Cold Water Caution
Even if air temperatures seem balmy, the lake takes much longer to warm up. Additionally, strong currents and the presence of springtime debris add to risks this time of year. Current Lake Champlain temperatures are in the low 40s. If you are immersed in water that cold for less than a half hour, exhaustion and unconsciousness can set in. Water temperatures of less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit can cause you to lose precious body heat up to 25 times faster than comparable air temperatures. Water temperatures in many areas of Lake Champlain, particularly the Main Lake, never reach the 70s. Be cautious about heading out on the water and make sure you and your boat are properly equipped. Bring a weather radio or VHF with you and check the weather forecast repeatedly. Always wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Nine out of ten drownings occur in inland waters, most within a few feet of safety. Most of the victims owned PFDs but died without them. A properly fitted, buoyant PFD can save your life, but only if you wear it. Dress for the season. If kayaking or canoeing in cold water conditions (no matter what the air temperature is) wear a wetsuit or drysuit with an insulating layer. Here's to safe, fun adventures on the water.