LARRY Boat

Tennessee boaters need to be aware of safety rules and regulations.

The summer boating season is underway, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency issued a reminder about boating education requirements.

Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1989 must pass a boater education class to operate a boat with more than 8.5 horsepower.

In Wilson County, the classes are offered by appointment at the Mt. Juliet Public Library.

Once the class is taken, a certificate will be issued, which must be kept by the boater whenever on the water.

Details about boating requirements and regulations are available at tnwildlife.org and in the Tennessee Boating Guide, which is available for free at most outdoors outlets.

After recording a record low of eight boating deaths in 2019, that number soared to 32 last year – the most in the 37 years in which the TWRA kept records.

There were nine deaths so far this year.

Top parks: Tennessee’s state parks are among the four finalists for the National Gold Medal Award. The three other finalists for the top parks honor are Delaware, Ohio and Texas.

More than 30 million people visited Tennessee’s state parks last year.

Conservation raffle: Tickets are on sale for the Tennessee Conservation Raffle, which generated more than $1 million last year for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s wildlife habitat management and conservation efforts.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation conducts the raffle.

The top prize is $50,000 toward the purchase of any Ford vehicle. Other choice prizes include deer, waterfowl and turkey hunting packages and a $5,000 outdoor adventure” package, plus 100 other prizes.

A single ticket costs $20, two cost $30, and 10 cost $100. They can be purchased on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation website.

The drawings will be held Aug. 17.

Primitive camping: Visitors can reserve a primitive campsite at Center Hill Lake by calling 877-444-6777 or contacting the park office via  centerhilllaketenn.com.

Email area outdoors news and photos to larrywoody@gmail.com and include a contact number.