The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) officials are urging all recreationalists using the Guadalupe, Blanco, Comal or San Marcos rivers, Canyon Reservoir, Coleto Creek Reservoir (Victoria County), Lake Dunlap (Comal and Guadalupe counties), Lake McQueeney (Guadalupe County), Lake Placid (Guadalupe County), Lake Nolte (Guadalupe County), H4 or Lake Gonzales and H5 orLake Wood (both in Gonzales County) to practice safe boating especially during the Independence Day weekend of Thursday, July 4 – Sunday, July 7, 2013.
During the Independence Day weekend, GBRA officials are advising against the use of personal watercraft and towing of water toys on the hydroelectric lakes.
“As the steward of the Guadalupe River, GBRA is bringing attention to safety issues for recreationalists using the Guadalupe, Blanco, Comal or San Marcos rivers, all of the hydro lakes, Canyon Reservoir and Coleto Creek Reservoir. Whether they are boating or using other watercraft, tubing or swimming, we want them to be safe while they are enjoying the summer,” Bill West, Jr., GBRA general manager explained, adding, “On holiday weekends, it is best to avoid towing water toys or ‘floaties’ on the hydro lakes because they get crowded, making for dangerous conditions and increasing the chances for accidents.”
Wilfred Korth, GBRA’s chief ranger said that with schools ending and warmer temperatures coming on, he expects an increase in recreational users at Coleto Creek Park and Reservoir. “Our park rangers will do everything they can to help ensure the safety of all park and reservoir users – from the fishermen and boaters to swimmers and campers.”
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) recommends a number of boating safety tips for recreationalists to practice:
Always wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) and carry extra PFDs in both adult and child sizes. Children younger than 13 years of age must wear a PFD while boating or using personal watercraft.
Be especially careful on personal watercraft such as jet skis and water scooters. Maintain a 50-foot distance between your personal watercraft and other personal watercraft, vessels, persons, shore or stationary platform unless operating at an idle speed.
Avoid alcohol. Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol is just as dangerous as operating a car after drinking alcohol. The probability of being killed in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved.
Operate at a safe speed at all times. Excessive speed is a rate of speed greater than is reasonable or prudent without regard for conditions and hazards or greater than will permit a person to bring the boat to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.
Enroll in a boater education course. For information on classroom, video or online course options, please contact TPWD at (800) 792-1112.
Boating infractions such as speeding or boating under the influence of alcohol can be enforced by TPWD game wardens or county sheriff’s deputies.
The GBRA was established by the Texas Legislature in 1933 as a water conservation and reclamation district. GBRA provides stewardship for the water resources in its 10-county statutory district, which begins near the headwaters of the Guadalupe and Blanco rivers, ends at San Antonio Bay, and includes Kendall, Comal, Hays, Caldwell, Guadalupe, Gonzales, DeWitt, Victoria, Calhoun, and Refugio counties.