Stanislaus County’s reservoirs have become increasingly popular recreational spots for both local residents and out-of-area visitors in the last few years.
A new boat purchased by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department will allow deputies to better patrol the waterways, enforcing laws and ensuring visitors’ safety.
The new patrol boat is funded by a grant from the Boating Safety and Enforcement Equipment Grant Program.
The county’s Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 on Oct. 18 to allow Sheriff Jeff Dirkse to accept the $129,930 grant for the purchase of the craft.
The grant will be used to purchase a Rogue Jet patrol boat, which will allow for more patrols, education, and enforcement operations on the reservoirs because of its design and jet propulsion.
Currently, the Department uses two Boulton powerboats, one on each of the Modesto and Woodward reservoirs.
With the increased use of Woodward Reservoir, located a few miles north of Oakdale on Highway 120, both Boulton powerboats will be utilized there to better patrol, educate, and enforce boating laws, according to a county staff report.
The new boat will be used at Modesto Reservoir, which has more low spots and hazards just under the water level. The Rogue Jet will allow the Reservoir Unit to access these shallow areas more efficiently due to the boat’s design.
The Rogue Jet boat would allow the department to better serve recreational boaters and reduce the number of boating accidents, alcohol related incidents, and boating fatalities.
“If this grant funding was not available for the Rogue Jet patrol boat, it would put recreational boaters at risk, as operations would be hindered by only having one boat at each reservoir, greatly diminishing patrol, education, and enforcement abilities on each reservoir,” according to the staff report given to the Board of Supervisors.
The Sheriff’s Department has the responsibility to perform boating safety and enforcement patrol on the waterways of Stanislaus County.