AUGUSTA, Maine - Winter may have been mild, with ice-out on many lakes earlier than ever, yet this spring has been colder than usual and water temperatures in Maine's lakes and ponds are extremely cold for this time of year. Regional Fisheries Biologist Paul Johnson reports that "During the past week continued cold weather (days in the 40's, nights in the 30's) with cold rain and some snow thrown in for good measure have kept both water temperatures and fishing success down in most locations throughout the region. As of Monday, May 20th, few lake surface temperatures exceed 50*, and many streams are running temperatures in the 40's. Warmer weather is predicted, and that is welcome news to anglers preparing for the coming Memorial Day weekend. With stream flows receding to fishable levels, conditions should improve for fishing on all of the waters in the Moosehead Region."
Water temperatures remain cool even in the southern part of the state. According to Region A Assistant Regional Fisheries Biologist Francis Brautigam, " The cool weather is maintaining favorable water temperatures for trout and salmon fishing. Last week while stocking brook trout in Tricky Pond I recorded a surface water temperature of only 500F. I also received a report that the Saco River was 520F and few shad and alewives have started to run."
With Memorial Day weekend and the busiest part of the fishing and boating season just ahead, the Maine Warden Service urges boaters to "Wear your life jacket, boat smart from the start." National Safe Boating Week, May 19-25 is an excellent time to prepare for your safety before heading out on the water.
Prolonged immersion in cold water can kill, and wearing a life jacket can greatly increase your survival chances if you are in the water unexpectedly.
Boaters and fisherman should always be aware of the dangers of cold water, but particularly during the early part of the season when the water is colder.
Proper preparation is important when boating on cold water. Follow these easy survival tips:
* Always wear your life jacket when on the water. It is extremely difficult to put on a life jacket in the water.If you do find yourself in cold water, try not to panic. Think survival. Keep movement to a minimum and if you do have to tread water, do it slowly. This will reduce heat loss and aid retention of the air trapped inside your clothing, which can provide buoyancy and insulation. Know the dangers of cold water and prepare yourself accordingly.
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