Boating in the Winter

winter boatingWhile most boaters are winterizing their boats for the winter, believe it or not, there are some diehards that boat through the cold winter months.

Oregon State’s government website outlines the many different aspects of boating during the winter months. They list sturgeon fishing, coastal crabbing, waterfowl hunting and even trout fishing in some of their reservoirs.

If you live in a coastal state, even the likes of Oregon, there are many different boating activities you can indulge in:

  • Crabbing – Based on the cooperation of the weather, crabbing in the winter can yield big hauls. It is important to plan ahead, and for sure check out the weather conditions before heading out.
  • Fishing – Sturgeon in the Columbia River in Oregon, salmon and steelhead in the streams and trout in many of the reservoirs can actually be great during the cold season. Waters are cold, in the 30’s and 40’s.
  • Waterfowl Hunting – Moving waters, like large rivers, can be extremely popular this time of year, and in season for fowl hunting. You’ll want to get up well before sunlight to set up your decoys and blinds.
  • Wildlife Viewing – Good time of year to observe water wildlife, mainly waterfowl.

Unlike the summer months, you have to take special precautions with the elements to guard against hypothermia. Layering up is the best way to stay warm during a cold day. Always wear a lifejacket. Also have the proper Safety and Survival equipment on board.

There’s a good rule: A 50-year-old swimmer has a 50/50 chance of surviving a 50 yard swim to shore in 50 degree water.

Be safe and be careful… but enjoy the beauties of winter.