Presenter: Alfonso Campos

Commission Agenda Item No. 17
Party Boat Regulations
Mandated by Legislation (H.B. 12)
November 2007

I. Executive Summary: This item seeks adoption of rules necessary to implement the requirements of House Bill (H.B.) 12, enacted by the 80th Texas Legislature. Staff recommends new rules concerning regulation of party boats.

II. Discussion: Party boats (or charter boats) that are leased or rented to individuals have been under U.S. Coast Guard (or federal) regulations when operated on coastal waters of Texas. That has not been the case on inland waters, where federal regulations do not apply. The provisions of H.B. 12 require the department to regulate party boats on inland lakes and waterways. The bill defines party boats for consistent application of the regulations. Under the proposed rules, a party boat is subject to an annual inspection and the operator must be licensed and complete a boat safety course. The rules also impose limits on the number of passengers and requires a minimum amount of liability insurance. The bill provides rulemaking authority to the commission to implement the provisions, including fees, by January 1, 2008.

III. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts §§55.401-55.406 concerning Regulation of Party Boats, as published in the October 5, 2007 issue of the Texas Register (32 TexReg 6995)."

Attachments – 2

  1. Exhibit A – Party Boat Rules
  2. Exhibit B – Party Boat Fees