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Buoy and Navigational Aids

Garland County
On August 11, 2003, the Garland County Quorum Court passed Ordinance No. 0-03-23 concerning regulating and managing the permitting, placement, maintenance and removal of now existing and future Coast Guard approved buoys on Lake Hamilton and the Garland County portions of Lake Catherine. This ordinance transfers the responsibility for approval and permitting of all future buoys from the Garland County Sheriff’s Department to Entergy. Buoy enforcement will remain the responsibility of the Garland County Sheriff’s Office. These requirements and specifications for regulatory buoys have been developed in accordance with said ordinance. The ordinance also outlines the qualifications for future buoy placement. Locations that qualify for future buoy placement\permit are at commercial establishments, public launching ramps and public swimming areas.

In 2003, all existing buoy locations were evaluated by the Garland County Sheriff’s Department and those that were identified as meeting certain location criteria were permitted as grandfathered to individuals claiming ownership of that buoy.

It is the permittee’s sole responsibility and expense to purchase, install, maintain and replace, if necessary the permitted buoy/buoys. This responsibility will pass along to all future owners of the lake front property listed on the original application unless otherwise noted.

Hot Spring County
Persons wanting a buoy or navigational aid on the Hot Spring County portion of Lake Catherine must obtain approval from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission through the Hot Spring County Sheriff's Department.

Specifications and Guidelines for Regulatory Buoys Type:

  1. Only U. S. Coast Guard approved buoys such as Curd, Rolyan or Caljune are allowed. No homemade floating signs, signs on post imbedded in the lake bed or other unapproved devices are permitted.
  2. Only the following wording is allowed: (see attached examples) “Slow, 5 MPH”, “No Ski” or “Swim Area”.
  3. The buoy must be labeled with your name, address and phone number.

Mooring Requirements:

  1. The buoy must be installed and maintain in its approved location. A map showing the approved location will be furnished by Entergy with the buoy permit.
  2. The buoy anchor must be a minimum of 75 pounds and a maximum of 100 pounds.
  3. Buoy must be attached to the anchor using 5/16”Patented SPACE-LAY® Wire Rope as shown on page 2.
  4. After attaching the cable to the anchor, lower the anchor to the bottom with anchor cable.
  5. After the anchor reaches the bottom, allow enough additional anchor cable for a high lake level of + 3 feet. This will allow the lake to rise without sinking the buoy or pulling the anchor.
  6. Attach the anchor cable to the buoy mooring eye per illustration on page 2.

Existing Buoy Grandfathering Criteria:

  1. “Slow-5MPH” buoys are only to inform boaters of existing law that requires a boat speed to be 5-mph or less when the boat is within 100 feet of a boat dock, bridge, pier or other obstructions.
  2. Those existing buoys approved and permitted by the Garland County Sheriff’s Office prior to January 1, 2003 and pursuant to County Ordinance Nos. 0-93-14 and 0-94-8 are subject to being re-permitted by Entergy.
  3. Those buoys inventoried by Entergy and the Garland County Sheriff’s Office in May, 2003 and meet the following original guidelines established by the Sheriff’s Office pursuit to County Ordinance Nos. 0-93-14 and 0-94-8:
  • Areas where the shoreline is less than 250 feet from the opposite shoreline.
  • Areas where the distance from docks on opposite sides of a cove are less than 250
  • Only one buoy per location


  1. Permitted “Slow-5-mph” buoys are not establishing a specific speed zone other than where existing state law restricts speed. If a buoy is permitted in the neck of a cove where the distance from shore to shore or dock on said shores is less than 200 feet does not necessary establish a 5-mph zone for the entire cove.
  2. Modification(s) to an existing buoy permit must be approved by Entergy. A request to relocate existing permitted buoys will require a new application and must meet Entergy’s current guidelines and regulations. 
  3. All permitted buoys are to be maintained in a good state of repair and shall remain in their specifically permitted and approved location. It shall be the responsibility of the permittee to ensure that the approved buoy remains in its properly permitted location. If a properly permitted buoy is allow to deviate from the approved location and is not replaced or relocated to its approved location within three days, the approval and permit will be considered revoked and said buoy may be removed by or at the direction of the Garland County Sheriff’s Office.