Jim Morris
Jim Morris

Jim Morris has worked for newspapers, radio, television and various Websites for more than 47 years. He has been a writer, an editor, an editorial writer and a columnist. For 23 years, Morris worked for the Troy Daily News as sports editor, managing editor and executive editor. In 1994 he began working at the Dayton Daily News as an outdoor sports columnist and night sports desk editor. He retired from the DDN in January of 2010 and is now a freelance writer with his own Website for outdoors stories.


The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, a volunteer arm of the U.S. Coast Guard, is dedicated to the task of keeping boaters safe, from boat inspections and on-lake assistance to boater education classes.

I had a call the other day from my friend David Friedman of Kettering. He is all about boater safety. David is a long-time member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, an organization dedicated to the safety of American boaters.

So I asked him about the state of boater safety in the U.S. Here’s his reply:

“It is interesting to see how people use the water. Typically, younger people feel they are invincible while the over 55 group tend to get a bit overconfident and careless – they have been doing things so long they feel they know everything. Well, we know neither group is right.”
Q: What is the Coast Guard Auxiliary?
A: “Boating of any sort is supposed to be fun and we want that to remain the case. It doesn’t matter if it a big cabin cruiser or as simple as a kayak or the new paddleboards. Whether someone is on a complicated vessel or a simple board, it helps to know what is going on around you. There are things to learn that make the experiences more enjoyable. Yes, there are some rules, but so what? Even Mother Nature has some rules!”
Q: What is the Auxillary’s best way to equip boaters to have a safe experience?
A: “Take a boater safety course – particularly one that takes some real time – not just a quickie seminar. Even fishermen or hunters who use a boat as a means to an end, depend on their boat to get them to their favorite spot. Sometimes they forget that part way there they got caught in a storm and got into trouble or really only just made it out of dumb luck. Maybe, just maybe, we could have made it easier.”
Q: Why study navigation or communications if we never leave the small lakes around here?
A “We have seen it time after time where people go from, let’s say Indian Lake or Caesar Creek after a few years and then go to Lake Erie or the Gulf Coast. Suddenly it is another world where they realize they are a very small cork in a very big body of water and they have gotten in trouble. We just might have a way of helping.”
Friedman said the Auxiliary is offering a course, starting this month. It is a 13-session course at Fairmont High School. “It’s the best overall basic course around,” said Friedman. “Yes, you can take an eight-hour seminar, but that only scratches the surface. Yes, they both meet all of Ohio’s standards. But if you are going to be on the water for any length of time, this is where you really need to start. Anyone interested can contact me either at (937) 293-4131 or at davidboat@woh.rr.com.”

Trout Stockings Started

The Ohio Division of Wildlife has about 100,000 catchable size (10-13 inches) rainbow trout ready for the catching with releases planned for the days ahead.

Two area lakes – Rush Run in Preble County and Clark Lake in Clark County – have already received their allotment of fish on March 9 and 23, respectively.

Rush Run is one of the most popular trout fishing spots in the district. It was stocked with 2,900 trout. Clark Lake, just east of Springfield, received 2,500 fish.

Sycamore State Park’s pond, in Montgomery County, is scheduled to receive 800 trout on April 4.

On April 7, Rocky Fork State Park will stock 1,625 fish for its annual youth fishing derby. Contact the park office to find out what time the trout fishery will be available to the public.

Davis Lake, on the north edge of St. Marys in Auglaize County, will receive 500 trout on April 11.

Tawawa Lake in Shelby County, just outside of Sidney, is scheduled to receive 650 rainbows on April 19.

The final stocking in southwest Ohio will be on May 5 when 2,900 fish are stocked at Stonelick Lake in Clermont County. A youth fishing derby is also planned at this lake. So check for times for public fishing.

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