Livestock Loss Board to meet Oct. 8

The next meeting of the State of Arizona Livestock Loss Board will be held on Oct. 8, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. through the use of technological means. Members of the public may listen to the meeting by calling 404-397-1516 Access code: 280-046-234##. Members who listen by phone should keep their phones on mute. Members of the Board will attend by telephone conference call. The agenda is posted at www.azgfd.com/agency/livestockboard.

Have an old, worn-out life jacket? Swap it for a new one.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has already exchanged a record number of life jackets this summer — more than 1,000 old, worn-out life jackets have been swapped for brand-new ones during numerous events held throughout the state.

Arizonans have two more chances to swap their life jacket for a new one. In September, the public is invited to join AZGFD and its partner organizations at the following life jacket exchange events (Type I and Type II life jackets will not be accepted):

  • Lake Powell at Wahweap Marina on Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Kingman at the AZGFD regional office (5325 N. Stockton Hill Road) on Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Lake Powell at Antelope Marina in front of the restaurant on Sept. 14 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

2018 marks the 10-year anniversary of AZGFD’s life jacket exchange program, and to commemorate the achievement the department is working toward the goal of exchanging 1,700 life jackets and has held events in new areas throughout the state.

“The life jacket exchange in Kingman is another example of AZGFD bringing this important program to new locations,” said Josh Hoffman, boating safety education coordinator for AZGFD. “Come out and meet us and our partner organizations, and take advantage of this program to ensure you have a new, properly fitting life jacket.”

For more information about boating in Arizona or to sign up for a free safety course, visit azgfd.gov/boating.

Do your part to protect Arizona’s habitat

While it may be tempting to go out on an off-highway vehicle (OHV) after a rainstorm when the temperature is cooler and the ground is fresh, doing so can cause long-lasting damage to the habitat. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) advises that OHV operators turn around if they encounter wet and muddy roads.

While the practice of “mudding” — purposefully driving through wet areas, whether it’s a meadow, lakeshore or water tank for wildlife or ranchers’ animals — may be touted as fun on places like social media, it can cause long-lasting damage to the habitat and forest roads.

In addition, when an area is wet, riding can tear up the roads and trails making them impassable for others. Even a lighter-weight OHV with low-pressure tires can cause lasting damage to an area.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, mudding has many negative impacts:

  • Rips up native plants — When plants are gone soil washes into nearby streams and lakes, and it creates the opportunity for noxious weeds to move in.
  • Compacts soil — Tire tracks create hard soil that keeps water from moving into the ground, and they make it difficult for plants to grow.
  • Harms wildlife — When vehicles tear up meadows and wetlands, it removes nesting and hiding cover, interferes with feeding, and may push animals out into areas where they may not survive.
  • Smothers fish — Many species of fish and amphibians use gravel to build nests and bury their eggs. Driving through streams destroys these gravel areas.

It’s also a safety issue for riders. OHVs handle differently on wet roads than they do on dry ground, so use caution and drive at slower speeds when roads and trails are wet.

If you see someone mudding, call 1-800-VANDALS. It’s helpful if you can get a license plate number and description of both the OHV and the operator as well as a location of the activity so law enforcement personnel can follow up on the information.

For more information on responsible OHV use or to sign up for a safety education course, visit azgfd.gov/OHV.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department will conduct watercraft inspections and registrations Monday, Aug. 20, through Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the Lake Havasu City Motor Vehicle Division offices at 2081 Spawr Circle.

Service hours:

  • Monday, Aug. 20 — 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 21 — 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 22 — 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Payments for registrations can be made by credit cards only or debit cards with a Visa or MasterCard logo. If you have any questions, call (928) 342-0091.

The 10-year anniversary of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s (AZGFD) life jacket exchanges continues with two events on Saturday, Aug. 25. During the exchanges, people with old, worn out and less-effective life jackets can swap them for a new one, while supplies last.

