Outdoor Journal

Drama in real life: If your young’uns’ fingers are sore from all that Xbox action, send ’em down to the river for some real-time survival training. Asheville-based Wolf Creek Adventures, Inc. is offering a one-day course in river safety and rescue on Sept. 9 at the Ledges River Park on the French Broad River.

The course will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will teach basic river safety and rescues on moving water. The focus will be on equipment, swimming skills, wading skills, rope handling, rescue of loose boats and gear, communication and river signals.

Youth aged 12 to 16 may participate, and no prior paddling experience is required. The class is free, but enrollment is limited to 10. Equipment will be provided, as well as snacks and a luscious PB & J sandwich lunch.

Wolf Creek Adventures, Inc. is a sponsor-supported organization geared to providing river skills to at-risk youth. For more information or to enroll in the course, contact Peter Van Gieson at 258-3296.

Mussels, man: Boaters and outdoors types can look forward to better access to the waters below Lake James because of the renewal agreement for Duke Power’s Catawba-Wateree hydropower project.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission weighed in on the agreement, which promises to bring increased water flows and improved water quality to the Catawba River below the lake. More water and more oxygen in the water could mean better trout fishing, and not to be overlooked (or stepped upon) are the six species of mussels that have hung on in stoic mussel fashion since the river was first dammed.

Additional hunting spots and boating put-ins are also in the works. For more information, visit www.ncwildlife.org.

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