Cool Forecast May Reduce Holiday Weekend Boat Traffic

Iowa DNRDes Moines, IA – The high temperatures for the Memorial Day weekend forecast are only expected to reach in to the low 70s, which may lead to fewer boaters on Iowa lakes and rivers. The long holiday weekend traditionally marks the beginning to the boating season, and is often the first trip out for many boat operators.

Susan Stocker, boating law administrator and education coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said even with the less than ideal weather prediction, boaters should review Iowa boating laws and plan to have patience at the ramp and on the water.

“We may see fewer boaters out with the cool forecast, but it will still be plenty busy on the water,” she said.

One way boaters can stay on the water is by inspecting their vessels prior to heading to the lake.

“There are a few simple things boaters can do to have a safe weekend on the water and number one is to have a designated boat operator who abstains from alcohol,” she said. “Operators will also need to watch their speed and be on the lookout for others.”

She said boaters should make sure life jackets are in good condition and the right size for each person on board. Check the fire extinguisher, boat and trailer lights, whistle, and throwable flotation.

Boaters are reminded about the requirement that drain plugs and other water draining devices must be removed and/or remain open during transport to avoid spreading invasive species.

Anglers leaving with fish are recommended to put them on ice, whether in a cooler, a bucket or a live well (plug must still be removed and/or opened).

Iowa has more than 220,000 registered boats.

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