Information provided by Betty Fuller, CRWC
If you plan to have a watercraft of any kind downtown on Cane River for festival day and other days when there are fireworks, you should be looking for yellow buoys that mark prohibited areas.
On festival day Dec. 1, boat and watercraft operators should stay behind the yellow buoys from 3:30 p.m. until the area is cleared by the fire marshal following the fireworks. During other fireworks displays on weekends, watercraft owners should stay behind the buoys from 6 p.m. until cleared by the fire marshal.
Also, you cannot leave a watercraft moored or docked in the prohibited areas during those times on festival day or other fireworks displays.
Anyone who refuses to move their watercraft upon orders from law enforcement will be responsible for fees if the watercraft is towed.
Police Chief Micky Dove or his representative have the authority to designate prohibited areas.
The City amended the ordinance that regulates boat traffic during days there are fireworks displays. It states:
•A yellow buoy located in the center of the lake will mark the designated area. All boaters are required to be behind the yellow buoy and remain until clearance by the fire marshal at designated times.
•The term “watercraft” means any motorboat, rowboat, barge, raft and any other boat or vessel of any nature and kind commonly used for the transportation of persons or things upon a stream, river, lake or other waterway.
•The phrase “designated area” section means that portion or area of Cane River Lake near the downtown bridge that has been designated by the Louisiana Fire Marshal as being within a fallout zone for a fireworks display.
•The phrase “fireworks display” means any fireworks display that occurs in downtown Natchitoches and where part of the fallout area includes a portion of Cane River Lake. The phrase “fallout area” means that area where spent fireworks fall back to the ground, as determined and described by the Louisiana Fire Marshal.
•It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or use a watercraft for any purpose or leave any watercraft moored or docked on Cane River Lake within the designated area as marked with buoys or other appropriate signs, symbols or other markings identifying the limits of the designated area, on the first Saturday of December of each year, from 3:30 p.m., until the area has been declared safe by the Fire Marshal on the day commonly referred to as “Christmas Festival Day.” The ordinance prohibits the operation, use, mooring or docking of any and all watercraft, within the designated area for the time period on Christmas Festival Day.
•It is unlawful for any person to operate or use a watercraft for any purpose or leave any watercraft moored or docked on Cane River Lake within the designated area as marked with buoys or other signs on any day when a fireworks display occurs in downtown Natchitoches, from 6 p.m. until the area has been declared safe by the fire marshal. This section prohibits the operation, use, mooring or docking of any and all watercraft, whatsoever, within the area for the time period set forth above, during any fireworks display.
• The police chief or his designee, can mark and designate the bounds of the designated area, as identified by the fire marshal where the use, operation, mooring or docking of watercraft is prohibited with any appropriate signs, symbols or other markings fixed in a conspicuous place so as to visibly notify the public.
• If any watercraft is not moved upon order of a law enforcement officer, law enforcement personnel are authorized to remove the watercraft.
If the owner of the watercraft in not in attendance of the watercraft, or cannot be located, or if the owner of the watercraft refuses to remove the watercraft upon order of a law enforcement officer, the watercraft may be towed to a storage area with the owner of the watercraft being responsible for any towing and storage fees.