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Behind the Badge - Remember to Put the Boat Plug Back In

Remember to Put the Boat Plug Back In

District Game Warden Mike Raasakka

As we enter another summer of boating, it is important to remember our aquatic nuisance species rules.

  • No transport of water in live wells.
  • All plugs in boats must be pulled while boats are in transport.

Hopefully by following these rules we can keep our lakes free of ANS.

With these new rules there have been far more red faces at the boat ramps as people sometimes forget to put their plugs back in the boat.

This can sometimes even happen to the warden.

Last summer while on boat patrol with another warden in the Van Hook arm after being out in the boat for about an hour, we had finished checking some boats and I put the throttle down when the boat was very sluggish and hard to get up on plane.

It was then that I had a sobering thought: I forgot to put the plug in the boat.

A quick check of the bilge pump showed we had a large amount of water in the boat.

I gave a quick check if I could reach down and put the plug back in.

Again, this did not work out as planned as the build of the boat and the location of the plug would not allow me the reach it.

At this point my thought was to go back and load the boat at the ramp and put the plug in.

But then the thought of the red-faced moment set in.

So as wardens often do, improvision was needed.

It was a rather hot day and the thought of a swim was fairly appealing.

So off to a vacant part of the Van Hook Arm.

A quick strip down to the underwear and a quick swim and the plug was back in the boat.

And no one would ever know that even the game warden forgets to put the plug in the boat.

But I guess now everyone knows…ha! I would recommend if this happens to you make sure you are a strong swimmer and wear your life jacket.

Make sure you follow the ANS rules and be safe on the water, and always remember to put the plug back in.

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