3 Laws Protecting Wisconsin Kayakers!

The Fox River is beautiful, and we recommend that everyone explore it! There are locks and dams built throughout this North-flowing river so its not only important to stay safe out there, but also to know your portaging rights! Portaging is a Liberty protected by Law and here are just a few to be aware of:


1. Wisconsin Constitution: Section IX:
“The navigable waters leading into the Mississippi and St. Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same, shall be common highways and forever free.”
This section of the constitution provides very important groundwork for paddler’s rights in Wisconsin. Essentially, if you want to paddle on a river and you access it from a public location, you are permitted to paddle on it.

2. State Legislation: 30.134 Section (2):
“Members of the public may use any exposed shore area of a stream without the permission of the riparian only if it is necessary to exit the body of water to bypass an obstruction.”
This law explains your rights to portage around an obstruction – as long as you stay near the water and take the shortest route, you are permitted to portage around natural and man made obstructions on the water.

3. State Legislation: NR 330:
This entire chapter outlines requirements for a dam to have a clearly marked portaging route for paddlers to use. If a dam is built on a river, the owner of the dam is required to build a marked portage route to provide paddlers with a route around the obstruction. On the Fox River, these portaging routes are usually on the side of the lock so as to provide a safer and shorter portage.

 

These are only a few of the many laws protecting paddlers. Stay safe & confident out there! Adventure awaits!!

 

Autumn Equinox – Summer Ends and Fall Begins!

Tomorrow, September 22, is officially the Autumn Equinox! Although Labor Day weekend is a sure sign that summer is coming to an end, this transition does not officially occur until the Equinox!

Question: What the heck is an equinox? Sounds like a Pokémon!
Answer: Although it sounds like an evolution from Onix (a classic rock type Pokémon); it is simply a time of the year where night and day are nearly the same length (12 hours). The word ‘equinox’ is derived from Latin meaning “equal night”.

To dive deeper and fully understand this, take a look at the diagrams below:

Earth’s Axis is tilted at an angle of about 23.4°. Due to this tilt, either the Southern or Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun. Only on the equinoxes [Spring & Autumn], the tilt of the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to the Sun’s rays.

Here’s what the equinox means for us:
With the seasons changing we will soon be packing up our Kayaks and Stand Up Paddle boards. Friendly reminder that the annual Oktoberfest Appleton Locks paddle will be taking place in a week and we recommend booking your gear rental in advance – tandem and single kayaks are available! Click here—Book online now!

 

 

3 Tips for Kayaking with your Dog!

1. Training
All dogs have their own personalities – understanding this and preparing them for a kayak outing is best for success! Otherwise you might be caught trying to simply keep the dog in the kayak or easing their mind from the panic of water all around them the whole time. Getting acclimated with the vessel, gear, and commands in the kayak will serve up awesome relaxing times on the water. Slow, incremental training is recommended instead of jumping right into the deep end.

2. Dog to kayak Size
There are big dogs, little dogs and every kind of dog in the middle. Make sure the weight and size of the dog is appropriate with the kayak so you won’t capsize. Checking weight capacity of the kayak is a helpful guide. Bigger dogs going in a double kayak should be positioned in the front. Smaller dogs may be comfortable sitting in between or around your legs. In general, dogs are happier in a sit-on-top kayak as it provides more free space to move around.

3. Gear and Accessories
Some helpful items to remember:
– PFD [Personal Floatation Device]
– Collar/Harness
– Water
– Food/treats
– Bowl

Hitting the water with a paddler’s best friend is great! Simply be prepared, be in tune with your dog’s needs, and stay safe! Paddle with Us!

 

Leave No Trace Principles

 

When you enjoy the outdoors long enough you are bound to run across the concept of ‘Leave No Trace’. Although some may think of ninjas quietly passing, it’s simply a best practice guide to ensure that our natural spaces stay protected for everyone to enjoy for years to come!

The 7 Leave No Trace Principles:

  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Minimize campfire impacts.
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

 

You can learn more here @LNT!

 

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