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GRDA Police Offering Safe Boating Courses

GRDA Police Offering Safe Boating Courses
With summer just around the corner and many lake enthusiasts already planning outings to Grand Lake and Lake Hudson, it is a good time to prepare for all that the boating season has to offer. Of course, as you make those preparations, the Grand River Dam Authority is encouraging you to always keep boater safety in mind.
To help you do that, the GRDA Police Department is once again offering its annual Kyle Williams Boater Safety Education Courses during spring and summer. Intended to help educate young boaters, the course is named after a 12-year old Oklahoma boy who was killed in a personal watercraft (PWC) accident on Lake Eufaula in 2004. To help prevent such tragedies in the future, the Kyle Williams Safe Boating Act became law in 2007. It prohibits children between the ages of 12 and 16 years of age (without a valid driver’s license) from operating any vessel powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower or sailing vessel 16 feet or longer, without first completing a state-approved boater safety course.
Currently, there are still five classes scheduled for selected Saturdays (April 14, May 12 and 19, June 9 and 23) at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley. Courses are free of charge; however you do need to register. You can do that online by visiting the “Kyle Williams Boating Safety Classes” tab, under the Lake/River>2018 Lake Events dropdown menu on grda.com.
While boater education is required for children in the 12 to 16 age range, older adults are also encouraged to attend. A possible insurance benefit, opportunity to learn something new (including rules specific to Grand and Hudson lakes), the chance to set an example for younger boaters and the chance to get reacquainted with boating safety are all good reasons for adults to participate in a class. 
GRDA wants to help you to boat safe and certified this summer. You can do that by participating in a boater safety education course.

Kyle Williams Boating Safety Class

Gale Force Winds Create Havoc

Gale Force Winds Create Havoc
The high winds and heavy waves we had last week served as a reminder of what the springtime Oklahoma winds can do by creating chaos around the lakes. GRDA Police responded to dozens of calls for loose docks, boats and other property scattered around the lakes.
Recovering the wide variety of paddle boats, swim platfoms, kayaks, canoes and PWC platforms is just half the battle for police. Attempting to locate the property owners can be the difficult part for officers, since much of the property we recover is not marked to identify the owner.
Even items securely attached to your dock such as PWC platforms, can be detached from your dock in high winds. While the owner of a dock, vessel or PWC can be readily identified due to registration and dock numbers, for other property that often gets loose from lakeside docks, identifying the owners can be difficult for police. For this reason, we recommend that any property that is kept on your dock and is not marked with a registration number, it should be marked with your dock number. This will allow officers to locate the owner of the property when Mother Nature sends it on an unexpected trip.

Lighting Projects Completed

Lighting Projects Completed
GRDA personnel are busy preparing the lakes for the influx of boat traffic with the new season. GRDA Shoreline Maintenance Crews in coordination with GRDA Police recently completed the upgrading of all Grand Lake lighthouses with high-intensity beacons. The 5 mile LED lights are now affixed to all land-based lighthouses, as well as the large yellow buoys marking the islands on the lake. The lighthouse beacons are GPS synchronized to flash at the same time to help boaters recognize these lights from other background lighting.
After years of being covered in total darkness, the Highway 85A bridge that crosses over Horse Creek on Grand Lake in Bernice now has navigation lights affixed to the north and south sides of the bridge. The lights should allow boaters to see where the bridge is located from as far away as two miles. The flashing green LED lights are placed on the center of the bridge to mark the location where the passage for boats is located to travel under the bridge. Although the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is currently making plans to replace the Highway 85A bridge, the new lights should increase safety for boaters in the area. Permanent navigation devices will be affixed to the new Bernice bridge once construction is completed.

