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Winter Weather and it's effect on you

Lake Fork Pro Jim ReaneauArticle January, 2000
This article will cover cold weather and its effect on you. Every year we have many people drown who fall into lakes and streams. With the warm weather everyone forgets it is still winter. The water is 52 to 54 degrees. If you get into the water you can be in a lot of trouble. So if you fish alone it is a good idea to wear your life jacket. You never know what may happen. When you are running your boat down the lake in 40 degree temperatures the chill factor is in the twenty’s. Frostbite is no laughing matter. You can lose your ears, fingers, toes and nose. On those cold days bundle up and cover up all exposed areas when you are running from spot to spot. A person with a poor circulatory system can be more affected by the cold. So keep this in mind when you have friends out with you. The best preventive actions to take to prevent frostbite is:
1. Dress in layers
2. Cover your head and neck area
3. Cover your hands and feet
4. Carry extra clothes
5. Apply a waterproof moisturizer to the exposed areas of you body
6. Drink plenty of carbohydrates and fluids (NOT ALCOHOL)
7. Carry hand warmers (There is a good variety on the market the non re-useable have been the best for me)
Frost bite starts as a tingle then begins to hurt. Numbness follows. The skin can turn colors. When this happens seek help immediately. Don’t rub the area and don’t rub snow on it. As soon as possible immerse the affected area in very lukewarm water. Don’t stand to close to open flame or stoves to warm the areas. You may not be able to feel the heat and damage more area. Don’t drink alcohol or smoke as this could worsen the problem. Be careful of certain medications as they could cause more problems. Frost bitten areas often turn blue or purple, and blisters may form. The area may swell for a month or longer but if caught in time you may save your limb. In some cases it may take six weeks before you know the extent of injury. Even if you have a mild case of frostbite don’t expose this area to cold till it has fully healed. This is a very serious matter not to be taken lightly. Gangrene can set in after sever frostbite and you may lose a limb from it. Right now we have not had too many days that this problem could happen but it is best to be prepared. The face shields may look funny on someone running down the lake but they work. So be careful and let’s keep this a safe boating and fishing year.
Thanks and Good Fishing,

Fishing Tip by EX Lake Fork Guide Jim Reaneau


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