The Handbook of Idaho: Boating Laws and Responsibilities

The Handbook of Idaho: Boating Laws and Responsibilities


The Handbook of Idaho: Boating Laws and Responsibilities is the official boating handbook developed for Idaho State Parks and Recreation. The handbook introduces you to Idaho laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation on Idaho waterways.

While in Idaho, you can go fishing on the historic Arrowrock Reservoir, or water ski on Bear Lake’s turquoise waters. Idaho is home to lakes, reservoirs, and rivers ready for your boating adventures, whatever they may be.

Use this handbook to familiarize yourself with steps to make all your boating outings safe and enjoyable. Remember, safety on Idaho waterways is the responsibility of all boaters. 

Topics include:

  • Vessel Basics
  • Navigation Rules
  • Nighttime Navigation
  • Emergencies
  • Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
  • Idaho Boating Laws and Regulations
  • Required Equipment
  • Skiing
  • And much more…

Boater Education

You may have heard that you need a boating license to operate your boat, but what you really need is a boaters safety course. Whether or not your state requires education, it can reduce boating accidents and injuries on the water. Boaters can keep themselves and their passengers safe by learning about responsible boat operation, etiquette, and the rules of the waterways.

Many boaters also take an Idaho-approved boat education course to prove that they are competent and know the navigation rules, as well as to save money on their boat or PWC insurance or to go boating in other states that require boat education.