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Heavy rains fuel safety reminder for water conditions

Warden Wire Section: Outdoor Recreation published on June 14, 2017

By: Joanne M. Haas/DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement

Recent storms packing torrential downpours have fueled floods and strong fast currents, prompting the Wis. Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Law Enforcement to remind the public to think safety when planning water trips by first checking local conditions and to always wear a life jacket on the water.

DNR Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller says Wisconsin is known for its rivers and lakes, making summer a prime time for water fun. However, he says, with it comes summer storms and ever-changing water conditions that need to be on all water enthusiasts’ radar.

“A top and quick water safety tip is to always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest. The old bulky orange ones of years gone by today are replaced by comfortable versions,” Chief Schaller said. “Wearing one just might save your life.”

Schaller also advises to take the time to check local water conditions before swimming, boating or paddling. Good places to check are DNR offices, local bait shops, sporting goods stores or U.S. Geological Survey, too.

“These recent storms also have been packing big winds that have pushed trees and other debris in the water,” Schaller said. “The floating debris is another danger to keep watch for.”

Here are some other safety tips from Chief Warden Schaller:

If you have information regarding natural resource violations, you may confidentially report by calling or texting: VIOLATION HOTLINE: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained staff relay report information to conservation wardens.

Last Revised: Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Warden Wire