Safety first: Safety is the prime consideration when locking any type of recreational vessel through a lock. Operators must require all passengers to wear a coast guard approved life jacket.
Radio ahead: Vessels equipped with marine VHF-FM Channel 14 should contact the lock operator as soon as contact can be made, or at least 30 minutes before arrival at the lock. Vessels equipped with marine VHF-FM Channel 14 should use the appropriate call sign. Radio is the preferred contact method. Lock operators can also be contacted by phone.
Boaters without radios should look for signs directing them to pull cord signals and intercoms located up- and downstream from the lock. Pull the cord to signal the lock operator. Speak directly to the lock operator over the intercom.
Lock operator instructions: Please follow all directions from the lock operator when using the locks or operating in the vicinity of the locks. Lock operator has final authority on the suitability of a craft for lockage. The order of passage through the lock is at the discretion of the lock operator. The boat arriving first usually will be locked through first, but there are exceptions. Commercial vessels and government contract vessels take precedence between September 15 and May 15.
Signals for entering and exiting the lock: Enter when the green light is on. Stand clear when the red light is on. The lock operator may signal the lock is ready for entry by sounding one long blast on an air horn, or ready for exit by sounding one short blast.