All the seasonally unexpected open water around northwestern Pennsylvania might make it tempting to break out the Jon Boat, canoe or kayak.
If you do, remember to put on your personal flotation devices, even in small craft that do not legally require you to do so.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission said that, over the past 15 years, cold-water incidents added up to just 8 percent of boating-related accidents, but to 24 percent of fatalities. A life jacket can be a live saver.
Starting Nov. 1, 2012, boaters will be required by law to wear life jackets on boats under 16 feet and any canoe or kayak during cold-weather months from Nov. 1 to April 30. That obviously will include the opening weeks of trout fishing season.
Why not get used to the jacket starting now?