As warm weather arrives, officials stress boating safety

Winchell advised that people protect themselves as they venture out for some early spring fun, by knowing the area and being prepared with warm clothing.

"Know the waters you're going into," he said, cautioning paddlers to be informed about the probable velocity of the waterway they're venturing out on. He also warned that paddlers should be realistic about their skill level.

"If you're not a whitewater paddler, you might just want to stay on the lakes or other calmer areas," he said. "Because even waters that during the summer are flat and calm, right now they're running high and fast."

The 2010 fishing season on most waters officially opened April 1. Winchell also reminded residents to check rules and regulations regarding waterways before heading out.

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