Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Bulletin website includes the following: Rulemakings by State agencies; Proposed Rulemakings by State agencies; State agency notices; the Governor’s Proclamations and Executive Orders; Actions by the General Assembly; and Statewide and local court rules.

PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 99-327



Buoy and Sign Guidelines for Run-of-the-River Dams

[29 Pa.B. 1137]

   Under the act of June 18, 1998 (P. L. ____ , No. 91) (Act 91), which went into effect on January 1, 1999, owners of existing run-of-the-river dams and permittees for the construction or installation of new run-of-the-river dams shall mark the areas above and below the dam and on the banks immediately adjacent to the dam with signs and buoys to warn the swimming, fishing and boating public of the hazards posed by the dam. Act 91 also provides that the Fish and Boat Commission (Commission), after consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection (Department), shall establish requirements for the content and location of signs and buoys to be installed under the authority of Act 91 and the time periods of the year when the signs and buoys shall be required to be in place. Act 91 further provides that the Commission shall publish in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and may from time to time revise the requirements as circumstances require.

   The Commission, after consultation with the Department, has established the following guidelines for the content and location of signs and buoys and the time periods of the year when the signs and buoys must be in place.

   Signs. Owners and permittees must post and maintain a pair of general warning signs on each side of their dams--one pair facing upstream and one pair facing downstream. Owners and permittees must post these signs so that individuals walking, boating, swimming, wading or fishing near the dam are aware of the dangers and prohibitions. The signs must be 4 feet x 4 feet, .080 gauge aluminum and must display wording prohibiting boating, swimming and wading at the dam on a white reflective background. The required text and suggested specifications are set forth at Exhibit A and B. Owners and permittees must display and maintain these signs at their dams 365 days a year.

   In addition, vinyl or water resistant paper 11 inches x 14 inches signs (Exhibit C) may be posted along pathways or banks within the exclusion area to provide additional warning to the restrictions at the dam. These signs are available through the Commission at a cost of $2 per sign.

   Buoys. Owners and permittees of dams 200 feet or more in length must install buoys on the upstream and downstream side of dams when the water level is 3 feet or greater in depth. Buoys may be removed when the water level is less than 3 feet in depth. However, buoys must be reinstalled once the water level exceeds 3 feet in depth.

   Buoys must be installed and maintained at a minimum of 200 feet on the upstream side. The downstream buoys must be installed at least 100 feet below the maximum boil line. An exception to this guidance requires the specific approval of the Commission.

   Buoys must be spaced evenly, not more than 150 feet apart. All buoys, symbols and features must meet the requirements of the United States Aids to Navigation system. All buoys must have an orange ''diamond w/cross'' symbol meaning ''Boats Keep Out'' and the words ''Danger Dam.'' A sample navigation buoy is set forth at Exhibit D. Buoys are NOT required for dams less than 200 feet in length but may be placed at the discretion of the dam owner or permittee.

   Owners and permittees must submit a completed Application for Permit to Install Floating Structures and Private Aids to Navigation--Form PFBC-277 to the Commission for review and approval. This permit may give some flexibility regarding the location and number of buoys and installation and removal dates. Owners and permittees should read the entire permit application and regulations on the reverse side of the form before submitting it to the Commission for review.

   For additional information, contact Fred F. Menke, Administrative Officer, Fish and Boat Commission, Bureau of Boating and Education, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, (717) 657-4434, email:

   Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, objections or suggestions about the proposed guidelines on marking dams to the Executive Director, Fish and Boat Commission, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, within 30 days after publication of this notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. Comments also may be submitted electronically at '''' A subject heading and a return name and address must be included in each transmission. If an acknowledgment of electronic comments is not received by the sender within 2 working days, the comments should be retransmitted to ensure receipt.

Executive Director

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-327. Filed for public inspection February 26, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]

No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Bulletin full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.