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Kootenay Lake can be a little tricky to navigate, particularly on the West Arm. We therefore strongly suggest that you watch the short safety videos below prior to your booking. We also encourage you to make use of our custom navigation map found below to steer clear of any hazards on the lake. 


Rules of the Lake

Like the rules that apply to driving a car on a highway, there are rules of the road that boaters must follow when on the waterways. 


Maintain a proper lookout at all times by sight and hearing and assign a passenger to act as your lookout ‘sidekick'. Always operate at safe speeds and stay well clear of shorelines, restricted areas, and others. 

Please watch the short video above to familiarize yourself with the boating rules. It's only a minute long, and it just might save your life!

Safety Equipment

​Having the required boating safety equipment onboard will help you respond well if you find yourself in an emergency situation. Here is a quick video on how to use the following equipment:

  • Personal Flotation Devices

  • Sound Signalling Device

  • Buoyant Heaving Line

  • Bailing Bucket

  • Paddle

  • Fire Extinguisher

  • Flares

Navigation Markers

The West Arm of Kootenay lake turns in Kootenay river. This means that nautical channel markers are used throughout the lake. If you`re a first-time boater, this must sound scary! Luckily it`s quite easy to understand. 

Channel markers identify hazards such as shallow waters or hidden obstacles. The main thing to remember is that you always need to stay in between the Green and Red colored markers.

Navigation chart.png

Heading away from Nelson (upstream) you will have Green on your left, and Red on your right. 

Heading towards Nelson (downstream) it is the exact opposite; Red on your left, and Green on your right. 

Custom Navigation Map

This map has been specifically designed for our customers to help navigate Kootenay Lake.

We understand this map may look intimidating, but don't worry! We will give you a complete demonstration on how to read it in the orientation session before you head out. 

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