KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is encouraging safe boating practices ahead of Memorial Day.

Jeff Roberson is a wildlife officer with TWRA and will be patrolling Fort Loudoun Lake during Memorial Day weekend.

“We do expect to see more boat traffic on holiday weekends, as a result, we have a higher schedule of officers on holiday weekends,” Roberson said.

He said the higher amount of boaters on the water naturally leads to more accidents and violations.

“We’re regularly patrolling the lakes, looking for safety violations, impaired operators, as well as responding to calls for service such as emergencies or anything along those lines that happens on the waterways,” Roberson said.

Having up-to-date and displayed registration numbers on your boat and making sure basic safety procedures are followed can help you avoid getting stopped by an officer.

“We make a lot of enforcement stops, but most of those involve some sort of safety violation, a child not wearing a life jacket, operating recklessly, operating without the proper safety equipment,” Roberson said.

He also encourages all boaters to take a safety education class before getting behind the wheel.

“Get yourself enrolled into a boating safety course, we offer them, they’re free, we do them year-round. you can look on our website,, and click on the boaters tab, it shows you where those classes are at,” he said.

Roberson also said it is important to familiarize yourself with the waterways and weather ahead of time.