Regulations proposed to limit boat parties on Lake Hopatcong

The New Jersey Boat Regulation Commission is proposing regulations that could limit boat parties on Lake Hopatcong.

The proposals came after many in the lake community complained about the large parties that take place in Byram Cove over the summer.

"There's no water. You can't see the water. There's just so many boats in one specific area that it's unbelievable," says Lake Hopatcong resident Phyllis Steen.

The proposal would ban boats from anchoring closer than 200 feet from the shoreline, prohibit more than 10 vessels from anchoring together and ban tethering more than 20 feet from an anchored boat.

"I think it's gotten a little crazy over the years, but I think a couple of the new regulations will really help, mostly the 200 foot off the dock," says homeowner Michael Oliva. "Sometimes you can't even get your boat out of the dock."

The purpose of this proposal is to target party boaters, but fishermen say they will also be negatively affected.

"Ninety-five percent of the time when I'm fishing, I'm anchored up 20 to 30 feet off the shore," says fisherman Lou Marcucci. "If it's lakewide, it will absolutely hurt the guys fishing."

The Boat Regulation Commission will hold its next public meeting on Wednesday. If the regulations are passed, they could go into effect by this summer.

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