Utah state parks saw a decline in visitation last year, particularly at parks with lakes and reservoirs.
Despite open boat ramps and adequate water levels during most of last season, boaters, anxious about drought concerns, stayed away.
Boaters should take advantage of good conditions and water levels now.
"State water managers are doing an excellent job of educating Utahns about the drought and conservation needs, which we fully support," stated state boating coordinator, Ted Woolley. "However, we believe drought concerns are keeping boaters away unnecessarily."
"Twenty-one state park boat launch ramps were open through Labor Day last year," reported Woolley. "Boaters should check with us throughout the season for current boat launch conditions, which we plan to update weekly."
Boaters are reminded and strongly encouraged to wear personal floatation devices. National statistics indicate that over 400 people who drowned in boating accidents last year would have survived if they wore a floatation device.
A boating accident can happen at any time when someone is on the water. New inflatable lifejackets are available that are less bulky and more comfortable than traditional models.
Utah state parks is not just about boating. The agency operates parks and museums statewide hosting a wide variety of art exhibits, hands-on craft seminars, golf, guided hikes, historic re-enactments, and events for the entire family throughout the year.
State parks and recreation is the state's official recreation authority, administering and enforcing the state boating and off-highway vehicle programs, operating three golf courses, and managing 41 state parks and museums statewide.
For more information on launch conditions on major boating waters, please contact the state parks department at 801-538-7220. The department also has an Internet website at www.stateparks.utah.gov.