(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – With another successful Operation Dry Water out of the way, Alaska Wildlife Troopers will continue to spread the message of boating safety while doing fisheries enforcement over what is expected to be a busy holiday weekend full of frivolity and fishing on Alaska waterways.
This weekend, there will be a robust presence throughout Alaska as Alaska Wildlife Troopers check to see if people are adhering to commercial, personal use, subsistence, or sport fisheries regulations to help ensure equality for the different resource users. If unsure of regulations in an area you wish to fish, contact the local Alaska Wildlife Troopers or Alaska Fish and Game office. In addition to the fisheries patrols, Troopers will be continuing last weekend’s effort to make sure boaters are complying with boating safety laws and not boating under the influence.
Every year, Operation Dry Water is conducted before the Fourth of July holiday in order to raise awareness of boating safety issues with the goal of reducing the incidence of collisions, injuries, and fatalities involving boaters. The initiative also seeks to foster a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water. Especially in Alaska, alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in recreational boating deaths. Four of the nine boating deaths last year had alcohol involvement and one was unknown, according to the Alaska Office of Boating Safety. Four were wearing life jackets. Take the pledge to wear a life jacket, at https://pledgetolive.org/
In Alaska, the 37 participating wildlife troopers conducted the following activity during Operation Dry Water June 27-30:
Contacted 686 vessels and 2,211 operators
No operators were arrested and charged with BUI during the focused AWT patrol
Issued 33 citations and 106 warnings for boating offenses, ranging from operating an unregistered power vessel to failing to have life jackets or other required safety equipment aboard their vessel
Issued 56 citations for fishing offenses during their patrols
Encountered three offenses of minor consuming alcohol
Investigated a report of a stolen watercraft
Areas patrolled during Operation Dry Water included lakes and rivers of the Matanuska and Susitna valleys; rivers along the Kenai Peninsula; salt waters in the Kachemak Bay, the Prince William Sound, between Kodiak and Ouzinkie and around the communities in Southeast Alaska; the Kuskokwim River from Bethel to Aniak; the Yukon River from Paimute to Grayling; and lakes and rivers near Fairbanks.
Operation Dry Water is organized nationally by National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). For more information, go to https://www.operationdrywater.org/ .