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State park officials encourage safety

WESSON — A large crowd of around 2,000 people are expected toconverge on Lake Lincoln this Memorial Day Weekend for boating,fishing and recreational fun. The Memorial Day Weekend beginsFriday morning and continues through Monday night.

Lake Lincoln, which is part of the Mississippi Department ofWildlife, Fisheries and Park’s District 5, will be staffed withconservation officers to ensure safety regulations are enforced.Other counties included in District 5 include Lincoln, Copiah,Lawrence, Pike, Franklin, Marion, Claiborne, Amite, Adams,Wilkinson, Jefferson and Walthall.

“We will be out in full force,” said District 5 Master Sgt.Danny M. Smith. “We want to keep everybody safe.”

All 28 officers in the district will be spread among the parksand waterways over the holiday.

The officers will be keeping a keen eye to ensure people followthe laws of safety, especially on the waterways. That includeschecking for boating and fishing licenses and ensuring boaters aredriving in an safe manner.

Smith is reminding boaters that they must have one life jacketfor every person on board. Anyone under age 12 must wear a lifejacket when the boat is moving.

Also, anyone born after June 30, 1980, must carry a license toboat and fish.

Keeping the drunk boaters off the water is their main concern.Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the park.

Mississippi has a strong record of boating safety. It was rankedNo. 10 in the nation for boating safety earlier this week.

The officers are proud of that ranking and want to improve onthat accomplishment.

All regulations regarding boating and swimming will be strictlyenforced.

Swimmers are also encouraged to follow safety rules, such asswimming in designated areas, avoid too much sun and not to drinkalcoholic beverages,

“Be courteous to the others,” said Sgt. Willie. J. Gayten, inreference to the number of people expected to visit the lake.

Gayten also urged drivers to obey the speed limit becausechildren will be walking and bicycling on the roads.

Fishing has been good in Lake Lincoln, according to Park ManagerGary Winborne.

“A lot of people have been catching bream,” said Winborne.”Catfish are being caught in the shallow water.”