The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol unit combines enforcement and education to ensure safe and high-quality recreational opportunities for the citizens of Bonneville County.
Bonneville County is home to some of Idaho’s most beautiful waterways. The Marine Patrol Unit provides services at Palisades Reservoir, Ririe Reservoir, Gem Lake, and for a 25 mile stretch of the Snake River.
The Sheriff’s Office has 1 full-time marine deputy and four resident deputies that work on or around the waterways. During high use times, other deputies may be called in for assistance.
Managing the waterways of Bonneville County is no small task. To ensure effective service, the Sheriff’s Office is equipped with 5 boats, a zodiac raft and 2 PWC’s.
The largest boat, Miss Bonneville, is moored at Pine Bay Boat Club located on Palisades Reservoir. This allows quick access for accidents and/or general patrol on the lake. Another boat is moored at Juniper Boat Landing on Ririe Reservoir. This also is ready for quick response to assist with any problems, or for general patrolling.
For the upper stretch of the Snake River, we utilize a jet boat that is stored at the Sheriff’s Office LEB located in Swan Valley. Two other jet boats, a zodiac (rubber raft) and a PWC are kept in Idaho Falls for use on the lower stretch of the Snake River. The other PWC is in the back of the Marine Deputy’s vehicle so that it can be quickly utilized at a moments notice.
Each lake and the 25 mile stretch of the Snake River is patrolled weekly. These patrols give the Marine Deputy the opportunity to interact with and educate recreational boaters, while ensuring conditions and equipment are safe. As needed, assistance is given in Search & Rescue operations.
Another duty of the Marine unit is to conduct boat inspections. These are done throughout the boating season at the lake and river boat ramps. There are also inspections that take place at some of the local businesses prior to the boating season.
Boat safety classes are offered during the off-season, mainly during the late fall, winter and early spring months. With the help of our local media, we use Public Service Announcements to inform the public of the dates and times of boat classes. To schedule or find an upcoming Idaho Boater Safety Course, contact Bonneville County Sheriff’s Marine Deputy.
As a Marine Unit, it is our duty to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all who put their boats in Bonneville County waters.
Idaho State Boating Safety and Regulations information: http://www.idahoparks.org
Weather conditions in your area: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov
Idaho Falls area reservoir levels and stream flows: http://www.usbr.gov