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Pymatuning Lake Compact

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Pymatuning Lake Compact
Pymatuning Lake.jpg
Formation date: 1994
Member jurisdictions: 2
Issue(s): Water resources

The Pymatuning Lake Compact is an interstate compact between Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Text of the compact

The legislature of each member state passes the laws with certain modifications, but the core of the legislation remains the same.

Article I: General use

It is hereby agreed that the entire Pymatuning lake or reservoir, subject to the primary use thereof by the commonwealth of Pennsylvania for regulating the flow of the water in the Shenango and Beaver rivers as in paragraph 9 hereinafter more specifically mentioned, shall be open for recreational use equally to the citizens of both contracting parties, save as restricted as to hunting, fishing, and boating in this agreement set forth, or hereafter mutually agreed upon by both parties but no person shall be permitted to hunt or fish therein or thereon unless the lawful holder of a fishing or hunting license, authorizing the holder so to do, issued by the proper authorities of Pennsylvania or of Ohio.

Article II: Arrest and Prosecution of Offenders

Arrest and prosecution of offenders. That each state shall enjoy and exercise a concurrent jurisdiction upon the water (but not upon the dry land), between the shores of said lake, including the islands therein, with respect to the arrest and prosecution of offenders, but in such sort that any boat or vessel fastened to or aground on the shore of either state shall be considered exclusively within the jurisdiction of said state; but that all capital and other offenses, trespasses, or damages committed on or over said lake, the judicial investigation and determination thereof shall be exclusively vested in the state wherein the offender or person charged with such offense shall be first apprehended, arrested, prosecuted, or first brought to trial; it being the intent of this agreement that an offender may be pursued and arrested anywhere on or over said lake or shores thereof or islands therein, regardless of the boundary lines, by any peace officers or persons of either state authorized to make arrests, whether the offenses be committed on or over any part of the lake, on the shores or islands therein, regardless of the state in which the place where the offense was committed lies.

Article III: Islands

All islands within the lake shall be considered as part of the state of Pennsylvania.

Article IV: Pollution of Water

The lake shall be forever protected against pollution of its waters by industrial trade waste, individual, or municipal sewage from shore or boat, and the discharge of any noxious or deleterious substance, liquid or solid, into the waters of the lake which is or may become inimical, or injurious, to public health or to animal or aquatic life is hereby expressly forbidden.

No sewage may be discharged into the waters of the lake except after complete treatment and then only upon permit first approved by the health department of both states.

Article V: Watercraft

No person shall operate any watercraft propelled by a single motor, or any combination of motors, that produces a horsepower rating in excess of twenty horsepower on Pymatuning Lake, except police or administration watercraft, the number of which shall be mutually agreed upon by the parties hereto.

No person shall operate a watercraft without first obtaining a license from the respective state of which the owner is a resident under such regulations as each party to this agreement may now have or hereafter adopt. Provided nevertheless that the use of any type of watercraft equipped with a motor is expressly limited and restricted to that portion of the lake extending from the main dam near Jamestown northwardly to the causeway at or near Linesville. Watercraft equipped with a motor in excess of a twenty horsepower rating may be operated on said lake so long as such motor is not used.

No person shall ride or attempt to ride upon one or more water skis, surfboards, towed inflatable devices, or similar devices or use or operate any watercraft to tow a person thereon.

Nothing contained in this subdivision shall be interpreted to effect a change in the level or flow of water as determined or fixed by the department of conservation and natural resources.

Any one who violates any of the provisions of this subdivision shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced in accordance with the applicable laws for the same or similar violations within the prosecuting jurisdiction, provided that the penalty for said violation shall not exceed a fine of five hundred dollars or imprisonment for thirty days.

Article VI: Fishing

Any person possessing a duly issued fishing license by either state shall be permitted to fish anywhere on the entire lake (except such portion thereof as is closed to fishing by paragraph 8 hereof or such further portion as may hereafter by regulation be mutually agreed to by the parties hereto), but no fisher shall be entitled to fish from the shores of the state of which the fisher is a nonresident unless the fisher complies with the nonresident fishing license law of said state.

