Water News

Waterfowlers: Don’t Take Chances While Boating in Colorado

Denver, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding waterfowl hunters to use extra caution when using boats while hunting during the 2011-2012 season.

Each year, someone dies or is seriously injured in a boating accident, despite the fact that most accidents are preventable. Making sure that everyone on the boat is wearing a personal flotation device, no matter the temperature or inconvenience, is one way to save lives.

“Even if you consider it unlikely that your boat will capsize, you should wear a PFD while boating and waterfowl hunting,” said Aimee Ryel, district wildlife manager for Loveland. “In case of injury, this life-saving device will kick in for you, even if you can’t take action for yourself. Hypothermia takes only minutes to put you in shock. ”

Before going onto the water make sure you are carrying basic safety gear:

  • a personal floatation device for every person in the boat to wear (children under 13 are required by law to wear one while on the boat);
  • a floatation device that can be thrown to someone who falls into the water;
  • a set of oars or paddles to use if an engine stops functioning;
  • an extra can of gasoline;
  • a fire extinguisher;
  • a bell, whistle or light that can be used to issue a distress signal or be used during times of low visibility.

Be sure to check your boat and all equipment before you go on the water. If your boat is equipped with lights be sure they are working properly. Also check the integrity of cranks and cables so you can safely move the boat off the trailer into the water.

At the lake, check for local regulations because many lakes may have no-wake restrictions. Explain safety rules to children and others who are not familiar with boating and waterfowl hunting. And remember, boating and alcohol don’t mix.

A final reminder, by regulation boats must not be under power when shooting at ducks or geese.

All boats equipped with a motor, engine or sail must be registered with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Register at any state park, or find the registration form at the web site: http://parks.state.co.us.

For more information on boating regulations in Colorado, go to:

http://www.parks.state.co.us/SiteCollectionImages/parks/Programs/BoatingProgram/2011_BoatRegs.pdf

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.

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