You know the official kickoff to summer is here when the The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reminds us to be safe out on the water. Louisiana Safe Boating Week is wrapping up today, and it's a great reminder of what's at stake out on the beautiful waterways of Louisiana. I mean, we are the Sportsman's Paradise, and we want everyone to have a fun and safe summer in the great outdoors.

Wildlife and Fisheries agents have been out all week performing boat safety checks, making sure that safe distancing is being practiced, and checking for any DWI violations. They want to remind boaters that personal flotation devices must be worn by anyone 16 years or younger in a vessel that is less than 26 feet long. Also, in accordance with Governor John Bel Edwards’ Phase 1 order, for any outdoor activity 'all individuals should avoid groups of any size that do not allow for strict social distancing.' And yes, that includes boating.

LDWF would like to remind boaters who were born after Jan 1, 1984 that free courses are available (and required) for boating education, in order for you to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower. You can also check out the updated 2020 boating regulations for the State of Louisiana here.

Safety should be at the top of your list before getting out on the water this summer, especially since seven fatalities have already been reported in 2020. Check out official information from Wildlife and Fisheries about licenses, safety, how to report an unsafe boat on the water, littering, and boat theft. And y'all have a fun Memorial Day weekend out on the water!