Spring has finally arrived in Wisconsin and with the warmer temperatures come higher river flows on area rivers due to melting snow and spring rain. These flows are reminders of how strong the forces of Nature can be and how important it is to stay safe when you are involved in recreational activities on rivers.  Alliant Energy is joining with the Midwest Hydro Users Group (HUG) in observing Dam Safety Awareness Week to promote public safety awareness near dams and prevent accidents throughout the boating and fishing seasons. HUG and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) have been joined in promoting safety awareness by Governor Scott Walker who has proclaimed this week – April 7 through April 12 – as Dam Safety Awareness Week in Wisconsin. HUG is an association of dam owners whose purpose is to promote safe, efficient and economical use of hydroelectric power. The purpose of Dam Safety Awareness Week is to heighten safety awareness of recreational and fishing enthusiasts as they return to the waterways. Many of the accidents and fatalities that occur near dams could be prevented by using common sense, practicing safety, staying clear of dams and understanding the dangers to be found near them.  Alliant Energy, HUG, WDNR personnel and local safety officials urge people to use common sense to stay safe on rivers and near dams:

  • Understand the dangers near dams
  • Stay away from hazardous areas
  • Obey all warning devices such as signs, lights, sirens and verbal warnings
  • Wear an approved personal floatation device
  • Keep your boat motor running when near a dam so you can quickly leave or maneuver
  • Stay clear of the dam spill area where unpredictable water conditions make boat control difficult
  • Never anchor boats below a dam because water levels can change quickly
  • Do not cross buoy lines
  • Bring a cell phone and call 911 in an emergency

Alliant Energy and fellow HUG members want fisherman, boaters, outdoor enthusiasts and visitors to enjoy the many exceptional recreation resources to be found on rivers and around dams in the region.  People are urged to practice safe use of the areas so that they can be enjoyed over and over again. For more safety information, visit Alliant Energy’s Dam Safety page at alliantenergy.com/damsafety.


Contributed by Scott Reigstad