A few years ago my boat died and has since sat in my back yard until last week when my wife decided (approved) it was time to get it fixed. Boating isn't something my wife or I grew up doing, but living in Idaho has opened our eyes to the fun one can have on the water. There are a lot of Idaho rules, requirements, equipment, and suggestions for safety on the water. This includes tags, whistles, life jackets, boater certifications, common sense, and more.

When our boat died we invested in kayaks and have used them dozens of times every summer. While kayaks are a much easier way to get on the water there are still rules for these and all types of watercraft. For all watercraft you must have an invasive species sticker unless they are 'inflatable, non-motorized vessels less than 10 feet long' according to the Idaho Fish and Game website. In previous years tags have been available at various vendors, but I visited Sportsman's Warehouse in Twin Falls and they told me that the tags needed to be purchased online from Parks and Recreation this year. The Parks and Rec site has a link for online purchase but doesn't appear to be updated as it also still lists local vendor locations, including Sportsman's.

Boater certification isn't required by law in Idaho, but that doesn't mean it isn't necessary. Much like driving a car, if you don'y know the rules of the water you are a danger to yourself and those around you. Some certification classes are free and other's charge a fee. Some states do require a certification card, so, if you plan to boat outside Idaho make sure you check the destination location laws.

For full details on requirements for motorized and non-motorized watercraft, check the Idaho Fish and Game  and the Idaho Parks and Recreation websites.

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