Play It Safe This Fishing Opener Weekend
If you are an avid fishing fanatic, well, this is the big weekend to get out on the lake, river, whatever and haul in those fish you've been dreaming about all winter. First of all, if you're dreaming of fish, that could signify other problems. Just sayin'.
This weekend it looks like the temps are going to be pretty nice but the water will still be pretty cold. According to the Dept of Natural Resources, don't be fooled by open water the last few weeks. The temperatures have been pretty cool so far this year and the water is still dangerously cold.
“The date on the calendar isn’t helpful in determining the temperature of the water,” said Col. Rodmen Smith, DNR Enforcement Division director. “This year’s opener is later in May than usual, but in many places the water temperature remains dangerously cold. Anglers need to be aware of that fact, and plan accordingly.”
About 30% of annual boating fatalities happen when the water is particularly cold, according to the DNR. Cold is defined as when the water temperature is below 70 degrees.
When the water is dangerously cold, even a good swimmer can succumb to the cold water and be in big trouble within a few minutes. Make sure you have life jackets in the boat for all passengers. Anyone under the age of 10 years old must wear a life jacket at all times, according to state law.
As peaceful as it might seem, it's not a good idea to head out alone. Always let someone know where you are going and when you plan on coming back. Avoid cluttering up the floor of the boat to avoid tripping and falling into the cold water.
For safety's sake it's also a good idea to take your cell phone along, as well as, a first aid kit.
Have a great and SAFE fishing opener!
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