Conservation Police Officers (CPOs) with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) point out that the time of the year has arrived where cold temperatures lure people to the outdoors to spend hours on end fishing for big catfish, big smallmouth bass and hunting for waterfowl, deer, and other game animals.

“Being prepared to spend time in cold weather is very important and if you plan to be on the water, it is especially important,” DGIF stated. “When it comes to preparing against cold temperatures, your safety is your responsibility.”

Recreating on the water during this time of the year can be especially dangerous because falls into cold ponds, lakes, or rivers incapacitate even the strongest of swimmers with hypothermia setting in very quickly.

For those who are going to be on the water, DGIF encourages them to take a friend with them who will be there to assist if needed. Succumbing to the effects of cold water can happen rapidly, and being alone minimizes chances for survival if someone falls into the water. Boating related accidents have a greater probability of being fatal during the winter months due to the frigid water temperatures.

-For more information, see the Feb. 5 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-

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