LINCOLN, Neb. — Due to concerns of high water levels and water flow rates impacting levees and properties along the Missouri River from mile markers 750 (Sioux City) through 498 (Rulo), and the potential for those impacts to be aggravated by passing vessel traffic, the Coast Guard and Army Corp of Engineers are requesting all vessels to operate at the slowest speed necessary for safe navigation to avoid producing wake within this area. The advisory is in effect until cancelled.
Hazard conditions notifications should be sent to the Sector Upper Mississippi River Command Center at (314) 269-2463.
Remember to use safe boating practices every time you launch. Ensure your boat is in good running condition. Get the boat registered and, if a nonresident, purchase an Aquatic Invasive Species sticker on the Commission’s web site. Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Paddlers of kayaks or canoes should physically inspect their planned take-out point to make sure it is accessible.
Legal Operators — Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1985, who operates a motorboat or personal watercraft in Nebraska must have successfully completed the Nebraska boating safety course. Visit BoatSafeNebraska.org for a list of class locations or to take an online class. Anyone operating a motorboat or personal watercraft in Nebraska must be at least 14 years of age.
Wear a Life Jacket — Children under age 13 and anybody on a personal watercraft are required by law to wear a United States Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device. People being towed by a boat on skis, a tube, or other similar device also must wear a life jacket. Every vessel, except sailboards, must carry a flotation device for each person on board.
Avoid Alcohol — Boat operators can become impaired with less alcohol than motor vehicle drivers due to heat and dehydration. Boating Under the Influence is a criminal violation and is enforced actively.
Have All Required Safety Equipment — Life jackets, throw cushions, fire extinguishers and bailing devices are required on most boats. For a list of what is required on a boat, check out the 2019 Boating Guide at BoatSafeNebraska.org.
Be Aware of Surroundings — Look around for other boats, personal watercraft, swimmers, stumps and other hazards. Speeds in excess of 5 mph are prohibited within 30 yards of any other vessel, swimming area or dock. If padding a kayak or canoe, be aware of possible debris below the surface or under bridges.
Watch the Weather — Storms can pop up quickly in Nebraska. Check the weather in advance and monitor it during the day.
Take a friend or family member boating and fishing with you.