News & Events for Chesapeake Bay
SPECIAL NOTICE: Okeechobee Waterway and Canaveral Lock. Requirements for Locking During The Covid-19 Restrictions
Date Posted: 2020-04-02
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Reference revised Regulations, 33 C.F.R. 207.300, and their tributaries; use, administration, and navigation, and 33 C.F.R. 207.800, Collection of navigation statistics.
The following information is furnished in addition to the above-referenced regulations to provide guidance about the procedures, control, and management of the locks on the Okeechobee Waterway and Canaveral Lock. Suggested towboat operations are also included that will enhance safety and reduce damage to Government structures, commercial vessels, and recreational craft.
SAFETY: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak , for the safety of both the public and lock staff, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District is issuing the following guidance for safe passage through our locks on the Okeechobee Waterway and at Canaveral. Federally mandated social distancing requirements will be observed. Vessel operators will be required to contact the lock staff prior to making an approach to the facility. This can be accomplished by either Marine radio Channel 13 or calling the lock telephone numbers listed below. Lock staff will not be handling mooring lines, but instead the lines will be available for the boaters. The requirements for two lines is in effect as well as the Personal Floatation Device requirement. The number of vessels allowed to lock at one time will be limited by emergency mandate issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The following restrictions may result in longer lock times.
Per Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:
“Closures and Updates Related to COVID-19
As COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to impact our communities, the FWC is taking proactive measures to protect stakeholders, staff and volunteers. In addition, all recreational boats must be at least 50 feet apart, and each recreational vessel must not have more than 10 people on board.” You can get further information by going tohttps://myfwc.com/recreation/notices/
Locking hours will remain the same until otherwise directed.
Canaveral Lock 6:00 AM to 9:30 PM Daily (Last lockage starting at 9:00PM)
St Lucie Lock 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Daily (Last lockage starting at 4:30 PM)
Port Mayaca Lock 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Daily (Last lockage starting at 4:30 PM)
Moore Haven Lock 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Daily (Last lockage starting at 4:30 PM)
Ortona Lock 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Daily (Last lockage starting at 4:30 PM)
WP Franklin Lock 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Daily (Last lockage starting at 4:30 PM)
St Lucie Lock & Dam
Port Mayaca Lock & Dam
Moore Haven Lock & Dam
Ortona Lock & Dam
WP Franklin Lock & Dam
PART A. Recreational Craft
1. Commercial fishing craft are included in the classification "recreational craft" when considering the precedent at the locks. Operators of recreational craft and their passengers are required to wear Coast Guard approved PFDs during lockage. All vessels will be required to turn off engines during lockages.
2. Personal watercraft of the "sit-down" variety, (those you sit on and ride), will be accepted for lockage. The "stand-up" variety, (those that require the vessel to be moving for the operator to be out of the water), will not be accepted for lockage unless the craft is tied off to and locked through with an approved vessel, and the operator of the "stand-up" craft boards the approved vessel. Operators of personal watercraft and their passengers are required to wear Coast Guard approved PFDs during lockage.
3. Kayaks and canoes will be locked without other vessels in the chamber for safety reason. Operators and their passengers are required to wear Coast Guard approved PFDs during lockage.
4. Paddleboards, sailboards and surfboards will not be locked.
PART B. Commercial Tows
1. Lock Personnel will monitor the Marine Channel 13. All tows awaiting lockage shall monitor the appropriate lock channel at all times.
2. Radio communications between a lock and an approaching tow are required at all times. All tows shall have a positive two-way voice communication between the pilot and the head of the tow to facilitate proper and safe approach to the lock guide wall and subsequent entrance into the lock chamber. All tows that decide to switch to another channel during the locking process for communication with their deckhands will be required to inform the lock personnel as to what channel they are changing to. Prior to beginning each lockage, procedural aspects of the lockage will be coordinated between the lock and vessel operators in an effort to insure a mutual and thorough understanding of the locking procedure.
The above guidance will remain in effect until we are officially instructed to lift restrictions. Due to the cause and nature of the restrictions, there is no current projected end date for this navigation notice. We will continue to update with any changes we receive promptly.
Please feel free to call any of the numbers above for questions or concerns.
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