Along with the celebration of the new year, houseboat owners across the state also have a mandate to register their on-the-water home away from home.

The new regulation came from the 2018 state Legislature mandating “every houseboat operated, inhabited, utilized, or otherwise deployed on the waters of this state must be registered with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and be properly numbered.”

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission ratified registration rules during Tuesday’s meeting, and just like motorboat registration, houseboat owners must have proof of ownership or other documents proving ownership.

As always, there are forms to complete and documents to provide, including information taxes were paid on the houseboat or the materials used to build the houseboat.

The Wildlife and Fisheries’ Licensing Section number is (225) 765-2898.

The moratorium

The LWFC also delayed for a month a vote to post a notice of intent to end the now 16-year-old oyster leasing moratorium. The commission heard a lengthy report on methods to allow leasing, but stopped short on a vote after landowners requested more time to review new documents.

‘Kill’ switches

One of the new provisions in the Coast Guard’s budget this year requires manufacturers, distributors and dealers involved in making, stocking and rigging boats to install cutoff switches in new boats “less than 26 feet overall in length and capable of developing 115 pounds or more of static thrust.”

The new law covers most any engine or motor, and the switch must meet American Boat and Yacht Council Standards.

Another part of the Frank Lobiondo Coast Guard Authorization of Act of 2018 helped all who enter their boats or other vessels into the U.S. Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center. The new reg lengthens the time the certificate will be valid from one to five years.

Pursuit & B.A.S.S.

If you went looking for The Bassmasters TV Show and couldn’t find it in its usual channel, then go to the Pursuit Channel.

B.A.S.S. and Pursuit signed a “multi-year agreement” to air 26 episodes Saturdays in the first and second quarters this year. Each show repeating the following Sunday morning.

The Bassmaster Elite Series and Bassmaster Classic will continue to air on ESPN2.