News Releases

Winter recreational lock schedule begins September 30 on Lower Columbia

Portland District
Published Sept. 24, 2021

Motorized recreational boaters needing to pass through the three lower Columbia River dams need to do so during daylight hours only, on request, starting September 30, 2021 through May 15, 2022.

Commercial vessels will have lockage priority over recreational users but lock operators may use their discretion to allow recreational vessels to lock through with commercial craft.

This change impacts Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day dams. This is an annual and a regularly scheduled part of operations during the winter season.

Portland District requests that recreational vessels contact the navigation lock control room at least 30 minutes prior to their arrival at the lock. Vessel owner/operators requesting lockage shall contact the lock operator on duty using Marine Channel 14 or commercial telephone. This will allow the control room to prepare for their transit and will provide vessel operators with general timeframes for their lockage. Control room contact information is:

  • Bonneville Lock and Dam (river mile 145): 541-374-8323
  • The Dalles Lock and Dam (river mile 191): 541-506-8211
  • John Day Lock and Dam (river mile 216): 541-298-9712

All vessel owner/operators lock through at their own risk. A personal flotation device is required for every member on board the vessel, throughout the duration of the lockage. Follow the directions of the lock operator when using the locks or operating in the vicinity of the locks. The lock operator has final authority on the suitability of a craft for lockage. Please refer to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Safe Lockage Policy for Recreational Craft on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, published separately, for additional safety requirements.

The Columbia-Snake inland navigation system provides important benefits to business and the public. Approximately 9 million tons of cargo valued at over $3 billion is barged on the Columbia-Snake river system annually. The navigation system contributes jobs, facilitates import and export trade, and benefits the economy, environment and quality of life in the Pacific Northwest.

– 30 –

Portland District’s 150th Birthday: Portland District is one of the nation’s most comprehensive and diverse civil works programs and has been supporting the people of Oregon and southwest Washington since 1871. Throughout its 150-year history, the District has been operating locks and dams along the Columbia River, managing flood risks in the Willamette Valley and Rogue River Basin, maintaining Oregon's coastal waterways for navigation, and leading the Nation in hydropower generation. The team of more than 1,400 civil servants manage these missions all while ensuring equal attention is paid to environmental protection and restoration, fish and wildlife enhancement, and world-class recreation opportunities.

Tom Conning

Release no. 21-033

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