DNR officials patrolling waterways Memorial Day Weekend - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DNR officials patrolling waterways Memorial Day Weekend

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Many eastern Iowans plan to cruise the waterways Memorial Day Weekend, making it one of the biggest boating weekends of the year.

At Coralville Lake, hundreds are expected to pack the waterways, as it marks the unofficial start of summer.

“We don’t have to work, so we just want to party,” said Chelsi Henderson. “We just want to celebrate the weekend. This is our first time this year being out on the boat, so we’re extra pumped about that.”

That means law enforcement officers with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are beefing up their patrols all weekend long.

“Foot patrols, patrolling the parking lots and just checking IDs and looking for inappropriate behavior, “ said Gwin Preintice, DNR state park ranger.

Preintice patrols the camp grounds and beach at Coralville Lake.

“It’s great to be here this weekend a lot of people forget what the weekend is all about,” said Kathy Barnhart. “It’s a little cloudy, but it’s actually been really nice and not too hot.”

DNR conservation officer Erika Billerbeck and her team will be on their boat all weekend long doing inspection checks and making sure there are no drunken boaters

“We’re basically looking at safety violations on the lake we’re really working alcohol really hard. I’m looking for boating while intoxicated cases,” said Billerbeck.

She says it’s always important for life jackets to be inside the boat for each person on board.

“Depending on the size of their boat they might need to throw in a throwable type 4, but we’re looking at making sure they have the equipment they need to stay safe while they’re out,” said Billerbeck.

Crews will be performing random safety checks during their patrols, looking for missing equipment.

They will also be checking for fishing licenses.

DNR officials say they've seen fewer people at the lake this year.

Lake levels are relatively low, and they say it may keep some people away.

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