Lake Texoma

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Boating Safety

by




Texans around the state are making plans to take advantage of the sunshine on the state’s waterways. Compared to this time last year, drownings are up more than 30 percent. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is reminding everyone to be safe by following basic boating safety precautions and public health guidelines while on the water.

“Most of the tragic deaths and serious injuries that occurred in Texas waters last year could have been prevented by following a few simple and important steps,” said Cody Jones, TPWD Assistant Commander for Marine Enforcement.

Texans should remember these simple recommendations- wear a life jacket, learn how to swim, closely supervise children, use a kill switch, never drive a boat while under the influence of alcohol and take a boater education class.

Safety precautions do not end at the shoreline. It is important that the public stay current with the latest COVID-19 safety precautions from state and local officials before heading to the water. Texans are encouraged to check with the managing authority of the waterbody they intend to visit for any local ordinances in place.

Current recommendations include minimizing in-person contact by maintaining six feet of separation and avoiding groups larger than 10 people. Boaters should also continue to maintain a safe social distance and avoid crowds while out on the water or at docks and ramps.

Game Rangerswill also be on heightened alert looking for those violating boating under the influence laws. The effort is in conjunction with Operation Dry Water, a nationally coordinated enforcement campaign focused on deterring boaters from boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“Boating under the influence is just as deadly as drinking and driving,” said Jones. “Every year we see dozens of boating accidents and tragedies on Texas waters that could have been avoided if the operator had refrained from drinking. We are calling on all Texans to keep our lakes safe and fun throughout the year by limiting alcohol consumption and having a designated driver at all times when boating on Texas waterways.”

Operating a boat with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 percent is an offense that can lead to fines, confinement in jail, and the loss of a driver’s license. In 2019, game wardens made 193 criminal arrests for boating while intoxicated across the state.

According to Texas state law, a life jacket must be available for each occupant of a boat or paddle craft. Children who are under the age of 13 are required to wear one while the boat or paddle craft is underway or drifting. Last year in Texas, game wardens issued 583 citations for children not wearing a life jacket and 1,483 for insufficient life jackets on the vessel. Some good news is the overall number of citations were down 5.4 percent compared to the previous year.

Texans can check out the Life Jacket Association website for a guide to proper cleaning and storing of their Personal Flotation Devices in relation to the virus.

Check the weather before heading to the water, learning to swim and knowing the rules of the waterway before launching on the lake. For more information about boating safety, laws and requirements, visit TPWD’s boating laws website.
tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/boat/laws/




Tom Behrens has over 50 years experience in fishing and hunting across the United States. Much of this time was spent in Oklahoma and Texas where he became very familiar with the outdoor opportunities in these states. You may contact him by email at: tbehrcomm@gmail.com


Tell us what you think!

Striper Express at Lake Texoma

Lake Texoma Email Updates


 

Visit our Lake Texoma Sponsors!

Lake Texoma on Social Media

 
       

Lake Texoma Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.

 

Lake Texoma Weather Forecast

Wednesday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 87

Wednesday Night

Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 73

Thursday

Partly Sunny

Hi: 91

Thursday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 80

Friday

Partly Sunny

Hi: 91

Friday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 80

Saturday

Mostly Sunny

Hi: 92

Saturday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 79


Lake Texoma Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 8/5: 617.76 (+0.76)



Lake Texoma Fishing Report from TPWD (Jul. 29)

GOOD. Water lightly stained; 84-87 degrees; 1.05 high. Striped bass and white bass are good on live bait and topwater baits when fish are near the surface. Diving birds are marking feeding schools on the surface throughout the lake. Use sonar to mark schools along the river channel and flats. Largemouth bass are good fishing jigs, Texas-rigged plastic worms, and crankbaits in 8-24’. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs by boathouses, marinas and brush piles in 15-25’. Catfish are good on cut bait, prepared bait, and live bait.