July 10, 2014

July Fourth Holiday one of the biggest of the summer for outdoor activities

PRATT – It’s tradition for Kansans to spend the Fourth of July Holiday outdoors, enjoying boating, fishing and camping. This is just one of the many holidays that Kansas game wardens and state park staff sacrifice time with their own families in order to ensure the safety of others.

It was a busy weekend for game wardens as the review below attests.


  • One fatality drowning occurred on July 4 in the Verdigris River at Independence near a low-head dam. Game wardens recovered the 18-year-old victim approximately 3/4 mile downstream from the dam on July 6.
  • Thirteen boating under the influence (BUI) arrests were made by game wardens during the holiday reporting period. Three were arrested for BUI at both Kanopolis and Perry reservoirs, and two BUI arrests were made at both Wilson and Cedar Bluff reservoirs. Other BUI arrests were made at, El Dorado, Glen Elder, and Cheney Reservoirs.
  • Two boat accidents were investigated by game wardens over the holiday weekend, including a boat that sank at Kanopolis Reservoir that has not yet been recovered, and a boat fire/explosion at Clinton Reservoir. Fortunately,no injuries were reported in either incident.
  • A Kansas game warden K9 unit successfully located a person in need of assistance in Sumner County, resulting in the person’s safety.  
  • A game warden arrested a man at Howard City Lake who had three outstanding warrants for traffic and criminal cases.
  • Game wardens located and recovered stolen property at Norton Reservoir that had been taken during recent burglaries.

            Good water levels and pleasant weather kept state park staff across the state busy, as well. State park utility camping sites were 90 percent to 100 percent full, and overall visitation was estimated at 275,000. Biggest draws were El Dorado State Park, which hosted 57,000 visitors and Cheney State Park with 30,000. Considering the crowds, law enforcement issues in the state parks were reported to be minimal.

            Keeping park visitors safe and happy on such a busy weekend requires cooperative efforts and long hours from all staff.