Water Safety

RLEF supports the placement of private hazard markers throughout Big Rideau Lake and Upper Rideau Lake.

Shoal Marker

“Go around, not between if they are white, not red or green.”

Water levels on Big Rideau Lake can change as much as three feet in a season, so shoals are a hazard, even in water that you think you know well. Each year the Big Rideau Lake Association (BRLA) installs more than 100 private shoal markers in Big Rideau Lake to ensure all boaters a safe trip through lake waters. The Upper Rideau Lake Association (URLA) also maintains several markers.

These white, private hazard buoys identify invisible underwater dangers. They are are Coast-Guard approved,  and can be found on the charts of the Rideau Canal system, identified as “Private”. But they are not “government” makers; they are placed and maintained by the members of the BRLA and URLA.

All boaters should familiarize themselves with the location of the markers as they are sometimes difficult to see in rough weather. At night, please use special caution:  reduce your speed, use a spotlight to locate the reflective markings, and proceed with caution. 

Two or more markers together identify the extent of a shoal area: Go Around, Not Between!


  • Doug Good Shoal Marker Fund Established

    The RLEF has established a fund to support the placement and maintenace of shoal markers on the Big Rideau Lake, in memory of Doug Good, a long-time lake resident, past BRLA President, and former member of council for the Township of Rideau Lakes. Lake safety and the health of the lake community were among Doug’s

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