The Handbook of Arkansas: Boating Laws and Responsibilities

The Handbook of Arkansas: Boating Laws and Responsibilities


The Handbook of Arkansas: Boating Laws and Responsibilities is the official boating handbook developed for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The handbook introduces you to Arkansas laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation on the abundance of rivers, lakes, and other waterways that make Arkansas "The Natural State."

With over 600,000 acres of lakes and over 9,700 miles of rivers and tributaries, Arkansas is an ideal state for boating. But remember, safety on Arkansas waterways is the responsibility of all boaters. 

Use this handbook to familiarize yourself with steps to make all your boating outings safe and enjoyable. 

Topics include:

  • Vessel Basics
  • Navigation Rules
  • Nighttime Navigation
  • Emergencies
  • Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
  • Arkansas Boating Laws and Regulations
  • Required Equipment
  • Skiing
  • And much more…

Boater Education

You may have heard that you need a boating license to operate your boat, but what you really need is a boaters safety course. Whether or not your state requires education, it can reduce boating accidents and injuries on the water. Boaters can keep themselves and their passengers safe by learning about responsible boat operation, etiquette, and the rules of the waterways.

Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1986, and of legal age to operate a motorboat or sailboat on Arkansas waters, is required to have proof of having completed an Arkansas-approved boat education course.