Lake Barkley’s aesthetic shoreline makes it an enjoyable lake for boating and skiing. With eight commercial marinas positioned at various locations on the lake, supplies and easy access are made readily available for recreational boaters.
While not considered a deep-water lake, Lake Barkley maintains a commercial and secondary navigation buoy system to aid in the safety of commercial and recreation boating. Users unfamiliar with the lake should be aware of un-marked hazards and barge traffic while boating and skiing. Commercial barges are moving faster than they appear. Under ideal circumstances, barges can cover up to 1000 feet per minute and take approximately a quarter to a half-mile to stop. A major cause of boating accidents is collision with other boats.
Another major cause of boating accidents is collision with fixed objects. The Corps of Engineers encourages users to familiarize themselves with the rules and basic boating regulations.
Lake Barkley is located in Kentucky and Tennessee. Kentucky Boating Regulations apply when boating in that state (https://fw.ky.gov/FishBoatGuide/Pages/Boating.aspx). The same is true when boating in the state of Tennessee (https://www.tn.gov/twra/boating.html). Contact each state for Boating Safety information.
While boating, skiing and fishing are fun and exciting outdoor activities, remember to use caution, be alert and always wear your personal flotation device. Remember, LIFE JACKETS FLOAT, YOU DON’T.
Boating Links of Interest
National Safe Boating Council
Federal Boating Requirements – U.S. Coast Guard