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Boating

Fishing_512x219The breathtaking Topock Gorge attracts many wildlife viewers in boats.

Boaters may enter from either end of the Topock Gorge on the beautiful, clear blue waters of the Colorado River. Operators need to be aware and alert throughout the canyon because of narrow two-way boat traffic. Boat rentals and guided tours are available from Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City, Arizona and Laughlin, Nevada.

Boating on refuge waters is extremely popular but can become dangerous. Water skiing or similar recreational towing is permitted between sunrise and sunset only on designated portions of the Colorado River. Boat mooring is not permitted on Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.

Stay alert and out of restricted areas, which are marked by regulatory signs and/or buoys. As more boaters share the river, it is crucial that all watercraft operators follow all boat safety regulations. Make sure your boat conforms to the appropriate federal, state and local safety rules and laws to make boating the lower Colorado River a safe and enjoyable time for everyone. Be sure to check boating regulations for Arizona and California.
Boat Launches
There are three free boat launches on Topock Marsh at North Dike, Five Mile Landing, and Catfish Paradise. These boat launches do not provide access to the Colorado River. Local boat launches that provide access to the Colorado River include Topock Marina, Arizona (exit 1, I-40), Park Moabi (located 11 miles south of Needles, CA on I-40), and Havasu State Park at Windsor Beach (on London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City). There are many other private and public boat launches along the Colorado River.

Air-thrust Boats
The refuge prohibits the use of all air-thrust boats or air-cooled propulsion engines, including floating aircraft.

Water Skiing and Recreational Towing
The Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is managed for the benefit of wildlife. As such, the refuge prohibits water skiing, tubing, wake boarding, or towing of other recreational crafts from the north buoy line at Interstate 40 to the south buoy line near Castle Rock in Lake Havasu City. State and Federal regulations apply in all areas on Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.

Personal Watercraft
Personal watercraft use is not allowed on Topock Marsh or in the backwaters off the main Colorado River channel. Waterbirds such as grebes, bitterns, and herons build their nests in vegetation near open water. Wakes from personal watercraft can easily knock these nests loose from vegetation, causing mortality of nestlings or abandonment of the nest by the parents.

No Wake Zones
All watercraft traveling in the backwaters off of the Colorado River are restricted to wakeless speeds. Some backwater areas are posted as no watercraft entry. Please respect the regulatory buoys that are placed in these backwaters.
Last Updated: Sep 13, 2012
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