While most visits to area lakes go off without a hitch, there's a rare occasion that law enforcement needs to step in to keep order. On the water, that job falls under the North Dakota Department of Game and Fish. Southwestern District game warde...
While most visits to area lakes go off without a hitch, there's a rare occasion that law enforcement needs to step in to keep order.
On the water, that job falls under the North Dakota Department of Game and Fish.
Southwestern District game warden Bill Schaller said boating under the influence is the biggest problem out on the lake.
"Some of the other things we encounter are reckless operation," Schaller said.
Most of the time, he said, reckless behavior is related to personal watercraft. Riders sometimes will spray water on each other or other boaters.
"Coincidentally, that's when most accidents happen, too," Schaller said.
Schaller said game wardens generally see more boat traffic out on the Missouri River than they do on lakes out west.
"That area gets a little crazy from time to time," he said.
Back on land, local sheriff's departments take care of anything from busting up parties where minors are consuming alcohol to more serious complaints.
Stark County Sheriff Clarence Tuhy said nothing too serious usually happens at Patterson Lake Recreation Area.
His deputies patrol the park portion, but don't have the equipment to go out on the water.
"We do the land," he said.
The largest operation his office handled in recent years was the search and rescue operation for the missing Dickinson State softball players who were eventually found drowned in their car in a pond north of Dickinson last November.
In the extreme southwest part of the state, the Bowman County Sheriff's Department patrols Bowman-Haley Reservoir.
"We don't have many problems for the most part," Bowman County Sheriff Rory Teigen said.
As with other lakes, Game and Fish game wardens patrol the lake.
Teigen said teenage parties were an issue in the past, but interest has died down.
"We have kids' parties that guys have to bust up," Teigen said. "But that's not that often anymore, either."
It's not a surprise that holiday weekends are busy for law enforcement, but any hot day means more people out on the lakes.
"On any hot weekday day, it can get pretty busy out at Patterson," Schaller said.