The Handbook of Louisiana: Boating Laws and Responsibilities

The Handbook of Louisiana: Boating Laws and Responsibilities


The Handbook of Louisiana: Boating Laws and Responsibilities is the official boating handbook developed for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The handbook introduces you to Louisiana laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation on Louisiana waterways.

In Louisiana, you can choose between the saltwater of the Gulf of Mexico and the freshwaters of the state’s many lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and bayous for your boating and fishing adventures. Whether you’re looking for outdoor fun in northern Louisiana or the coastal parishes, the state has aquatic adventures for all.

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

Topics include:

  • Vessel Basics
  • Navigation Rules
  • Nighttime Navigation
  • Emergencies
  • Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
  • Louisiana 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.

Persons born after January 1, 1984, may not operate a motorboat or PWC powered by a motor in excess of 10 horsepower unless he or she has successfully completed a Louisiana-approved boat education course.