Boats ramps are reopening, but NC Wildlife officials say play it safe during COVID-19 pandemic

It's that time of year. The sun is shining, and the water is calling.

"The public has been chomping to get out and enjoy the outdoors," said Brent Ward of NC Wildlife.

But boating comes with a lot of responsibility, especially during a pandemic.

"It's going to be crowded. Once you get here to the lake, use those social-distancing regulations that have been spelled out," Ward said.

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Now in Phase 1 of reopening, some of the state ramps have started to reopen. State wildlife officials are hoping that will help disperse crowds.

"Check the ramps. Make sure they're open. Try to get there early before the big crowd gets there, and you should have a safe day out on the water," Ward said.

Along with social distancing, officials say the usual rules apply. Come prepared with your supplies, including life jackets, and make sure you have a designated driver.

"We don't want to go through that situation. We want you to have a safe day out on the water. And that doesn't mean you can't consume alcohol, but you've got to do it in a responsible manner," Ward said.

Officials said if the ramps start to get too crowded, they will shut down or start limiting the amount of people.
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