Published 12:00 am Friday, May 30, 2008
By Chris Hannaford and Rob Hoff
Enid Lake Park Ranger
Regretfully, Enid Lake has experienced several drownings over the years, and some of these tragic drownings have involved children.
Recognizing that children are our greatest resource, Supervisory Park Ranger Mike Robinson has developed a boat and water safety course for area fifth and sixth graders. This course incorporates the Basic Boating Course sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, with hands-on activities that he developed which allows students to practice techniques they are taught in the classroom.
This course has been so successful that Mr. Robinson has received both national and international recognition for his efforts. Over the past several months park rangers from Enid Lake have taught this course to 5th and 6th grade students from area schools.
The students are taught the “rules of the road for boating,” which are the rules, regulations, and laws required for operating a boat in Mississippi. If students pass the written test at the end of the course they receive their Mississippi Boating Certificate, which is required for all persons born after June 30, 1980, who plan to operate a boat in Mississippi.
During the course students are given the opportunity to practice hands-on skills associated with boat operation and water safety techniques, and each class competes against the other classes for bragging rights.
Students are scored on events that include a Throw Bag Rescue, Buoy/PFD Relay, Rules of the Road Boat Competition, Reaction to a Swimmer in Distress, Identification of the Parts of Mock Boats, and then the averaging of each class’s test scores.
These competitions not only serve as a teaching tool, they also inspire the students to perform their very best.This year, Park Rangers taught over 600 students from area schools including: South Panola, Pope Elementary, R. H. Bearden Elementary, Coffeeville Elementary, North Delta School, Davidson Elementary and Jonestown Elementary. Each student that participated in this program is a winner as far as the Enid Lake Staff of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is concerned.
ATV’s and ORV’s Restricted
Effective Friday, May 23 Enid Lake restricted operation of All Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s, four wheelers) and Off Road Vehicles (ORV’s, side by sides), in all designated recreation areas and the immediate Dam Area at Enid Lake.
Designated recreation areas include: campgrounds and day use areas, and the immediate Dam Area includes: the north access, south access, the access adjacent to U.S. Interstate 55, the dam and toe roads, and areas around the administrative building, shop compound, and ranger office.
ATV’s and ORV’s are still permitted to be ridden on mudflats, portions of the fire lanes, portions of the horse trail at Plum Point and other remote areas of Enid Lake. Riders may access these areas from secondary access roads.
Visitors may bring their ATV’s and ORV’s into the recreation areas, but they must remain loaded in the back of pick up trucks or loaded on a trailer.
Signs stating “No ATV’s/ORV’s Allowed” have been posted in all designated recreation areas. Operators who refuse to follow established rules and regulations will be cited and subject to pay all fines, appear before a Federal Magistrate or suffer banishment from Enid Lake or a combination of any of the above.
For more information on water safety or ATV’s/ORV’s please contact the Enid Lake Field Office at 662-563-4571.