Sec. Boating on White Water Portions of Designated Stream Segments  

Latest version.
  • A. The provisions of this regulation apply to boating on any white water portion of stream segments designated in this regulation, but do not apply to stream segments not designated in this regulation.

    B. For purposes of this regulation, "white water portion" means any portion of a designated stream segment which has any of the criteria characteristics described in §C of this regulation.

    C. The Department of Natural Resources shall designate white water stream segments in accordance with the following criteria:

    (1) Class III (Intermediate). Rapids with moderate irregular waves occur, which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current, and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required. Large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large volume rivers. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare. Self-rescue is usually easy, but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims.

    (2) Class IV (Advanced). Intense, powerful but predictable rapids occur, requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting is necessary the first time down. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential, but requires practiced skills. A strong Eskimo roll is highly recommended.

    (3) Class V (Expert). Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids occur, which expose a paddler to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is mandatory but often difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is difficult even for experts. A very reliable Eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential for survival.

    (4) Class VI (Extreme). One grade more difficult than Class V. These runs often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability, and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. For teams of experts only at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. This class does not represent drops thought to be unrunnable, but may include rapids which are only occasionally run.

    D. The Department of Natural Resources is designating the following stream segments for purposes of this boating safety regulation only, and intends no determination whether there is any right of public access to, navigation along, landing along, or egress from, any of these designated stream segments. This regulation does not apply to the use of vessels on non-white water portions of designated stream segments for any purpose other than access to white water. The designated stream segments are:

    (1) Class III-stream segments:

    (a) North Branch Casselman River-Dung Hill Road to Md. Rte. 495;

    (b) Potomac River-Dam No. 3, Harpers Ferry to Knoxville Falls;

    (c) Evitts Creek-Maryland line (Hazen Road) to North Branch Potomac River (Md. Rte. 51 bridge);

    (d) Flintstone Creek-Flintstone Creek Road to Town Creek (Old Rte. 40 bridge);

    (e) Fifteen Mile Creek-U.S. Rte. 40 to Potomac River (bridge at Orleans Rd.);

    (f) Middle Creek-Pennsylvania line to Toms Creek (Keysville Rd.);

    (g) Northwest Branch Anacostia River-U.S. Rte. 29 to Hyattsville (38th Avenue);

    (h) Patapsco River-Woodstock (Md. Rte. 125) to Glen Artney (Patapsco State Park-Old Dam);

    (i) South Branch Patapsco River-Woodbine (Md. Rte. 94) to Woodstock (Md. Rte. 125);

    (j) Gunpowder Falls-Prettyboy Dam to Md. Rte. 45;

    (k) Little Falls-Parkton (Md. Rte. 45) to Gunpowder Falls (Blue Mount Road);

    (l) Little Gunpowder Falls-Md. Rte. 147 to U.S. Rte. 40;

    (m) Deer Creek-Fawn Grove Road to Stafford Road;

    (2) Class IV-stream segments:

    (a) Bear Creek-U.S. Rte. 219 to Friendsville (Friendsville-Addison Road);

    (b) Georges Creek-Md. Rte. 36 bridge halfway between Midland and Lonaconing to Westernport (Md. Rte. 135 bridge);

    (c) Jennings Run-Barrelville (Rte. 36) to Wills Creek (Md. Rte. 36 bridge);

    (d) Middle Patuxent River-Md. Rte. 107 to Savage (Foundry Street);

    (e) Rock Creek-East-West Highway to D.C. line (Rock Creek Park);

    (f) Gunpowder Falls-Lower Loch Raven Dam to U.S. Rte. 40;

    (3) Class V-stream segments:

    (a) Youghiogheny River:

    (i) Millers Run (bridge on Oakland-Sang Run Road) to Sang Run Road,

    (ii) Sang Run Road to Friendsville (Rte. 42);

    (b) Potomac River-Great Falls (foot of falls) to Washington, D.C. (Chain Bridge Rd.);

    (c) North Branch Potomac River-Henry, W.Va. (W.Va. Rte. 90) to Bloomington, Md. (mouth of Savage River);

    (d) Savage River-Savage River Dam to North Branch Potomac River (Md. Rte. 135 bridge);

    (e) Wills Creek-Pennsylvania line near Ellerslie to North Branch Potomac River (levee at Md. Rte. 48 bridge);

    (f) Conowingo Creek-Oakwood to Susquehanna River (launching ramp-Conowingo Lake);

    (4) Class VI-stream segments: All the waters of the Potomac River-Great Falls area from the base of aqueduct dam to a line from the foot of the main falls on the Virginia shoreline to the Maryland shoreline below Olmstead Island.

    E. Required Equipment.

    (1) An individual using a vessel, raft, or tube upon any white water portion of any designated stream segment shall wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved Type III or V personal flotation device (PFD) at all times. An individual taking part in supervised training or in International Canoe Federation (ICF)-American Canoe Association (ACA) sanctioned events may substitute a lifedeck personal flotation device (PFD) if it provides a minimum buoyancy of 6 kilograms (13.5 pounds).

    (2) An individual who is in charge of guiding a commercially hired vessel or vessels shall have in possession, at all times while navigating any designated stream segment, a first aid kit, such as the kit recommended by Eastern Professional River Outfitters, equipped for severe bleeding, shock or concussion, and fractures.

    (3) An individual in charge of a vessel being used on a white water portion of a designated white water stream segment shall have, at all times, grab loops or safety lines attached to the vessel.

    (4) An individual using a kayak or covered canoe vessel on a white water portion of a designated stream segment shall wear a safety helmet.

    F. Voluntary Registration of Commercial White Water Outfitters and Guides.

    (1) A person who directly or indirectly receives any consideration for furnishing equipment, facilities, or services, or all of these, for white water boating, may register with the Department as a commercial white water outfitter.

    (2) A person who directly or indirectly receives any consideration for guiding vessels containing passengers on white water stream segments, may register with the Department as a commercial white water guide.

    (3) A person desiring to register as a commercial white water outfitter or guide shall apply annually on forms provided by the Department.

    (4) Criteria for Registration. Before registering a person as a commercial white water outfitter or guide, the Department shall determine that the person:

    (a) Carries sufficient liability insurance covering death or personal injury for the number of individuals who will use the outfitter's or guide's equipment on white water stream segments;

    (b) If registering as a guide, holds a CPR certificate or equivalent, or a Red Cross Advanced First Aid certificate or equivalent;

    (c) If registering as a guide, provides proof of degree of experience with specific types of vessels, which proof then shall be included on the State registration list.

    (5) The Department of Natural Resources shall make available to each registered commercial white water outfitter and guide information concerning white water boating safety.

    (6) The Department of Natural Resources shall make available to the public a list of the registered commercial white water outfitters and guides.