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6 Boating Tips to Consider in a Drought

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Boating in Drought ConditionsWith most of the West Coast facing moderate to extreme drought conditions this summer, reflecting on and practicing boater safety is more important than ever. In fact, the state of California, which is now in its fourth year of drought, has noted that between 2013 and 2014 there was a 59% increase in collisions with fixed objects. There was also a 23% increase in groundings. We here at SavvyBoater urge you to read and consider the following tips for your safety on the waters this summer.

    Drought conditions in the western United States summer 2015
  1. Equip your boat with all required equipment. Wear your life jacket. Even at low speeds, hitting submurged rocks or snags can easily launch people out of their boats.
  2. Plan ahead, research, and find out if your favorite spot has any boating operating restrictions.
  3. Let pple know where you're going, giving them your float plan. Let them know when you plan to head out and when you plan to return.
  4. Use extreme caution, go slowly, and pay attention to your surroundings. Don't trust your old float routes; previously submerged objects may have surfaced, thus posing a new thread. Try to stay in the deeper waters.
  5. Invest in a depth finder and use it to navigate around potentially dangerous areas. Turn on the low depth feature.
  6. If the lake has fish and low water levels, consider boating elsewhere. Low oxygen levels due to hot weather, low water, and increased chemicals from boating put tremendous stress on fish populations. Check out this article in Reuters about the salmon die-off here in Oregon.

Do you have any more tips, stories, or experiences to share about how this or past droughts has impacted your boating activities? Please feel free to comment and share with us. Not only do we want to hear from you, but your experience and knowledge can help others.

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