Missouri River Water Management News

Missouri River Water Management News Releases are available on the Northwestern Division website.RSS Feed

Life jackets save lives, period!

Published May 22, 2017
Life jacket loaner station.

Life jacket loaner station.

OMAHA, Neb. – With warmer weather and holidays rapidly approaching, the number of people going swimming, boating and partaking in other water sports will be at an all-time high.  And while it’s tempting to not wear a life jacket, especially on hot days, choosing to not wear your life jacket is not only illegal, but can also be fatal.

According to the National Safe Boating Council, “Life jacket wear is the simplest strategy to stay safe while enjoying your favorite recreational water activity.” According to recent U.S. Coast Guard statistics, drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of all boating fatalities in the past two years.  Of those, 85 percent were not wearing their life jackets.

For those who say that life jackets are uncomfortable or restrict movement, life jacket manufacturers stress there are life jacket styles available for almost any water activity.  Whether one is cruising in an open motorboat, fishing, riding personal watercraft, or even paddling, special life jackets are available to allow ease of movement, yet stay secure during impact with the water.  There are even lifejackets specifically made for children and pets.  “No matter what the activity or style chosen, the most important thing is to be responsible and always wear your lifejacket,” said Rachel Johnson, Executive Director, National Safe Boating Council.  Johnson said that it is very important that people also not drink while engaging in water sports.  “Where the primary cause was known, alcohol was listed as the leading factor in 17 percent of deaths last year. Boating can magnify the side effects of alcohol use leading to impaired judgement and poor coordination,” added Johnson.

All Army Corps of Engineers operated recreation areas on Lake Sakakawea which include Downstream Campground, East Totten Trail, and Wolf Creek Campground opened May 15 and will remain open through Sept. 15.  While there is no charge for day use of Corps operated recreational areas, Campsites do require payment for overnight camping.  There is, however, Douglas Creek Campground that offers free camping.  To find out more information and to make reservations, call 1-877-444-6777 or go to www.recreation.gov. No money is collected on site, if a visitor arrives at one of the campgrounds without an advanced reservation, there will be information posted on bulletin boards at the registration stations explaining what they must to do to make a same day reservation. This can be done by calling the toll free number with their cell phone, or they can visit the website if they have a smart phone.

The fee schedule is as follows:


Quantity - Site Type

Per Night, Per Site Fee

Downstream Campground

16 – Primitive


Downstream Campground

100 – Electrical Amenities


East Totten Trail

10 – Primitive


East Totten Trail

30 – Electrical Amenities


Wolf Creek

67 – Primitive




For information or purchasing an America the Beautiful Passport that provides free and discounted entry, go to https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm#CP_JUMP_5088576 or https://store.usgs.gov/pass/index.html.

Nathan Busche
Cheryl A. Moore

Release no. 17-049