Game Wardens Step Up Patrols on Alcova Reservoir and North Platte River

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Casper -(KCWY) "It should be an excellent weekend for boating as long as everybody plays by the rules and be safe it should be a lot of fun out there,” said Wyoming Game and Fish Game Warden Daniel Beach.

Beach says starting Friday they will see a dramatically increased use of Alcova, Pathfinder and the river, but with an increase in boaters come more violations so patrols will be added.

"I knew it was going to be busy so I told my wife and my kids this morning that I'll see you on Monday,” said Beach.

"We will be out in full force law enforcement officers across Natrona County and Wyoming, so we want to make sure that people have a safe and enjoyable weekend,” said Matt Withroder a game warden with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

There's a common thread between boaters who are fined or given a warning by wardens. They usually don't have proper safety equipment on board such as lifejackets, an approved throwing device, or a fire extinguisher.

"Time and time again they have their fire extinguisher on board, but where do they keep it, in their engine compartment which is where the fire is going to start,” said Beach.

"It could be a potential fine or even an arrestable offense if someone was to break some of these rules,” said Withroder.

In the past decade beach says about 95% of all boat accidents on Alcova have been alcohol related, no deaths have been reported in several years, but each year serious injuries have occurred and if you are drinking and driving a boat wardens say you will be arrested.

"You should never drink and drive, but think about this, in a boat you have a fraction of experience you do in a vehicle,” said Beach.

Even if you're taking the canoe or raft out to venture down the river those rules and safety regulations apply to you as well.

"Folks sometimes don't know they are violating a rule, we just ask that they read those regulations,” said Beach.