Locals pack lakes for Memorial Day weekend

POSTED: Friday, May 27, 2011 - 4:34pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO -- Memorial Day looks like it's going to be so nice a lot of people will be flocking to the lakes for swimming, picnics and boating.

Fox 44 spent the day out on the boat with local Game Warden Kurt Slaughter, checking in on folks enjoying Lake Waco and speaking with business owners about what they are expecting this year.

Slowly but surely, the lake got crowded. A good sign for Slippery Minnow's owner, Rich Chatmas.

"A lot of people are staying local and they are just coming out to the lake and enjoying it. It's a nice lake. It's beautiful here, and it's a lot cheaper than going out of town," says Chatmas.

For the holiday weekend, the Lake Waco restaurant is expecting to make more than double what they normally make.

However,  Game Warden Slaughter says big crowds means more law enforcement.

"The enforcement is here. We're here to fly the flag and let everybody know we really want a safe weekend. Just kind of watch what you're doing," says Slaughter.

The Game Warden stopped local boaters for boat inspections.

He says the most important thing to have on your boat is a life jacket. However, he says a lot of people might not know you need one for every person on the boat.

After working more than 30 years in the Coast Guard and law enforcement, Slaughter knows how important this law is.

"I've never been able to find or locate somebody that's dead that had their life jacket on. Most of the time, they've failed to get the life jacket on in critical situations where their lives could have been saved."

Also, if your caught without them, it can be anywhere from a $50 to $100 fine. 

Game Wardens will also be on the look out for drinking boaters. A DWI can result in arrests, a fine of up to $2,000 and loss of drivers license.

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