DNR officials say patrols on water are effective - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

DNR officials say patrols on water are effective


State officials said this 4th of July holiday weekend has been safe on the road and on the water.

The DNR had extra wardens patrolling on lakes and rivers and they said their efforts have made a difference.

"We try to dedicate as much time as we can to the water and those types of activities on these busy weekends when we know that user group is going to be out there in force," said Jon Scharbarth, DNR Conservation Warden.

Scharbarth is one of the wardens patrolling in central Wisconsin.

"If people know you're out there, they're a lot more apt to follow the laws to make sure they have their safety equipment up to snuff," said Scharbarth.

Scharbarth said their efforts seem to be working.

"I know that we've had a couple of OWI arrests locally and then a host of citations that have been issued for various boating regulations," said Scharbarth.

He said keeping a close watch on the water is important this time of year.

"Especially when you talk about places that have boat parades and fireworks and things like that, where you know it's going to be a huge draw for all types of watercraft to be out there on the water," said Scharbarth.

DNR officials weren't the only ones who focused on being safe.

"We were out last year and had too many close calls and this year decided to go somewhere else," said David Sidoff.

Sidoff spent the day on the Wisconsin River.

He offered some advice for fellow boaters.

"Stay away from everybody else if there's other boats out, stay away from them," said Sidoff.

DNR officials said they'll keep patrolling, even as the holiday weekend winds down.

"It's been a pretty good weekend, but that could change in a half hour, all it takes is the wrong situation at the wrong time," said Scharbarth.

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