Walleye fishing season opens this weekend, and police are ready for the increased boating activity.
OPP are reminding boaters of the rules that need to be followed.
Constable Rob Chivers-Wilson says this includes operators being properly licensed.
"You need a pleasure craft operator card at minimum or an equivalent course. You will be asked for this information by a marine inspection officer if you are stopped. We want people to be prepared. We want people to be properly trained when you're out operating a vessel, and that's for everybody's safety on the boat," says Cst. Chivers-Wilson.
Police plan to have marine units out in force this long weekend.
One of the issues they will be watching for is the proper use of personal flotation devices and lifejackets.
"In 2022, Ontario had 29 boating-related collisions where fatalities were a result. Of these 29 collisions that had fatalities involved, 86% of the people were not wearing their life jackets. It just shows how important it is to wear your life jacket when you're out on the water."
Chivers-Wilson notes there are two types of life jackets. Auto inflators must be worn at all times. The traditional life jacket has to be readily accessible.
"Of course, we encourage everybody to wear life jackets," says Chivers-Wilson.
Police also discourage boaters from driving and driving.
The same laws for impaired driving on the road apply to the waters and apply to canoes, rafts, pontoon boats or kayaks.
Police suggest checking the condition of your vessel before heading out and that all of the necessary safety equipment is on board and in working order.