Public input wanted on aquatic plan
COLUMBIA The public is invited to review and provide comments on the draft 2014 South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Plan through the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. The plan is available online at dnr.sc.gov/invasiveweeds/draftplan.html.
Comments and suggestions should be submitted at firstname.lastname@example.org or SCDNR, 2730 Fish Hatchery Road, West Columbia, SC 29170. Telephone comments will not be considered.
All comments must be received by March 10. No petitions will be accepted.
Bass challenge hits Wylie March 1
ROCK HILL The Carolinas Bass Challenge will be back on Lake Wylie at Ebenezer Park on March 1.
About 350 fishermen are expected for the event, said event coordinator Brett Collins, competing in teams of two for several hours to see who can bring back the biggest bass. On a nice day, as many as 500 people are expected to come out to Ebenezer Park to see the final weigh-ins that determine the winner.
“The people at Ebenezer Park are some of the nicest people we deal with,” he said, noting that the tournament has stops across North and South Carolina.
While bass in other lakes can be 8 pounds or more, he said the bass in Lake Wylie usually top out at around 5 pounds because of the lake’s proximity to heavily populated areas.
“There may be bigger ones in there, but they’re not biting,” Collins said. “Those fish have gotten smart.”
According to the Carolinas Bass Challenge’s website, the big fish winner at each event wins $1,000 and tournament grand prize winners could get a boat and much larger cash prizes.
SCDNR boating course March 15
YORK The York County Sheriff’s Office Lake Enforcement Unit is holding a South Carolina Department of Natural Resources approved boating safety course from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 15 at the Law Enforcement Training Center, 92 Stoneybrook Drive.
The minimum age is 12 years old. In South Carolina, boaters younger than age 16 are required by law to pass an approved boater education course before operating, without supervision, a personal watercraft or a boat powered by a 15 horse power motor or more.
There is no charge for the class. To register for the course, call 803-628-7634 or visit dnr.sc.gov/education/boated.html by March 7.
Discounted life jackets available
BoatUS Foundation’s Kids Afloat Program is offering kid/teen-sized, vest-style life jackets for $5 each. However, supplies are limited and groups need to apply online at by Friday, Feb. 28.
The foundation will choose those applications that best match program guidelines and post them to the foundation’s website and Facebook page for public voting in the spring. Those with the most votes will have the opportunity to purchase the deeply discounted life jackets.
The life jackets are Type-II and Type-III vests – the most comfortable non-inflating type available that normally retail for about $30 each. Applicants are allowed to request up to 50 life jackets in infant, child, youth and teen sizes.
The Kids Afloat program is for groups offering on- the- water programming, such as educational boat trips, fishing trips or canoe and kayak excursions that include safe and clean boating in their curriculum. For more information, go to BoatUS.org/Kids-Afloat.
Email fishing and boating news to email@example.com.