GRDA Off-Road Regulations

Off-Road Regulations
GRDA has specific regulations pertaining to four-wheel, all-terrain and off-road vehicles that officers will be actively enforcing on GRDA state properties in order to maintain a safe and enjoyable environment for all. The regulations that pertain to off-road vehicles on GRDA lands can be found on our website at GRDA.com. Those regulations are as follows:
300:35-23-1. Designated areas
In the interest of public safety, there shall be no four-wheel vehicles, off-road vehicles or all terrain vehicles on GRDA lands except in designated areas. Operators of such vehicles are subject to federal and state laws and GRDA rules.
300:35-23-2. Passengers prohibited
Passengers are only allowed on three (3) wheelers, four (4) wheelers, or motorcycles when the manufacturer has equipped the vehicle for such passenger which includes a separate seat and foot support.
300:35-23-3. Low gear required
Low gear only except on trails posted at speed limits in excess of five (5) MPH.
300:35-23-4. Racing prohibited
No racing on GRDA property is allowed except as permitted by a sanctioned event permit.
300:35-23-5. Lights required
All vehicles, including motorcycles, must be equipped with a working dimmable front headlight and working rear lights if operating between one-half hour before sunset and one-half hour after sunrise. Any vehicle utilizing light bars shall turn them off upon the approach of another vehicle.
300:35-23-6. Roll bar, helmet, and seat belt requirements
Dune buggies and 4x4 vehicles must have a ROPS sufficient to support the weight of the vehicle and must have a seat belt for each passenger. Helmets shall be required for the driver and passenger of motorcycles, ATVs or bikes.
300:35-23-7. No liability
GRDA shall not be liable and hereby disclaims any responsibility for any and all injuries and accidents, up to and including death, which may occur as a result of participating in off-road activities. Each driver and passenger rides at his/her own risk and assumes all risks of the activity.
300:35-23-8. Alcoholic beverages prohibited
Alcoholic beverages, including low point beer, are prohibited from areas in which off-road activities occur.
300:35-23-9. Signage
Drivers shall obey all signs posted on GRDA land including areas that are off limits and speed designations.
300:35-23-10. Penalty
(a) GRDA Police and Compliance Officers may verbally order any person that is violating these rules to immediately exit the lands of GRDA.
(b) Additionally, any person, after notice and opportunity to be heard in accordance with Subchapter 21 herein, may be banned from the lands of GRDA for a period of time.

Do Not Enter

Did You Know?

Did You Know?
True or False: If someone falls overboard, the first thing you should do is jump in right away to assist them.
Answer: False. Jumping overboard to rescue someone should only be used as a last resort. Safe boating requires that the first thing you do is to reach for the person, using either your arm or something nearby that they can grab onto. If you’re more than an arm’s length away, the next option is to throw them an inflatable, floatable device. If you aren’t close enough to reach or throw something, the next step is to row closer until you are. Only go in after someone as a last resort, and only if you are wearing a life jacket and are a strong swimmer with experience in lifesaving. Otherwise, you could end up having two men overboard instead of just one.

Marine Industry’s Contribution to the National Economy

The outdoor recreation economy grew 3.8 percent in 2016, compared with the overall U.S. economy’s 2.8 percent growth that year, according to new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Boating and fishing had one of the largest growth rates of outdoor recreation in 2016, just under bicycling, generating $38.2 billion,
It saw a 4-percent increase from the year prior, and a 5.4-percent growth rate from 2012 to 2016, said Lucas Hitt, communications chief at the BEA, who presented the new data at the Miami International Boat Show last Friday.
“It had nearly twice the growth rate as outdoor recreation as a whole,” Hitt said of boating and fishing. “It’s clearly one of the driving subsets of growth of outdoor recreational activities.”
Outdoor recreation contributed $373.7 billion to the GDP in 2016, about 2 percent.
“There is nothing minor or small about 2 percent,” Hitt said, adding that mining contributes 1.5 percent to the Gross Domestic Product and agriculture accounts for 1 percent. Manufacturing accounted for 11.7 percent. “That’s larger, but not significantly. Of course, some of that manufacturing is of durable and nondurable goods related to outdoor recreation.”
Tina Highfill, an economist with BEA who helped work on the report, said she was surprised by outdoor recreation’s contribution.
“I thought 2 percent was pretty big,” Highfill said. “People hear that number and think it’s low, but it’s significant.”
The boating and fishing category was the largest outdoor recreational activity after motorized vehicles, which accounted for $59.4 billion of the gross output — more than half of that is attributed to RVs.

