Enid Lake

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 25, 2011

Be careful of hazards associated with fishing and boating on area lakes

Spring Fishing and Associated Hazards at Enid Lake

As temperatures rise into the upper 60s and 70s Enid Lake once again begins to experience spring fever. Campgrounds have begun to fill with campers getting away from the everyday hustle and bustle, and the boat ramps are beginning to be utilized with excited fishermen in search of a limit of crappie.

Even though the crappie spawn is still a few weeks away, anglers have already begun pursuing this highly sought after delicacy. All anglers should know a perfect spring day on the water can turn hazardous and tragic in a blink of an eye.

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Anglers should always practice water safety, and take every precaution to return home safe to their family and loved ones.

The Enid Lake Staff reminds all anglers and boaters to practice safety first while fishing and boating this spring. A few safety tips that boaters and anglers should keep in mind are: First and foremost, do not ever think “something can’t happen to me,” and always wear a personal floatation device (PFD) while fishing and boating. Remember, It won’t work if you don’t wear it.

As with all sports there are many hazards associated with spring fishing. Associated hazards include: low water, cold water, high winds, thunderstorms, and sudden changes in temperature.

Boaters and anglers should be aware of these hazards and take every precaution to avoid them. Some helpful tips to remember while planning your next excursion include: always check the local forecast in the area you will be visiting and keep an eye on approaching storms and weather fronts.

With the changing of the seasons, severe weather is always possible with approaching weather fronts. Severe weather can pop up very quickly and have many associated hazards including: lightning, hail, possible tornadoes, and high winds. Boaters and anglers need to pay attention to weather conditions and vacate the lake when severe weather is threatening.

Boaters and anglers should always pack extra clothing this time of year and dress appropriately; water temperatures are still chilly and sudden temperature changes are common. Last but not least they should always familiarize themselves with the area that they will be boating and fishing.

Sportsmen are reminded to use extra caution while navigating the lake this time of year due to a great number of underwater obstructions/hazards during low water stages.

Enid Lake Personnel also reminds all boaters and lake visitors that the following life jacket wear requirements are still in effect on Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada Lakes. Life jacket requirements include:

*All persons must wear a Type I, II, or III US Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times while swimming outside of designated swimming areas.

Waivers may be issued by Resource Managers to exempt participants of special events, such as triathlons, from this requirement while participating in the event.

*All persons must wear a Type I, II, or III US Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times while skiing or being pulled by a vessel, regardless of vessel length.

*All persons must wear a Type I, II, or III US Coast Guard-approved life jacket on powered vessels 16 to 26 feet in length whenever under power by the main propulsion unit. (This does not include when the vessel is stationary or powered by a trolling motor.

*All persons must wear a Type I, II, or III US Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times on powered vessels less than 16 feet in length or on non-powered vessels, regardless of length. Non-powered vessels include, but are not limited to canoes, kayaks, flat bottoms/john boats, sailboats, and paddleboats.

For more information on spring fishing, water safety or life jacket requirements please contact the Enid Lake Field Office at 662-563-4571 or visit www.mvk.usace.army.mil/Lakes/ms/enid/ .