The Big Bear Municipal Water District, the agency that oversees Big Bear Lake, anticipates a very busy weekend in light of the Fourth of July holiday. The last time the Fourth fell on a Saturday, back in 1996, a record 963 boats were on the lake—though this record was shattered last year, on Friday the Fourth, when it is estimated that 1,000 vessels were on Big Bear Lake in the 3 o’clock hour. Lake Manager Mike Stephenson tells KBHR, “We’re going to have a lot of people on the lake, and the Quagga Mussel inspections and decontaminations could result in some delays, so please be patient and allow enough time.” Given the fireworks show over the lake on Saturday night, the MWD has extended ramp hours for both public launch ramps on the North Shore. Boats will be able to launch until 8:30pm on Saturday, and the launches will re-open at 10pm, after the fireworks display. Whatever time you plan to float your boat, Stephenson adds, “When boating on busy holiday weekends, everyone needs to be alert. Understand that not only do you need to worry about yourself, but also be aware of the boaters around you, and the swimmers in the water as well. Taking your eye off the water for just a second can be fatal. Fifty percent of boating accidents are alcohol related.” So, please practice safe boating on Big Bear Lake this holiday weekend and always—and, remember, for each person on board, there should be a lifejacket, and children age 12 and under must be wearing a lifejacket at all times when boating. This Saturday, Independence Day, is also a free fishing day on the lake, so no fishing license is required; boat permits are required for all vessels, though, and each (whether it be boat, kayak or even float tube) must first be cleaned, drained and dry to keep the Quagga Mussel from infecting Big Bear Lake.
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