Duke Energy has begun inspecting docks and piers along the Catawba and Lincoln County side of Lake Norman as part of a program by the energy company along the entire Catawba-Wateree chain of rivers and lakes.The company’s Structure Removal-Renovation Program will ultimately check all of the 11,000-plus licensed structures – mostly docks and piers, but also seawalls and other privately installed erosion-control devices – along the 520 miles of the lake’s shoreline.Joe Kluttz of Duke Energy’s lake services division told the Lake Norman Marine Commission at its March 11 meeting that the survey of the western side of the lake would be completed “within about three weeks.”“It’s a good process that needs to be done, basically for safety purposes,” Kluttz said.During the survey, licensed structures are checked for signs of neglect, such as missing planks or structural problems. The problems are documented using the built-in cameras on IPads used by the inspection teams, and the owners are notified by mail.“So far, we haven’t had to remove any structures – the owners have done it themselves,” Kluttz said.The numbers of problem structures was found to be lower than expected, he said.In the survey done on the eastern side of Lake Norman, covering the shorelines of Iredell and Mecklenburg counties, just over 220 problem structures were found among the 5,500-plus areas checked. In addition, in just the first day of the western shore survey, 46 problem structures had been found.“It’s a unique process, and it’s being done all in the name of safety,” Kluttz said.In other business heard by the Lake Norman Marine Commission:• Commissioner John Marino, chairman of the rental boat subcommittee, said the group would hold one final meeting before presenting a report to the full commission next month concerning possible regulations over the boat rental trade on Lake Norman.“We’ve gotten right to the very end,” said Marino, Catawba County’s representative on the commission. “We will be prepared to make a complete report in April.”• Bob Elliott, associate director of the commission, told the board that after recent meetings with the state’s aquatic week council, odds are “excellent” that Lake Norman will receive permission to add more sterile grass carp to the lake to help control hydrilla and other waterborne plants.“We had a second meeting in Raleigh this past week to finalize the numbers,” Elliott said. “We learned from last year (when the commission was turned down for an order of grass carp after several large orders were placed to take care of the needs of other lakes) that we’ve got to stay on top of this.”• Gus Gustafson of the commission’s Aids to Navigation committee said only three problem areas – two missing no-wake-zone buoys and a missing navigational marker – had been reported, mostly due to the high winds and water levels on Lake Norman in the past several weeks.“The last three months, we’ve been in pretty good shape,” Gustafson said.• The commission presented an award of appreciation to Jim Kiser, a charter boat captain at Queens Landing, for his work with the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Lake Norman flotilla.• Kluttz said the water levels in Lake Norman earlier that day were at 98.1 feet, nearly 2 1/2 feet above what Duke Energy officials consider the mean water level for the lake at this time of the year.“We’ve been blessed by rainfall, and we’ve been storing it in Lake Norman,” Kluttz said. “It’s a nice problem to have.”According to Jim Loftin with Mecklenburg County Water Quality, the water in Lake Norman is also meeting or exceeding quality guidelines. “Everything looks really good,” Loftin said.• The next Lake Norman Marine Commission meeting will be at 7 p.m. April 8 at the Charles Mack Citizen Center in downtown Mooresville.Squadron sets vessel safety check scheduleThe Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron has set the dates for a series of free vessel safety checks to be conducted at Lake Norman-area marinas and access points.The safety checks will be performed by local squadron members licensed as Certified Vessel Examiners by the U.S. Power Squadron. They will cover all required safety items under state and federal law, as well as more than a dozen recommended items.Vessels passing the safety check will be issued a 2013 safety decal to affix to the boat. The decal also would also qualify the boat’s owner for a possible discount on the boat’s insurance.Vessel safety checks will be between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on these dates and at these locations:• April 20, Peninsula Yacht Club, Cornelius.• May 11, Lake Norman Marina, Sherrills Ford, and Boat Rack Marina, Mooresville.• May 18, Holiday Harbor Marina, Cornelius.• June 8 and 15, Morningstar Marina at Kings Point, Cornelius.Boat owners can also make arrangements for a free vessel safety check by going to www.safetyseal.net/GetVSC and entering the zip code nearest their vessel’s location. That will give a list of certified examiners in the area, with their email addresses.For more information call 704-775-6318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Boating safety classes• 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. April 20, Shepherds Volunteer Fire Department, 2014 Charlotte Highway (U.S. 21), Mooresville. $45 per person. For information or to register for a class, call 704-663-5733, 704-663-3333 or 828-478-2507. www.cgaux.org.• 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. April 27; 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. May 11; 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. June 8 or 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. July 27, Kings Point Marina, 18020 Kings Point Drive, Cornelius. $45 per person. For information or to register for a class, call 704-663-5733, 704-663-3333 or 828-478-2507. www.cgaux.org.• 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 27, Duke Energy Environmental Center, McGuire Nuclear Station Road, Huntersville. $45 per person, $25 for each additional family member. Advance registration is required. For information or to register, visit www.usps.org/lakenorman or call 704-895-4994 or 704-846-2865.• 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. May 11, Kings Point Marina, 18020 Kings Point Drive, Cornelius. $45 per person. For information or to register in advance for a class, call 704-663-5733, 704-663-3333 or 828-478-2507. www.cgaux.org.• 8 a.m.-5 p.m. June 1, Denver United Methodist Church, 3910 N.C. 16 N., Denver. $45 per person, $25 for each additional family member. Advance registration is required. www.usps.org/lakenorman or call 704-895-4994 or 704-846-2865.• 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. June 8, Kings Point Marina, 18020 Kings Point Drive, Cornelius. $45 per person. For information or to register in advance for a class, call 704-663-5733, 704-663-3333 or 828-478-2507. www.cgaux.org.• 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. June 15, Shepherds Volunteer Fire Department, 2014 Charlotte Highway (U.S. 21), Mooresville. $45 per person. For information or to register in advance for a class, call 704-663-5733, 704-663-3333 or 828-478-2507. www.cgaux.org.• 8 a.m.-5 p.m. July 13, Mount Zion United Methodist Church, 19600 Zion St., Cornelius. $45 per person, $25 for each additional family member. Advance registration is required. www.usps.org/lakenorman or call 704-895-4994 or 704-846-2865.• 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 17, Lake Norman Volunteer Fire Department, 1518 Brawley School Road, Mooresville. Cost: $45 per person, $25 for each additional family member. Advance registration is required. For information or to register, visit www.usps.org/lakenorman or call 704-895-4994 or 704-846-2865.Youth skiing, wakeboarding classesThe Lake Norman Ski Club is taking registration for a series of youth water skiing and wakeboarding classes.The Learn2Ski and Learn2Wakeboard classes are open to students 15 and younger and are tentatively scheduled for June and July.All classes will meet 8 -11:30 a.m. in the cove at Vinnie’s Raw Bar and Restaurant on Williamson Road in Mooresville. The registration fee is $20 per person, and all participants must have a signed waiver-release form from their parent or guardian. For information, to obtain waiver forms or to keep posted on exact dates, visit www.lakenormanskiclub.8m.com.