Spotted Eagle Lake in Miles City was full of kayakers on July 18, most of whom were there to try out the increasingly popular water sport during Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Community Kayak Night.
Almost 40 people came to hear FWP Region 7 Supervisor Brad Schmitz offer some safety and handling tips for beginning kayakers. Tate Langel, a traveling intern with FWP’s Montana Wild educational center in Helena, brought a dozen kayaks to make the event possible.
Schmitz noted that most water fatalities in recent years have been in connection with non-motorized watercrafts, stressing the importance of always wearing a proper-fitting lifejacket. He talked about safe methods to board or exit a kayak, including maintaining three points of contact, as well as what to do if the kayak tips over, and how to paddle and turn once in the water.
Schmitz, an avid kayaker, said he was happy to share his love of the sport and introduce people to it in a safe setting.
Afterward, people of all ages put the tips to use and enjoyed time on the water. There were single and double kayaks, crafts with cockpits and sit-on kayaks available for people to try at no cost, along with lifejackets. People also had access to brochures on paddling and water safety, which are always available at FWP headquarters in Miles City.
Walmart partnered with FWP by donating drinks and snacks for participants and staff. The event was well received and will likely be offered again in the future.
(via MT FWP)