With kayaks, canoes, inflatable rafts and paddleboards becoming increasing popular, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is reminding operators of these watercraft that it is important to know what safety equipment and regulations apply.

"Currently, unpowered boats are not required to be registered, unless they are being used at a state-owned access such as a Commission access area or lake or Pennsylvania state parks and state forests," PFBC boating and watercraft safety manager Ryan Walt said. "In these cases, you must either have your non-powered boat registered or have a launch permit issued by the Commission or the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources."

Registration of a non-powered boat and the purchase of a launch permit is $10 for one year or $18 for two, but registration allows the PFBC to recorded information in its system which can help locate a craft it if it is lost or stolen. In addition to the registration requirement, important life-saving equipment required to be carried on non-powered crafts are life jackets, a sound-producing device and lights.

Every person in a kayak, canoe, inflatable raft or paddleboard must have on board a readily accessible U.S. Coast Guard-approved, wearable type I, II, III, or V life jacket of appropriate size. Children 12 years of age and younger must wear their life jackets while underway on any boat 20 feet or less in length and on all canoes and kayaks.

Unpowered boat operators are required to carry a device capable of sounding a prolonged blast for 4-6 seconds that can be heard by another boat operator in time to avoid a collision. An athletic-type whistle is an acceptable sound producing device.

Any kayak, canoe, inflatable raft or paddleboard on the water after dusk must have a hand-held or installed white light to be displayed in time to avoid a collision with another craft. When anchored or moored after dusk, an all-round white light must be displayed where it can best be seen 360 degrees.

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Hawk Mountain Sanctuary will host a two-day Wilderness First Aid Certification Workshop, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6-7, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Participants must be a minimum of 14 years old and be CPR/AED certified, and upon successfully completion of the required 16-hour course, each participant will receive Wilderness First Aid Certification for two years.

Designed for scouts, outdoor enthusiasts and those working in remote environments, this course teaches how to respond to an emergency when help may be delayed. There is a fee of $140 and registration can be done by calling Ryan Beltz at 610-756-6961 or emailing beltz@hawkmountain.org [1]

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Pennsylvania Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area visitor center, Kleinfeltersville, will feature hundreds of original paintings and fine-art prints from some of the best-known wildlife artists in the state during its annual Wildlife Art Show, Friday-Sunday, Aug. 5-7. Admission is free and hours are: Friday, 1-6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

In addition to artist sales, the show will offer tickets for $2 each or three for $5 to win a selection of artwork in a drawing that will be held Sunday at 4 p.m. Proceeds will benefit The Wildlands Preservation Fund land acquisition program.

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Bryan Nesby, president of Rocky Mountain Firearms, is the guest of Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on "Experience The Outdoors," Sunday, from 7-7:30 a.m. on 1410-AM, WLSH, from 9:30-10 a.m., on WMGH, 105.5-FM and on the Web at www.wmgh.com [2] by clicking the "Experience The Outdoors" link.

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Schuylkill County Sportsmen's Association will hold its 10th Schuylkill County Women's Outdoor Day for any women age 16 and older, Saturday Aug. 20, at Friedensburg Fish and Game Association, 169 Stone Mountain Road, and information will be available at the organization's display Monday-Saturday, Aug. 1-6, at the Schuylkill County Fair, Summit Station. There is no charge, but in order to provide an accurate lunch count, there is a Saturday, Aug. 13, preregistration deadline, which can be done by calling Christy Zulli at the Schuylkill Conservation District at 570-622-3742, ext. 114, or email at czulli@co.schuylkill.pa.us [3].

Scheduled events are archery, canoeing, fishing, .muzzleloader, shotgun, 22-caliber pistol and .22-caliber rifle – all presented by women instructors. There will also be a presentation of the seminar "Edible Wild Plants" by naturalist and author Kermit Henning.

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Bears Head Archery, Delano, located one mile off Exit 134, Interstate 81, has its 3-D course open daily to the public from dawn to dusk through Saturday, Oct. 15. Donations are accepted, and for information, contact Frank Blazusky at 570-467-0331 or docblazer@verizon.net [4].

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A trap shoot will be held, Thursday, Aug. 4, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg. For information, e-mail jafone@comcast.net [5].