EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — With Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer in Pennsylvania almost here, boaters should check that they are ready to navigate the PA waters safely.

According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there are 86,000 miles of rivers and streams to explore in Pennsylvania and a total of 2,500 lakes including Lake Erie.

Photo courtesy of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has some tips to safely navigate the waters and HuntFishPA has information regarding getting boating essentials ready.

To prepare for boating season, HuntFishPA recommends getting launch permits for unpowered boats and registration for powerboats. It is also recommended that boaters take a safety course either online or in-person.

To have a safe boating trip, experts recommend checking the weather before you head out, as you wouldn’t want to get stuck in a storm. Plan your trip ahead of time and tell a friend or family member where you’re planning to be. For an extra layer of safety, a safety jacket should always be worn and always boat sober.

For more information on boating, visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website.