Outdoors notebook: Texas again ranks high in sales of boats

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Texas in 2014 ranked second to Florida in sales of new powerboats, motors and accessories.

Texas boaters spent $1.3 billion last year, up 11.9 percent from 2013. Florida boaters spent $2.3 billion, up 22.5 percent from 2013.

Other top-10 boating states in terms of new boat expenditures were Michigan ($762.4 million), Minnesota ($601.5 million), New York ($597.8 million), North Carolina ($580.2 million), Wisconsin ($560.3 million), California ($546.8 million), Louisiana ($529.9 million) and Alabama ($457.7 million). Nationwide expenditures totaled $35.4 billion.

Now that many more Texas lakes are full, boaters may spend even more money this year. The DFW Summer Boat Expo is July 10-12 and July 17-19 at Market Hall. The boat show is always a good place for one-stop comparisons among more than 450 boats from more than 20 North Texas dealers.

Fatalities on water stay near record low

Boating deaths in 2014 were the second lowest on record. According to the U.S. Coast Guard data, 610 people died in recreational boating accidents last year.

The lowest number of fatalities in a year was 560 in 2013. The highest was 1,754 in 1973.

Boating is safer now because of boater education programs, strict laws on boating under the influence of alcohol (the penalties are as severe as DUI) and enhanced patrols by law enforcement agencies. The agencies particularly target crowded urban-area lakes with a record of boating accidents. Texas ranks fourth in the nation for boating accidents and second for boating fatalities.

Safari Club earns conservation status

The Dallas Safari Club has been admitted as a member of the United Nations’ International Union for Conservation of Nature.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization. It is a considered a leading international authority on both the environment and development.

DSC is one of the fastest-growing hunting and conservation organizations in the U.S. Ben Carter, the group’s executive director, said DSC’s association with IUCN will make the Dallas-based organization even more effective in its mission to conserve wildlife and wild places.

Greystone wins award for wingshooting

Greystone Castle at Mingus has been named the Orvis Endorsed Wingshooting Lodge of the Year. The 6,000-acre property is located on Interstate 20 about 60 miles west of Fort Worth.

Greystone Castle caters to wingshooting and big-game hunting during the fall and winter. It also offers fishing and sporting clays and is available for corporate meetings and weddings.

Nickelodeon dips toe in angler sponsorship

Cable channel Nickelodeon and Lil’ Anglers LLC, makers of a new Kid Casters no-tangle rods and reels, are sponsoring Wal-Mart FLW Tour Pro angler Charlie Evans. His Ranger boat will feature a Kid Casters Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wrap.

Nickelodeon executive Ken Mantel called the sport of fishing a huge market for Nickelodeon-branded products.


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