Boaters prepare for a busy season

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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - It's a quiet day at Sparks Marina, which makes it the perfect time for local paddleboarder Nina Oakley to get out before the big crowds hit this and other local waterways this weekend.

"I think just because we're going to see nice weather, there will be a lot of people out on the water," she says.

Especially since the water is a lot higher than it's been in recent years. That's also bringing more dangers to our rivers and lakes.

"There could absolutely be a lot more debris in the water, washed down from very full streams and rivers. We just don't know what's out there floating, what's been shaken from the winter," says Edwin Lyngar, Boating Education Coordinator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Lyngar says it's not just the topography of the rivers and lakes boaters need to be more award of this season. He says it's also important for boaters to get their vessels checked out, since many had stayed on dry land during the drought years.

"When you're taking your boat out of storage after several years, look at the hull, make sure it's clean and not dry and cracked, check the motor," he says.

The general manager of Custom Boat and Marine on South Virginia Street says he can tell it's going to be an especially busy boating season, just by the number of service calls.

"Service-wise, we're probably up 30 to 40 percent on service work. Hired more technicians, got another one starting, so we're doing what we can to keep up the demand," says Ryan Glover, General Manager of Custom Boat and Marine. "People are just anxious to go out. A lot of pent up demand. Rivers and lakes are full. Not many people got to use their boats the last couple years because of water levels. Not the case now."

Glover reminds boaters that, with more boats on the water this year, they may want to keep their space.

You can also expect to see more paddleboards out on the water. Edwin Lyngar with the Nevada Department of Wildlife says paddleboarding is getting more popular as it's becoming more accessible. But he reminds people that paddelboarding is still considered boating, and users need to wear a personal flotation device when out on the water. He says paddleboarders who do not could be cited.