We have already mentioned the impact of COVID restrictions on outdoor activities which have seen a dramatic increase in participation. Boating is no exception. The Wildlife Resources Commission reported a 13% increase in vessel registrations between May and December 2020 and saw a 10% increase in vessel registrations in the first four months of 2021. The increase in registrations will likely result in more than boats on the water this year. .
Last week was Boating Safety Week in North Carolina, typically the week before and including Memorial Day weekend. Meanwhile, the WRC is reminding people of what you need to make the most of your time on the water. We all know it is important to wear a life jacket, personal flotation device (PFD) when the boat is in motion. You must also have one on board for each individual.
Just like when you go out to party with friends, have a designated driver; someone who does not drink alcohol. Yes, you can get a ticket for under the influence boating (BUI) as well as driving. Also, if the water is occupied by many boats, it may be a good idea to stand still and swim around the boat to designate a Water Watcher to keep an eye out for other boats.
There are other things boat owners need to remember that may not be so obvious, but are necessary as well. These are elements that are often overlooked but necessary for the safety of boating. First of all, and it makes sense, get yourself a fire extinguisher. The fuel lines loosen or break. A fire in the water is bad news. You have nowhere to go but in the water!
Do you have a device that produces sound like a horn or a whistle? Usually it is a horn or a whistle. If you work at night, make sure your lights are on. Small boats that only run during the day don’t need it, but I carry a flashlight in case I get stuck on the water after dark. Here are some of the basics to remember for safe sailing this summer. With more vessels registered on the water, we all need to remain vigilant not only for our safety, but for others on the water as well.
Trout fishing events
Some upcoming events related to mountain trout fishing. One is an annual favorite for all families, the WRC has organized and sponsored youth fishing events that started last weekend and continue through mid-June. Kids can fish for free – no license required – and enter to win prizes at each event, including a statewide grand prize draw for a Lifetime Athlete’s License. The Wildlife Commission is also offering 100 additional fishing-related prizes, such as tackle boxes, rods, reels and more.
Here are the events in our region. The first will be a two-day event in Buncombe County at Lake Powhatan on June 4-5. It starts at 9 a.m. each day with on-site registration. This weekend will also be taking place the Carolina Hemlocks Fish for Fun event at Carolina Hemlocks Campground in Yancey County on June 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. that day.
The popular Kids’ Day Fishing at Max Patch Pond here in Madison County takes place on June 12 with on-site registration starting at 9 a.m. The last one in our area will be a Haywood County Agriculture Department Trial Farm Fishing Clinic in North Carolina. 19 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. These events did not take place last year due to COVID restrictions. Glad to see their return. They usually have fishing gear available for use at each site.
Second, the delayed harvest waters of trout change to hatchery-supported waters on June 5. Remember that from 6 a.m. to 11:59 a.m. on opening day, the deferred harvest waters are only open to anglers 17 years of age and under. At noon, lake open to all fishermen. Meanwhile, anglers can keep up to seven trout a day – with no equipment or bait restrictions and no minimum size limit. The Wildlife Commission has established the youth fishing period on the morning of “opening day,” which is always the first Saturday in June, to promote trout fishing among young anglers and provide opportunities for young anglers. young fishermen special opportunities to fish and keep fish.
Delayed trout fishing waters are displayed with black and white diamond shaped signs. A list of delayed trout fishing waters, regulatory information and trout maps are available at ncwildlife.org/trut. Hopefully we will have some rain before that to improve the conditions of the stream.