The long Memorial Day weekend marks the traditional start to summer and, for many people, kicks off the recreational boating season. Waterways throughout Minnesota already have been more crowded than usual this spring, an apparent continuation of what was an exceptionally busy year in 2020.
With boaters of all experience and skill levels sharing Minnesota’s lakes and rivers, everyone must take seriously their safety responsibilities.
Following are a few simple safety tips that will help make the start of the boating season fun, memorable and safe.
In addition to helping to ensure safety, boaters also play a vital role in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. Every time their boat comes out of the water – whether an AIS inspector or enforcement officer is present or not – boaters must clean aquatic plants and debris from their watercraft, drain lake or river water, and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Boaters must remember to keep their drain plugs out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.
Further details, including boater education requirements and information on safe boating, can be found at mndnr.gov/boatingsafety.