Buoys mark channels, direction on big rivers
The heat of summer often leads anglers to large rivers. The promise of large catfish and an extended period of fish activity is thanks to current keeping surface water moving and slightly cooler than in backwaters and reservoirs. But traveling on large rivers like the Arkansas can be a difficult for people who don’t understand buoys and channel markers. Remember the three R’s of boating: red, right, returning. It applies in Arkansas and all over the nation. Returning means coming upstream. Keep the red buoys on the right when traveling upstream. That means the green buoys will be on the left. Boaters going downstream just reverse this. The red buoys will be on the left, green buoys on the right. Buoys are found in many sizes and shapes. Only red and green ones mark channels. Others are white and are for information. This may be directions to a facility, for controlled areas such as nowake zones, and to identify underwater dangers such as rocks or dams. A buoy with black and white vertical stripes marks an obstruction; don’t travel between it and the shore or bank. For more details on boating navigation rules in Arkansas, visit www.agfc.com.