In order to permit the fish to fully propagate and develop, no part of the lake shall be open for fishing until July 1, 1937, and thereafter shall be closed in each year between December 10 and June 30.

Unless otherwise mutually agreed to by both parties hereto, the creel, size, and season limits for the respective kinds of fish caught shall be such as may hereafter be agreed upon between the two states.

Article VII: Reciprocal Hunting Rights

Reciprocal hunting rights are hereby granted to the licensed hunters of each state on the water of that portion of the lake, both in Pennsylvania and Ohio, over the area bounded on the south by an east and west line crossing the state boundary 0.5 of a mile north of Simons, Ohio, and on the north by a line drawn between the point at which the Padanaram road crosses the state boundary and a point formerly known as the Polleck bridge, but such reciprocal hunting rights hereby granted shall extend only to such wild migratory birds as are covered by the federal migratory bird treaty and federal laws adopted thereunder.

Hunting in such portions of the lake as are not included in the area above described and designated shall be and remain under the jurisdiction of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

No permanent blinds shall be erected anywhere on the lake and shores thereof, but this provision shall not be interpreted as forbidding the use of a boat as a blind temporarily moored to or grounded on the shore of the lake or islands thereof.

Article VIII: Wild Game and Fish Sanctuaries

A. The game commission of the state of Pennsylvania, having established a wild migratory bird and game sanctuary or refuge in that part of the lake located southeast of the Pennsylvania railroad crossing, it is expressly agreed that nothing herein contained shall be interpreted as entitling the residents of either state, whether licensed to fish or hunt, or otherwise, to fish in, hunt, trespass, or enter upon said sanctuary for any purpose whatsoever. Anyone so doing shall become amenable to prosecution therefore under the game laws of the state of Pennsylvania applicable to game refuges.

B. The conservation division of the department of agriculture of the state of Ohio, having established a fish sanctuary and game refuge in the following portion of the lake:

  • Being the southerly parts of lots Nos. 79 and 80, Richmond township; all of lot No. 41, and all of lot No. 42, except the westerly 1000 feet thereof, in Andover township, Ashtabula county, Ohio:
  • Beginning at a point in the west line of lot No. 79, that is 1523 feet south of the north line of lot No. 79; also being the center line of Padanaram road; thence southerly along the county highway along the westerly side of lot No. 79, 1869.5 feet to the north line of Andover township; thence westerly along the northerly line of Andover township, 939.7 feet to the northwest corner of lot No. 41; thence southerly along the highway that marks the westerly line of lot No. 41, 2809.8 feet to the north line of lot No. 42; thence easterly along the north line of lot No. 42, 1000 feet to a point; thence in a southerly direction parallel to and 1000 feet easterly from the westerly line of lot No. 42, 2734 feet, more or less, to the southerly line of lot No. 42; thence easterly along the said southerly line of lot No. 42, 5180.4 feet to the Ohio and Pennsylvania state line; thence northerly along the said Ohio and Pennsylvania state line, 7297.6 feet, more or less, to a point that is 1523 feet southerly from the north line of lot No. 80; thence in a westerly direction, 1523 feet southerly from and parallel to the north lines of lots Nos. 79 and 80, 5260 feet, more or less, to the place of beginning.
  • It is expressly agreed that nothing herein contained shall be interpreted as entitling the residents of either state, whether licensed to fish or otherwise, to fish in, hunt, trespass, or enter upon said sanctuary for any purpose whatsoever. Anyone so doing shall become amenable to prosecution therefore under the laws of the state of Ohio applicable thereto.

Article IX: Reservation of Pennsylvania’s Right to the Body of the Water

It is expressly agreed that nothing herein contained shall operate to deny, limit, or restrict the right of the water and power resources board of Pennsylvania, or any authority established hereafter by said state to exercise such power, to at any time now or hereafter, raise or draw off so much of the waters of the lake as in its sole judgment may be necessary to maintain or regulate the flow of the Shenango and Beaver rivers in furtherance of the primary purpose for which said lake was established, and said water and power resources board shall, without let or hindrance, have the full right irrespective of other considerations, to release so much of the water as they may deem proper to maintain the flow of the Shenango and Beaver rivers, irrespective of its effect on the level of the lake or use thereof for other purposes.

See also

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