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Iowa Outdoors News Packet

Conservation news about fish, wildlife, parks and forestry and other related topics including the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) agenda and minutes. Iowa Outdoors news is published every Tuesday and will posted on our website as both news releases as well as below for archival purposes.
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These are the most recent stories published within the Iowa Outdoors news packet:

Heavy Boat Traffic Expected Before, During and After July 4 Holiday
Posted: 06/19/2012
The July 4 holiday annually is the busiest time for boating on Iowa waters and with the holiday landing on Wednesday, boaters can expect heavy traffic to last all week long.

If the water is the busiest place for boats, waiting in line at the ramp is probably the second busiest and patience and ramp courtesy will be at a premium, said Susan Stocker, boating law administrator and education coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

“Boaters can help minimize the ramp wait time by preparing to launch before it’s their turn because there will likely be a line of traffic behind them,” Stocker said.  “Be patient and respectful to other boaters. Everyone has the same goal of getting on the water.

“That being said, we don’t want boaters to have to leave the water because of things that could have been corrected simply by going through the boat and trailer before the leave home,” Stocker said.  “Give the boat a good going-over in the driveway. It only takes a few minutes and is well worth it.”

Once on the water, boaters are encouraged to operate in a way that keeps their passengers safe while watching out for other boaters.

“The top safety tip is for boat operators to avoid drinking alcohol because of how it impairs their reaction time and the ability to make quick, sound judgments. Wind, sun, glare off the water and wave action enhance the effects of alcohol so boaters are encouraged to know their limits,” Stocker said. “Boaters should also review the rules and wear a properly fitting lifejacket.”

There are about 229,000 registered boats in Iowa.  

6 fatalities
10 boat incidents
15 personal injuries
2 property damage

This three day event is part of a national ad campaign on the effects and dangers of drinking and boating.  Campaign includes increased law enforcement on the water, safety checks and boater contacts.  In 2011, 50 officers contacted 799 boaters, performed 209 safety checks and issued 45 citations/warnings.