Outdoors with Forda Birds---By John Andreoni
The July 4th weekend is usually considered the busiest time of the year for recreationists. Boaters, campers, fishermen, and more flock to popular areas to enjoy the outdoors. Although still carrying some of the negative vibes provided by the blue/green algae problem, Grand Lake St. Marys should have a lot of activity. More and more users have been returning to take advantage of the phenomenal fishing, and boaters of all types have increased in numbers. With Freedom Days festivities in Celina, even more boat traffic should be evident.
The same should apply at both Indian Lake and Lake Loramie. Although Lake Loramie isn’t known to be an outstanding boating lake because of depth and underwater structure, it is still a popular place to visit and will receive a lot of traffic over the upcoming holiday. Campers love the facility, there are countless pontoons cruising the lake, and the fishing always seems to be good if you’re not species specific. It is a user friendly lake with great land access. Indian Lake can be a zoo on a holiday weekend. Boating traffic can almost be oppressive. Indian picked up traffic from St. Marys during the algae scare in 2010, and now that Buckeye Lake is having issues, a larger Columbus crowd might likewise invade the area.
Regardless, an influx of people into a small area creates the potential for problems. Many of these issues will be boating related. Some will be caused by boaters not being considerate. Other conflicts will be caused by ignorance. Ultimately, the studies show that most serious boating accidents are alcohol related. When people have powerful, high-speed watercraft at their disposal, the accident potential is obvious. If having a good time is the plan, good judgement and common sense are sometimes left out of the equation. Add quantities of alcohol to the mix, and people get hurt or killed. At this point, I should simply say that you shouldn’t drink and drive a boat at the same time. That’s good advice, but probably won’t have much effect. Some people will have to learn the hard way, which is why we have law enforcement officers running around. Many boaters don’t care for the badge because it interferes with their summertime fun. A person might see it that way, but rules are designed to keep people alive, including those who break them. Maybe some of these officers don’t have the greatest sense of humor, but I’m sure that most of them have been around drowning recovery operations. None of those are laughing matters.
Read more: Busy July 4 Weekend on Tap