The public is invited to join AZGFD and its partner organizations at the following life jacket exchange events:

  • Lake Havasu at Site Six on Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Yuma at Martinez Lake on Aug. 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Please note that Type I and Type II life jackets will not be accepted.

For more information about boating in Arizona or to sign up for a free safety course, visit azgfd.gov/boating.

The 10-year anniversary of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s (AZGFD) life jacket exchanges continues with three events on Saturday, Aug. 4. During the exchanges, people with old, worn out and less-effective life jackets can swap them for a new one, while supplies last.

The public is invited to join AZGFD and its partner organizations at the following life jacket exchange events:

  • Lake Pleasant at the 4 Lane boat ramp and the 10 Lane boat ramp on Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Saguaro Lake at the main ramp on Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Bullhead City at BCFD Fire Station #2 (1230 Highway 95) on Aug. 4 from 9 a.m. to noon

Anyone who has an old, worn-out or improperly fitting life jacket is welcome to exchange it for a new one in the appropriate size during the events. Type I and Type II life jackets will not be accepted.

For more information about boating in Arizona or to sign up for a free safety course, visit azgfd.gov/boating.

AZGFD aims to exchange a record number of life jackets in 2018

Nearly 850 life jackets have been exchanged so far this year, but that number will ramp up after the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) holds six more events in August. 2018 is the 10-year anniversary of the life jacket exchange program, and AZGFD is aiming to exchange a record-setting 1,700 life jackets this year.

Anyone who has an old, worn-out or improperly fitting life jacket is welcome to exchange it for a new one in the appropriate size during the events. Type I and Type II life jackets will not be accepted.

The public is invited to join AZGFD and its partner organizations at the following life jacket exchange events:

  • Bullhead City at BCFD Fire Station #2 (1230 Highway 95) on Aug. 4 from 9 a.m. to noon
  • Lake Pleasant at the 4 Lane boat ramp and the 10 Lane boat ramp on Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Saguaro Lake at the main ramp on Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Lake Havasu at Site Six on Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Yuma at Martinez Lake on Aug. 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

“In addition to exchanging more life jackets than ever before, this year we have been excited to hold the events in new locations throughout Arizona,” said Josh Hoffman, boating safety education coordinator for AZGFD. “This will be our first life jacket exchange in Yuma, and it’s a great opportunity to allow as many Arizonans as possible to ensure they have a new life jacket that fits properly.”

State law requires all passengers 12 years old and younger to wear a life jacket while on board and each passenger must have a properly fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket available.

Another important aspect of safe boating is understanding the laws and regulations for cruising around Arizona’s waterways. AZGFD offers free in-person courses for both boaters and paddlers to ensure that all of Arizona’s residents have access to instruction on the basic skills required to safely and legally operate their boat.

For more information about boating in Arizona or to sign up for a free safety course, visit azgfd.gov/boating.

 

Weather conditions can change quickly, be aware of your surroundings

While monsoon season officially began June 15, the first major storms hit the Phoenix area earlier this month and served as an important reminder for off-highway vehicle (OHV) operators to monitor the weather forecast and be prepared for changing conditions.

The severity of monsoon storms varies greatly, from a minor dust storm to a violent thunderstorm capable of producing hail, lightning and/or flash flooding. These weather conditions can greatly impact how OHV operators must maneuver their machines and require everyone to know how to ride safely and appropriately depending on current conditions.

“Always check the forecast before heading out, and if severe weather or storms are likely, the best thing to do is postpone your outing for another day,” said David Rigo, OHV law enforcement program coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “However, if you’re already out and storms begin appearing nearby, there are key actions you can take to stay safe.”

