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National Fishing and Boating Week is a national celebration that highlights the importance of recreational boating and fishing. This year NFBW will take place on June 2-10, 2018. These are a few ways you can kick off summer with extra opportunities to cast a line and create awareness of boating safety.

• Check with your state fish and game agency to learn about special events that take place this week. Many states hold recreational boating and fishing events such as how-to clinics, fishing derbies, boat parades, and family festivals during National Fishing and Boating Week.

• Find out if your state offers a free fishing day during National Fishing and Boating Week. If so, take someone new out on the water so that they can experience the fun and relaxation that comes along with fishing. On free fishing days, anglers are allowed to fish on public bodies of water without a fishing license.

• Teach kids about fishing and boating. Give kids guidance on how to detect a strike as well as how to practice proper catch and release. Go over conservation guidelines, and explain why they are important to preserve fish populations for the future. Share your boating safety knowledge with them. These extra efforts will help them develop a love for the outdoors that will last a lifetime.

• Share photos of you and your family on the water via social media. This includes pictures of your pets too — just make sure Rover is wearing his PFD. You might be surprised how much other people enjoy seeing you out on the water with your family and friends.

• Request a free vessel safety check from the U.S. Coast Guard. Whether you’re a new boater or have been boating for years, it doesn’t hurt to have a certified vessel examiner take a look at your boat to make sure you have all of the required safety gear. Both the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadrons have certified vessel examiners who will perform a Vessel Safety Check (“VSC”) at your boat, at a time of mutual convenience.

The weather is warming up, and the water is calling. Start planning your National Fishing and Boating Week adventures now.

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