Lake Launch Date Set

Lake Launch Date Set

Friday May 4th is the date for the 2018 annual Lake Launch for everyone to gather and celebrate the kick-off of another fantastic lake season. The Lake Launch will be held at the Eco Building in Langley from 6-9 PM.

GRDA will have vendor tables available for a limited number of lakeside businesses to share their goods and services with the public. Space is limited and there is no charge for participation. Contact us at ed.ferguson@grda.com if you are interested in a vendor booth.

Boating Tips From the GLSPS

Boating Tips From the GLSPS
Many boaters and fishermen have added equipment to their boats in the off-season requiring electrical connections for power. Be sure the wiring is adequate to carry the load. Inadequate wiring and overloading of cables or outlets may cause overheating with the potential of fire. A common error in small boats electrical systems is the use of wire too small to carry the current load. Too small a wire causes a voltage drop between the source and the load which can lead to poor performance of the equipment or damage and possibly overheating the wire.
The start of the season is also a good time to look for loose connections and corroded terminals that can add resistance to the electrical flow and build up heat. If a wire, cable, or terminal connector feels hot to the touch it is a potential hazard and requires immediate attention. Avoid using fuses rated too high for the equipment. They can decrease overload protection with fire a possibility.
Boat Smart from the start and take a course from America’s Boating Club, the United States Power Squadrons. For local information visit our website at: usps.org/grandlake or on Face Book at GLSPS.

By the Book

By the Book
The Administrative Regulations of GRDA describe the organizations, operations, and procedures for the Grand River Dam Authority with respect to its administration, rulemaking, and other activities and are intended to supplement and interpret pertinent provisions of state statutes. 
The following information are excerpts of the GRDA Administrative Regulations Title 300 Chapter 35 that are provided in an effort to educate the public about what regulations are enforced on GRDA waterways and properties. Many of these regulations have changed effective September 11, 2017. All GRDA regulations are available for review at GRDA.com.
300:35-7-11. Penalties
(a) GRDA Police officers may verbally order any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or any other entity that is violating any provision found in Title 63 or Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes or in any GRDA rules to immediately exit the waters and/or lands of GRDA. Failure to obey the verbal order may result in the GRDA Police enforcing the provisions of 63 O.S.2001, § 4221 which provides that such failure to comply will constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00).
(b) Additionally, any such person or entity, after notice and an opportunity to be heard as provided in Subchapter 21 herein, may be banned from the waters and/or lands of GRDA for a period of time up to, and including, ninety (90) days.
300:35-7-12. Duck Creek and Woodard Hollow boating rules
Due to the unique nature of Duck Creek, Woodard Hollow, and Courthouse Hollow on the Grand Lake O' the Cherokees, GRDA implements, from time to time, special boating rules for the area. Please contact the GRDA Police, located at the GRDA Ecosystems & Education Center in Langley, Oklahoma, or visit the website,www.GRDA.com for the current applicable Duck Creek, Woodard Hollow, and Courthouse Hollow Boating Rules.

Adopt The Shoreline

GRDA's 2018 Lake Events


Camp Bandage South Grand Lake

Do you have a Special Event Planned?

PLEASE let us know about your lake or river events so we can provide the resources you may need to make it a positive experience!

2018 Special Events Schedule
March 22-25: Big Meat Run, Pensacola Dam Off-Road area
April 14: GRDA Boating Safety Course, Eco Building in Langley
April 21-23: UTV Spring Extravaganza, Pensacola Dam Off-Road Area
May 4: Lake Launch, Eco Building in Langley
May 12: GRDA Boating Safety Course, Eco Building in Langley
May 19: GRDA Boating Safety Course, Eco Building in Langley

2018 Fishing Tournaments


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