Game wardens warn of boating dangers before holiday weekend.

All the rain we've seen is helping with lake levels and Memorial Day weekend is upon us.

Thousands are expected to hit the lakes in the area and Texas game wardens say they are ready for the crowds.

To avid boater and fisherman Don Gaskin, Memorial Day weekend on Lake Austin has its woes.

"It's horribly crowded, I don't even think about coming down here on Memorial Day weekend," said Gaskin.

Lake Travis levels are slowly going up and some boat ramps are open once again. Lake Austin has always maintained a constant level. Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens know the crowd is coming and are warning boaters to take it easy.

"We've had some really bad boating accidents where we've had people killed," said Scott Jurk, Captain, Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden.

Last year game wardens statewide issued over 1,500 citations. A lot of them were life jacket violations and boating while intoxicated cases.

Alcohol is legal on a boat but if you're caught driving while drunk on a boat it's the same as drunk driving in a car.

"We do a no refusal on the water just like we do on land this weekend. It will be no refusal and we'll be looking for intoxicated boaters," said Jurk.

Weather could also be a threat. The Lower Colorado River Authority says conditions may be safer now, but this weekend things could change if there is too much rain at once.

"If you hear thunder, you see lightning you need to seek shelter and get off the water," said Jurk.

Game wardens say ultimately they just want everyone to have a good, safe time.

"Be aware of your surroundings and the people on your boat," said Jurk.

As for Don Gaskins and his family, they may not get to Lake Austin or Lake Travis this weekend, but will enjoy the quality time on the lake, while it is peaceful and quiet.

"We won't be on the lake it's too crowded, but he's getting married on Saturday and so I'm taking my grandson and my son fishing," said Jurk.

A city ordinance prohibits you from using a jet ski, motor bike or a similar vehicle between sunset on Friday before Memorial Day and sunrise on Tuesday after the holiday.


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