Outdoor Enthusiasts Urged To Take Care When Fishing And Boating In The Early Spring
Cold, fast-moving water poses special safety risks to boaters and anglers
COLUMBUS, OH - As spring approaches and the last of winter's snow and ice melts away, outdoor enthusiasts are reminded that waterways remain frigid and some rivers and streams could be near or at flood stage in coming weeks. These conditions pose special hazards to early season boaters and anglers, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
High and fast stream currents, downed trees that act as "strainers," undercut and eroded banks, standing waves at the bottom of chutes and other underwater obstacles can be dangerous to anyone walking, wading or boating in or near a waterway.
"It's a time of year when extra precautions are needed to ensure that the strength and speed of the river does not exceed your skill capabilities or that of your equipment," said Pamela S. Dillon, chief of the Division of Watercraft.
ODNR recommends "scouting" a stream before launching a boat in an unfamiliar area. Boaters are urged to file a float plan with a responsible person and be prepared to get wet by dressing in layers of synthetic materials with a wind-resistant outer shell. Capsizing or falling unexpectedly into cold water can be life threatening to anyone who is not prepared!
The Division of Watercraft further advises to properly wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while boating, and when wading and fishing in rivers or streams. Boaters should use extra caution when in the vicinity of lowhead dams, making sure boats are properly loaded with people and gear. Additional safety tips on boating during the early spring are available at ohiodnr.com.
For Further Information Contact:
John Wisse, ODNR Division of Watercraft
Jane Beathard, ODNR Office of Communications