After this past weekend's temperatures that dipped down into the low 20's, it's hard to imagine that it truly won't be long before we've thawed back out here in North Louisiana and that "fishing fever" will hit us once again.

It's a natural thing here in the "Sportsman's Paradise" for the allure of a double-digit largemouth bass, or any of the other hundreds of species Louisiana has to offer, to cause even the most infrequent angler the longing for a day on the water.

However, many anglers need to understand that Louisiana takes the operation of a motorized watercraft as a pretty serious privilege, and requires a demonstration of the understanding of that seriousness by the operator. And this requirement also extends to personal watercraft.

From Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries
From Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries

What Does Louisiana Law State on the Matter?

If you were born after January 1, 1984, you must successfully complete an LDWF-approved boater education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower, unless you are accompanied by someone over age 18 who has a successfully completed an LDWF-approved boater education course, if required.


In addition, if you were born after January 1, 1984, you must successfully complete an approved boater education course to operate a personal watercraft. You must also be age 16 or older to operate a personal watercraft.


Individuals must carry their certification of course completion while on the motorboat or personal watercraft.


Youth younger than age 10 may take a boater education course but are not eligible to be certified. They must retake the course to be certified when they reach 10 years of age or older.

Where and When Can You Get The Required Boater Education Certificate?

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will conduct a free boating course this Saturday, January 29, 2022 from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm at Bayou Outdoor Powersports at 4306 East Texas in Bossier City.
The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal and equipment requirements, navigation rules, navigation charts, trailering, sailboats, and related subjects that include canoeing, personal watercraft and more. Participants who complete the course will receive a Boater Education Certificate.
Seating for the course is limited, but when I last checked, there were still a little over 120 seats still available.
To read more about the event and to reserve your seat, just go HERE.

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