The Arizona Game and Fish Department encourages OHV enthusiasts to take note of the following tips to stay safe during monsoon season:

  • Always wear proper safety gear, including a helmet (required for those under 18), eye protection, long sleeves, pants, over-the-ankle boots and gloves.
  • Seek shelter indoors as storms are developing or are nearby.
  • Never cross running water. While it may look shallow, the water may be deep enough that it could push the vehicle downstream, or you may get stuck in loose sediment.
  • Drive slowly in order to not lose control on muddied trails.
  • To avoid being struck by lightning, avoid open fields, high land, trees, poles or other tall objects and standing bodies of water.
  • Be aware of and avoid flash-flood zones.

While it may be tempting to go out on an OHV after a rainstorm, the department advises against operating on wet or muddy roads. When the area is wet, riding can tear up the roads and trails making them impassable for others. In addition, OHVs can do serious damage to meadows, streams and other areas important to wildlife and Arizona’s water supply.

Always stay on roads and trails, and remember that even a lighter-weight OHV with low-pressure tires can do lasting damage.

For more information on operating an OHV in Arizona, visit www.azgfd.gov/OHV.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department encourages all boaters to take its free safety education course. In addition to providing an overview of the basic skills required to safely operate a boat or personal watercraft, the course also covers trailering, navigational rules, buoys, anchoring, legal requirements, watersports and boating emergencies.

The Boater Education Course is offered monthly in Phoenix and Lake Havasu City and can accommodate up to 30 students depending on the location. The instructors all have backgrounds in boating and are a great resource for answering questions. Registration is available online, and the next courses are offered Aug. 18.

Nationwide initiative focuses on the importance of sober boating

Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) officers made contact with hundreds of boaters the weekend before the Fourth of July as part of Operation Dry Water, a national awareness and enforcement campaign focused on sober boating.

Alcohol is a top contributing factor in recreational boater deaths, and the initiative’s goal is to increase safety on Arizona’s lakes and rivers, and reduce the number of fatalities and injuries.

This year’s weekend of enhanced enforcement took place June 29 to July 1, in advance of the Fourth of July, which fell on a Wednesday. During that time, AZGFD officers stopped 81 boats and discussed safe boating with 366 people. Three arrests were made for operating watercraft under the influence, and 13 citations were written for issues like not having a sufficient number of life jackets or an expired boat registration. In addition, officers issued 46 warnings.

The patrols took place at Lake Havasu and Lake Pleasant with 32 AZGFD officers participating in the effort.

“Operation Dry Water is an important initiative because it promotes safety, not only on Arizona’s waterways but also lakes and rivers nationwide,” said Tim Baumgarten, AZGFD’s boating law administrator. “Anything that brings attention to the important issue of designating a sober operator is a good investment of the department’s time and resources.”

AZGFD has been participating in Operation Dry Water since the initiative began in 2009. AZGFD partners with local agencies on the effort, which is coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and U.S. Coast Guard.

Although the legal limit for operating a boat in Arizona is .08 blood-alcohol content, an operator is in violation of the law and may be prosecuted for operating a watercraft while impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol and/or drugs.

When hailed by an officer on the water, the process is similar to being pulled over while driving a vehicle. Here’s what to expect:

  • The operator must stop his or her boat immediately and allow the officer to pull up alongside it.
  • The officer will ask to see the boat registration, and the operator should be prepared to demonstrate that the required safety gear is available.
  • There must be a serviceable, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket available for each person on board, and children 12 and under must be wearing a life jacket.
  • Boats 16 feet in length and longer are required to have a Type IV throwable flotation device on board that’s easily accessible.
  • The operator also must be able to present the required number of fire extinguishers, which depends on the boat’s features like having an inboard engine or permanently installed fuel tanks.
  • Officers will ask the operator if he or she has had any alcoholic beverages that day and will follow up with additional questions as needed.

“Our officers are committed to increasing safety on Arizona’s waterways in an effort to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries that occur each year,” Baumgarten said. “The goal is ensure that everyone has a great day on the water and returns home safely.”

For more information on boating safety or to sign up for a boating education course, visit www.azgfd.gov/boating.

Pleasant Harbor July_Sept 2016