Game wardens for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department were busy over the Fourth of July weekend, as many anglers and boaters celebrated the holiday at a favorite outdoor destination.
Chief of enforcement Robert Timian said lake activity was high across the state, especially at popular recreation areas such as the Missouri River, Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake, Lake Ashtabula, Lake Tschida and Lake Metigoshe, with much of the department’s law enforcement efforts focusing on these areas.
“After a slow start to summer Mother Nature finally cooperated, and people took advantage by celebrating the holiday with lake activities,” Timian said.
The long holiday weekend produced 211 citations/arrests, with many more verbal and written warnings issued. Timian said most citations were recreational boating related, such as having an inadequate number of personal flotation devices, failure to display boat registration or failure to have an observer in the boat. “These violations were not unexpected, as most of the people on the water were participating in recreational activities,” he said.
In addition, Timian said there were five boating accidents with two involving injuries, and also one drowning. “Obviously, one drowning, or even one injury, is one too many,” he added.
The good news, according to Timian, is the number of boating under the influence arrests was much lower than anticipated, considering the nice weather and the number of people on the water.