Safe and Enjoyable Water Recreation

Published: June 1, 2024

Safe and Enjoyable Water Recreation

Summer in Washington offers endless opportunities to explore and enjoy the beautiful rivers and lakes near Yakima. Whether you kayak, fish, stand-up paddle board, or float down the river, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. To make sure that your outings are both safe and pleasurable, here are some considerations to help you make the most of peak aquatic recreation season.

Plan ahead

Before setting out on any aquatic adventure, you must be well prepared. Check the weather forecast for your destination to save yourself from unexpected conditions that might spoil your day or pose danger. The National Weather Service is a reliable resource for updates on weather and water conditions, which can fluctuate, especially in rivers. Picking the right location is equally important; places like Rotary Lake or the Yakima Greenway are ideal sites, offering safe, accessible environments with the right amenities for a comfortable day out.

Recreate safely

Safety should always be your top priority. Wear a life jacket, even if you are an excellent swimmer. River currents can be deceptive, and a life jacket provides that extra layer of security. Drink water regularly, wear sun protection like a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen, and consider protective clothing such as lightweight, long-sleeved shirts.

It’s also wise to never swim or boat alone. Having a companion not only increases safety and fun. Keep your outings enjoyable and within your physical capabilities; engaging in overly strenuous activities can lead to injuries or fatigue. Local groups often offer classes and activities that are tailored to seniors, focusing on enjoyment without physical strain.

Be aware of the risks associated with water temperatures, which can be deceptively cold beneath the surface, leading to cramps or fatigue. Take precautions not to enter the water if you are overheated or feel cold. Familiarize yourself with basic water rescue techniques and CPR, and know the location of the nearest emergency facilities. This can make all the difference in preventing and managing potential emergencies.

Respect the environment

While enjoying the natural beauty, it’s important to respect the environment. Maintaining cleanliness, avoiding disturbance to wildlife, and using eco-friendly products help preserve these natural settings for everyone’s enjoyment. Follow local regulations and guidelines. This includes observing signs about swimming areas, boat access points, and protected zones, which are set for your safety and environmental conservation. Check with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to make sure you don’t run afoul of fishing regulations.

Yakima’s rivers and lakes are splendid venues for summer recreation, offering scenic beauty and a host of activities suitable for people of all ages. By taking the right precautions and preparing adequately, you can ensure that your time spent by the water is as safe as it is enjoyable. So, embrace the warm weather, gather your friends or family, and make the most of these wonderful natural resources right at your doorstep.