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Heading out on the water? Better get that permit

• Mar 17, 2018 at 6:32 PM

The Tri-Cities Boating Club wants you to be safe out on the water this year. To that end, the organization is offering the TWRA Safe Boating Course on March 20 and 22 at Northeast State Community College in Blountville.

The two-night course will be taught by qualified members of the Tri-Cities Boating Club and take place each evening from 5:30-8 p.m. in room L-106 at Northeast State.

This course and the associated permit received after passing the course are required for all boat operators in Tennessee born after Jan 1, 1989. The exam will be administered on Thursday, March 22 after the completion of the course and a final review of material.

The fee for the course is $10, which includes book, instruction and test administration. Preregistration is not required but is strongly encouraged because of limited seating.

To take the exam and receive a Tennessee Boat Operator Permit, a TWRA Type 600 Boating Safety Exam Permit must be purchased ahead of time and brought to class. These permits can be purchased for $10 at any TWRA hunting/fishing license vendor, such as Walmart.

The Tennessee Safe Boating Course covers: Your Boat, Getting Underway, Operating Your Boat Safely, Legal Requirements of Boating, Boating Emergencies — What To Do, and Enjoying Water Sports With Your Boat. Contents are approved by TWRA and NASBLA and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard.

For more information on the course, contact Clarke Lucas at (423) 538-4643 or Rich Moakler at richmoakler@gmail.com.

The Tri-Cities Boating Club, a unit of the U.S. Power Squadron, promotes boating education and safety, community service and fellowship. For further information, visit the Tri-Cities Boating Club website.

Tennessee waterfowl regs set

The 2018-19 state waterfowl hunting regulations were set during the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission’s February meeting in Nashville.

Seasons and bag limits for most migratory game birds will be similar to 2017-18 with a few slight changes. There will be an increase of the daily bag limit for pintails from one bird a day to two birds a day.

The youth waterfowl hunts that take place on consecutive Saturdays in February have a change in age range. Previously for youth ages 6-15, the commission changed the ages to 6-16 to fall in line with other TWRA youth hunts like deer and turkey. Federal regulations were also recently changed to include 16-year-old hunters.

Next year’s regulations include an expansion for most goose seasons to include more days. The bag limit of white-fronted geese would increase from two birds a day to three a day.

The statewide sandhill crane hunting season will remain the same with only a change in calendar dates.

In other business, the commission approved an amendment to its rule on restrictions of importation of deer, elk, moose and caribou carcasses to include all U.S. states and Canadian provinces, rather than just those that have confirmed cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD).

Contagious and deadly to members of the deer family known as cervids, this disease has been discovered in 25 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Mississippi is the most recent state to confirm CWD.

Many hunters travel out of state and often return with harvested animals. Import restrictions require that cervid carcasses be properly cleaned and dressed before being transported into Tennessee.