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Heading out on the water? Have a safety certificate?

• Apr 16, 2017 at 1:21 AM

The Johnson City Sail and Power Squadron will offer the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's Tennessee Safe Boating Course on Tuesday, April 18 and Thursday, April 20 at the Northeast State Community College Library, Room L226.

The two-night class will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The TWRA exam will be given at the conclusion of Thursday night's class. Individuals who pass the test will be issued TWRA’s Boating Safety Education Certificate, which is required by the state of all boat and personal watercraft operators born after Jan 1, 1989.

The class is free to the public, but to take the exam for the permit, participants must purchase ahead of time and bring the TWRA's Type 600 Boating Safety Exam Permit. These can be purchased for $10 at any TWRA hunting/fishing license vendor.

The 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, NASBLA and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard.

A review will precede administration of the test.

For more information, call Clarke Lucas at (423) 538-4643.

The Johnson City Sail and Power Squadron promotes boating education and safety, community service and fellowship. To learn more about the organization, go online at tricitiesboating.org.

Virginia turkey harvest numbers up

Virginia turkey hunters have been having a good spring.

Good weather conditions and stable turkey numbers over most of the commonwealth have contributed to the hunters' increased success during both the Youth and Apprentice and spring gobbler opening weekends, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says.

Compared to 2,291 in 2016, 3,047 gobblers were harvested the opening weekend of the 2017 Spring Gobbler season.

Harvest numbers for the youth and apprentice weekend, April 1-2, also were up, and those hunters reported bagging 624 birds. Last year's number was 598.