Warm weather doesn't mean warm water, so leave it to the fish - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Warm weather doesn't mean warm water, so leave it to the fish

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(WMN Photo) (WMN Photo)
(WMN Photo) (WMN Photo)

The warmer temps are finally arriving, but that doesn’t mean warmer water in lakes or ponds.

Safety officials are warning residents about the dangers of taking a dip too soon in the season. And while it may reach into the 80’s on Wednesday and Thursday, water temperatures aren’t even close to that.

In fact, it’s more like half that, between 40-50 degrees. And the ocean is even colder. Also you should know that state beaches won’t even have life guards each day until June 16th.

According to the National Center for Cold Water Safety, any water below 70 degrees should be treated with caution. The colder it gets, the more difficult it will be just to breathe. The reasons for that include shock from the cold, which could cause you to lose control of your breathing before you even reach the surface.

The national Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration keeps track of water temperatures on U.S coasts year round and just for perspective, water temperature in Fall River, one of the closest readings to western Mass, is not expected to reach more than 70 degrees until the first week of July. right now it’s at 53 degrees.

More and more may make the plunge thinking it’s safe, but West Springfield police told Western Mass News even if you are used to “colder” water, right now, it’s not. Even swimming for a short period of time can lead to hypothermia.

Early warning signs include shivering, nausea and light-headedness, so if someone is exposed to icy cold water, look for these signs.

Police say leave the water to the fish, right now, and for the next 6 weeks, people can come see half a million fish migrate up and over the Holyoke Dam with the help of two large elevators filled with “attraction water,” a specific flow the fish like. It basically tells them this is the best way up.

The fish migrate for their annual spawning season, and travel 100 miles to get here.

The Fishway is free, and runs Wednesday through Sunday until mid-June. For more information on hours, click here.

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