Department of Wildlife and Fisheries remind boaters about safety and COVID-19 Guidelines

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OUACHITA PARISH, LA (5/24/)– During Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of families take their boats out on the water…but it’s still very important to practice safety guidelines. There are no outdoor restrictions this Memorial Day weekend, so it’s one of the first times families have been able to get outside since the COVID-19 stay at home order.

“Outdoor activities are not currently restricted so the water ways are filling up with fishermen and people tubing, skiing. All boating activities are on the rise, especially with the holiday weekend,” said Lt. Wayne Parker, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

While the lake has many fun things to offer, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be keeping a look out for boating safety violations. Lt. Parker says boaters should always remember life jackets save lives. A flotation device is required for everybody on board who is under the age of 16.

“We just want to make sure everybody is safe while they are boating; they have life jackets, have a sober operator, and making sure the kids are taking care of out on the waterways. Any time you are in a congested area, make sure you are aware of the surrounding area and other boats,” said Lt. Parker.

Wildlife Enforcement won’t be patrolling for any social distancing or COVID related violations while on the waterways. However, they encourage people to be smart and consider their safety when making decisions.

“You may have boats come out and tie up, that would encourage large groups of people to gather, or Cook out’s and alike. Some calls may come in and we might have to ask questions,” sais Lt. Parker.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries doesn’t want to stop you from having fun, but remember that safety must come first.

To see more safety guidelines, click here.

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