life or property of anyone. The operator of a vessel is liable for damage caused by negligent conduct. A person must be at least 12 years of age to operate a motorboat (including boats) of 10 horsepower or more on Kentucky public waters. A person between the ages of 12 and 17 must hold a Kentucky Boating Safety Certificate Card or a certificate attesting to successful completion of a NASBLA-approved nautical training course. For more information on the Kentucky boater education program, call 1-800-858-1549 or fw.ky.gov/Boat/Pages/Boater-Education.aspx. Persons under 12 years of age must wear a personal floating device (life jacket) in the open part of a boat en route. In Kentucky, a person convicted of operating a vessel under the influence is subject to the following penalties: Operators are required by law to comply with all enforcement instructions, including stopping the vessel when it is reported. The following river was found navigable by the court: Rockcastle River.8) The following waterways were found by the court to be non-navigable: Chestnut Creek9) was found not navigable because it was not used for logging or floating logs without the assistance of persons on the shore; and Straight Creek10) a stream ten feet wide and four feet deep because the wood could not float without the aid of spray dams. If you operate a boat or ship in Kentucky waters, you are legally deemed to have consented to drug and alcohol testing to determine if you are under the influence of alcohol. A law enforcement officer may conduct such tests if they determine that there is likely reason to believe that you operated while intoxicated. To legally operate a motorized vessel in Kentucky, the vessel must be registered.
Boats are registered at the county clerk`s office and are valid annually and end on April 30 of each year. Boat races, sea parades and other special nautical events that may restrict local navigation or require additional patrols by wildlife officers may not take place without the prior approval of the TTRA`s Chief Executive Officer. U.S. waterways are threatened by aquatic plants, fish, and foreign invertebrates. Aquatic nuisance species (ANS) are transmitted by boats and nautical equipment from external waterways. As soon as the ANS is introduced into a new waterway, it detaches from the contaminated vessel and spreads like wildfire. ANS include: watermilfoil, zebra mussel and quagga mussels. Ships equipped with enclosed spaces for fuel tanks shall be ventilated as described above.
An exception applies if the vessel meets the following conditions: The public has the right to use navigable waters for recreational purposes such as boating, fishing or swimming. The Kentucky airworthiness test is “indeed navigable.” The courts consider whether the water has usable capacity in the legal or technical sense and can be used as a public road. Kentucky law does not consider waterways navigable if they are sufficient to allow boaters, hunters, or anglers to “float their skiffs or canoes.” (1) Therefore, in determining navigability, case law appears to favour large watercourses over small rivers or watercourses that would not allow actual trade or transport by water. In addition, it is illegal in Kentucky for boats to operate in restricted areas mounted above or below navigation, power generation, or flood control dams. In 1992, Congress passed the Clean Vessel Act to reduce pollution from ships` sewage discharges into U.S. waters. The purpose of the grant program established by the Act is to fund the construction, renovation, operation and maintenance of pumping stations, landfills and pump tanks for the maintenance of pleasure craft. As part of its commitment to providing clean, safe, and enjoyable recreational craft in Tennessee, TWRA serves as the state grant coordinator.