Coast Guard Places Buoys at Mergen’s Point(Million Dollar Rock) at NW Angle

For anglers and boaters who have navigated around the NE corner of Flag Island which is one of the major water routes, you know Mergen’s Point.  It is an area where rocks come out a long ways from shore and boaters are forced to slide into Ontario waters skirting Passage Island in order to make safe passage.  Navigating into Canadian waters to avoid obstacles in such a manner is perfectly legal but confuses those not familiar.

Consequently, the Coast Guard this week has placed an easy to navigate system of red and green buoys which creates an easy to see pathway through this stretch.  In addition, they placed two white buoys off the shore of Mergen’s Point marking that area as an area of danger for navigating.
As a rule, when there are red and green buoys present together, the proper navigational route is to drive between the buoys.  It is also helpful to have other useful tools such as a GPS with a map card inserted.
A map card provides many helpful details which allows boaters an extra tool in navigating.  As the companies will tell you, do not rely on that info as a sole source of info as there can always be errant rocks, obstructions and changes of bottom contour based on currents and other natural happenings.
Another rule of thumb when navigating is when returning to harbor, “red, right, return”, meaning, keep the red buoy on your right side when entering a harbor or marina.
The Coast Guard has a presence around Lake of the Woods in many ways.  During the open water months, there is an enforcement division that patrols the waters keeping boaters safe.  Often times checking safety gear on board, helping boaters out if they need assistance and simply helping to keep waterways safe is their mission.
Another role of the Coast Guard is to make sure guides on Lake of the Woods have proper credentials, which is a Captain’s License as well as being enrolled in a drug consortium.
They also help with placing buoys helping with safely navigating waters.  This is exactly what they have been working with community members on up at the NW Angle.
With 14,552 islands in Lake of the Woods, having a safe means of navigating is of prime importance.  It is good to review a map, look at your GPS ahead of time, speak to locals and know how to navigate through buoys when boating through certain areas.

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