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Posted 8/20/2015

Release no. 15-032

Diana Fredlund

PORTLAND, ORE. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has restricted boat access at the downstream navigation approach channel to lock users only. 

Restricting the approach channel was done to ensure public and watercraft safety, according to Ron Twiner, operations manager at The Dalles Lock and Dam.  The restriction is necessary due to the river current and the lock’s proximity to The Dalles Dam. Its purpose is to keep as much distance as possible between river traffic and small boats near the lock’s approach.

“The downstream approach channel can be a dangerous place for vessels not using the navigation lock,” Twiner said. “It is a constrained area and collisions between vessels entering the lock and boats parked nearby are a very real concern. Safety of all watercraft near the lock is the Corps’ highest concern.” 

In addition to the danger of collision, large vessels can displace water and currents can rapidly change as the navigation lock cycles water through the structure, causing another potentially dangerous condition, Twiner said.

The Portland District operates navigation locks at John Day, The Dalles and Bonneville dams as part of the Corps’ mission to maintain safe and reliable channels, harbors and waterways for the transportation of commerce, support to national security and recreation.