Lake Ouachita, covering 40,000 acres with 1,300 miles of shoreline, is a top spot for commercial boaters and outdoor enthusiasts. The U.S. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). manages safety, boating, fishing, hunting, and recreation there. Fishing and hunting are regulated by the The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) on the lake. In Arkansas, commercial boats need licenses from both AGFC and USACE. Specific rules apply to commercial fishing, passenger, and charter boats on Lake Ouachita.
All GetMyBoat operators must follow local rules. This means getting the right registrations, permits, and meeting boat and captain requirements. They also need to use the correct docks and approved areas for their commercial activities and obey any other local laws and facility rules.For your convenience, we've gathered important details for boating on Lake Ouachita.
Boaters Safety Education:
Individuals born on or after January 1, 1986, who operate a motorboat, personal watercraft (PWC), or sailboat on Lake Ouachita are mandated by law to successfully complete a boater safety course and possess a boater education card. More Information can be found via the AGFC.
To operate watercraft on Arkansas' public waterways in compliance with the law, registration is mandatory for all vessels, with the exception of those lacking engine or sail propulsion. This procedure involves acquiring both an Arkansas Certificate of Number and validation decals. For more comprehensive details, you may choose to visit the Arkansas DFA or get in touch with them via phone at (501) 682-4692.
To operate a commercial vessel on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas, you need a valid USCG Captain's License, which varies depending on the vessel's size. License holders must follow all rules, including speed limits and keeping a safe distance from other vessels. You can get more information from Mariners Learning System. Use the promo code GETMYBOAT10 for 10% off all products.
In compliance with Arkansas regulations, all commercial vessels navigating Lake Ouachita are obligated to maintain commercial liability insurance coverage. Proof of this insurance must be furnished by boat owners during the registration process with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. BCI serves as a valuable resource for obtaining essential information and requesting a quote.
Pick up / Drop off Locations:
There are several public boat ramp locations; these are our recommendations
Lake Ouachita State Park
Here are some additional regulations that apply to commercial boats on Lake Ouachita:
- Certain zones, such as swimming areas, boat ramps, and marinas, prohibit the operation of commercial boats.
- Vessels are not allowed to enter an area within 100 yards downstream of an Army Corps of Engineers dam.
- Commercial vessels are required to navigate at a safe speed and yield the right of way to recreational boats.
- Proper disposal of all waste is mandatory for commercial boat operators.
- All Vessels must carry necessary safety equipment, including life jackets, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits.
- Adequate training in safety procedures and emergency response protocols is mandatory for all crew members.
- Consumption of alcohol or drugs by vessel operators and crew members while on duty is strictly prohibited.
- Commercial boats must be inspected annually by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
- Taking necessary precautions to ensure passenger safety during embarkation and disembarkation, including providing assistance and supervision, is vital.
- Having a well-defined plan for responding to emergencies, such as fires, engine failures, or man overboard situations, is a requirement. Crew members must be thoroughly familiar with and capable of executing this plan effectively.
- Fishing within 100 feet of a swimming area is to be avoided.
- Wakeboarding or water skiing should not occur within 300 feet of the shoreline.
For more information on commercial boat regulations and permits on Lake Ouachita, please contact the USACE (501) 767-2101 and AGFC at (501) 223-6300.