Q: What equipment do I need in my boat when I go fishing this summer?
A: With the fishing opener just a couple of weeks away, this is a great time to go through your boat and clean it out from last season and to make sure that you have all of the required equipment, and that the equipment that you have is in good working condition. When checking your watercraft:
•Make sure it is registered and that the registration is properly displayed. All motorized watercraft and all non-motorized watercraft over nine feet in length must be registered.
•Check your personal flotation devices (PFD’S). You must have a wearable PFD on board your watercraft for everyone. Your PFD must be in good condition and size appropriate for the person who is going to wear it. All children under the age of 10 must wear their PFD when in the boat. In addition, for all watercraft over 16 feet in length you must have a throwable device on board your watercraft.
•If you have an enclosed gas tank, make sure you have a serviceable fire extinguisher on board.
•Check your navigation lights to make sure they are working properly. While you are checking those lights, check your trailer lights and replace any burned out bulbs.
•If your watercraft is more than 16 feet in length make sure you have a whistle on board and if your watercraft is more than 26 feet in length make sure you have a horn onboard.
These are a few of the common rules that you will need to know before launching your boat. For a booklet with the complete listing of rules and regulations, please contact the Sheriff’s Office or the Minnesota DNR.