Enid Lake News

Published 2:01 pm Monday, July 1, 2019

By Enid Lake Park Rangers

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, remember to put SAFETY at the top of your list, while making your plans.

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When participating in water related activities, some important tips to remember include the fact that all boaters and every member of the boating party must have a U. S. Coast Guard approved Personal Floatation Device (PFD). Persons onboard must not only have a PFD, but it must fit properly, be readily accessible, and be in good condition.

Boaters should also be familiar with and abide by the life jacket wear requirements on Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada Lakes.  These rules include:

*All persons must wear a Type I, II or III U. S. 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.

*All persons must wear a Type I, II, or III U. S. 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 U. S. 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 U. S. 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 bottom/john boats, sailboats, and paddleboats.

Other boating tips include never boat alone, always practice the buddy system, and remember that alcohol and water don’t mix. Riding in trailered boats on public roadways in Mississippi is illegal and citations may be issued if observed by USACE ranger personnel. The staff at Enid Lake would also like to remind all visitors to be aware of weather conditions, when enjoying summertime activities.  With the rise of summer temperatures, isolated thunderstorms are always possible. These thunderstorms can pop up very quickly and have many hazards associated with them including: lighting, hail, and possible tornadoes or high winds. Visitors need to pay close attention to weather conditions and vacate the beaches, lake, and to stay away from trees when severe weather is threatening. It is a good idea for visitors to always have a severe weather plan in place and ensure that everyone in the party knows what to do. With today’s technology, weather forecasts can be obtained through wireless devices including: radios, cell phones, smart phones, and many other portable devices most of which can also be programmed to receive severe weather alerts.

Currently, the lake level at Enid Lake is approximately 264.00 feet above mean sea level, with the water control gates opened a total of 3.5 feet. Normal water level for this time of year is 250.00 feet above mean sea level.  Boaters should pay extra attention due to the possibility of underwater hazards such as embankments, stumps, trees, etc.

For those who will be visiting swimming beaches, remember never swim alone; have adult supervision for children; never depend on inflatables to keep you afloat, always wear a U. S. Coast Guard approved PFD, and never dive into the water. Remember, the Life Jacket Mandate is in effect and a life jacket is required to swim outside designated swimming areas. Enid Lake currently has three swim beaches open; Hickory Ridge, Persimmon Hill, and Long Branch beaches. Plum Point and Chickasaw Hill beaches will remain closed during the holiday due to hazards presented by the unusually high water levels.

We would also like to remind campers and visitors, who will be frequenting the campgrounds over the holiday weekend, to be extremely cautious due to the large camping crowds and congestion. We ask all visitors to pay close attention to cyclists, small children and other pedestrians, and vehicle speed, while driving through the campgrounds.

Golf cart use is now restricted to campers and visitors who have received a permit sticker for disability from the Enid Lake Field Office.  Golf Carts may only be used by the permitted individual in campgrounds for egress and access. They are not to be used for joy riding, and may be operated only from sunrise to sunset.

No Independence Day celebration seems complete without fireworks.  However, the rules and regulations governing the public use of Enid Lake prohibits the possession or use of explosives, firearms, fireworks, or other pyrotechnics, unless written permission has been received from the Vicksburg District Commander.   Rangers will be strictly enforcing the “No Fireworks” policy throughout the holiday weekend.