Wear It! Oswego Reminds Anglers to Fish Safely This Season

OSWEGO, NY – The Wear It! Oswego campaign announces tips for anglers and other water recreation enthusiasts to help keep them safe during fishing season.

“As summer turns to fall and we enter fishing season in Oswego County, we remind the public to be prepared for safety and comfort while fishing,” said Jeff McCrobie, Oswego Fire Chief. “We encourage fishermen to use the buddy system, to exercise caution around water at all times, and to adhere to these common sense tips that can help keep anglers safe during fishing season.”

Check water and weather conditions before you recreate.

Never fish alone.

A wading staff and anti-slip soles, spikes, high top shoes or wading boots can help add to your fishing safety.

Wade with caution. Keep wader drawstrings tight, and never get into a situation in which waders and boots could flood.

Stay alert for changes in water levels. Shallow areas can become deep quickly.

Avoid drinking alcohol.

Have an exit strategy. If you witness changes in water levels or currents, exit river immediately.

Stay dry, warm and protected from the elements. Wear a waterproof sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15. Wear thin layers of clothing that progress outward to include water and wind protection as the final layer.

Bring along extra safety items such as water, flashlights, maps, and a cell phone or radio.

Be responsible and try to leave the area even cleaner than when arrived.

New Safety Measures

Recently, two Wear It! Oswego campaign collaborators, the city of Oswego and Brookfield Renewable Energy Group, jointly announced the immediate implementation of personal flotation device zones below the Varick Dam on the Oswego River.

These mandatory zones are clearly indicated on signage in the Oswego River and visually monitored via video security cameras.

Individuals not wearing a PFD are prohibited in these zones, and those failing to comply with these requirements are subject to prosecution for trespass.

It is also prohibited to remain in or enter into the PFD zones — whether wearing a PFD or not — following the activation of the siren or while the red warning light is illuminated, indicating water flow changes nearby the Varick Dam and powerhouse.

For a complete list of Oswego River/Varick Hydro safety rules, visit www.brookfieldrenewable.com/safety

In addition, the Wear It! Oswego campaign recommends the following websites for additional angler safety tips http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9223.html or http://www.takemefishing.org/fishing/fishopedia/fishing-safety/fishing-safety-tips

Life Jacket Loaner Program

The city of Oswego has a Life Jacket Loaner Program, offering free daily rental of U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type III life jackets in children, youth and adult sizes.

Life jackets are available at the Wright’s Landing Marina, conveniently located at the intersection of the New York State canal system and Lake Ontario. In order to be loaned a life jacket, borrowers must sign a waiver form and leave a valid driver’s license.

Each borrower is required to sign the waiver form (except children under the age of 18, who require permission and signature of a parent or legal guardian).

Borrowed life jackets must be returned by the end of each day to the same location at Wright’s Landing Marina.

Life jackets also are available for loan directly from city’s fire stations on the east and west side of the city.

For additional information contact the Oswego Fire Department at 315-343-2161 or Wright’s Landing Marina at 315-342-8186.

The Wear It! Oswego program raises public awareness about responsible and safe recreation on or near water, as well as the importance of wearing life jackets.