How to lock through a dam.

Discussion in 'LOCAL OKLAHOMA TALK' started by catfishcentral, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    I cut and pasted this from a older post I made and now I'm attaching some pics for your information and viewing pleasure.

    procedures for safe locking

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    First. Small boats(non commerical) are to use the pull chain that's on the lock wall to notify personal that you want to lock through.


    Second. After signaling for lockage wait for the lockman to signal that you may enter. There is a traffic light just like any other traffic light to signal when you may enter the lock. The gates to the lock may be closed and they might have to fill the lock up before you may enter. This may take up to 30 minutes before you can enter. The locks doors may also be open when approaching but do not enter until the light has turned green, letting you know it's safe to enter. Also there are also horns that will signal when it's safe to enter. One long blast 4 to 6 seconds, means enter the lock. One short blast for one second is to leave the lock. Four or more short blasts is a danger signal.

    Third. After the green light has been lit and a long blast to signal it's OK to enter go into the lock. Along the wall you will see ladders built into the wall along with "floating mooring bitts". This is what you want to tie off to while they are either raising or lowering the water in the lock. When you enter the lock tie off to the mooring bitts and they raise and lower according to the depth of the water in the lock. It is also wise to have some sort of fender on your boat as not to damage it or the lock wall while in the lock.

    Fourth.

    Don't worry if you are unsure if you are doing this right or tied up to the wrong mooring bit. There will be a lock personal that will come over and ask you any questions that you have before they start the lock procedure. Sometimes they will ask how long you will be down below the lock and will leave the lock open on your end if it's only going to be a short while or until another barge comes through needing to be locked.

    Fifth.

    Don't be in any hurry to get through. Sometimes you have to wait a good half hour before they open the lock doors to let you in. Other times the doors are open and takes only a few minutes before they sound the go ahead to enter the lock. It's pretty darn cool to watch all that water be displaced in a short amount of time. I think it's about 10 mintues to raise or lower all the water in the lock. On average plan on a half hour to 45 mintues to get from one side to the other side of the dam. Make sure to wear your life jacket, listen and watch for the horns and signals, and you will have a great time locking through.
     

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  2. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    second set of pics.
     

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  3. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    and the last set of pics
     

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  4. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    I wonder if I can fish in the lock cause you should have see the graph it was LOADED with fish. By the time your lowered all the way down we dropped 23 feet in depth. There was only 14 feet left at the bottom of the lock just enough for a barge full of goods to be deep enough to make it through.
     
  5. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

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    5,444
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    Henderson,Ky
    You would be surprized at the folks that don't have a clue of how to go about locking through. I have talked to some that didn't know that you were allowed to use the locks.
    That is some great information that was very helpful. Thank you for your time and knowledge!!!
     
  6. capt theory

    capt theory New Member

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    180
    State:
    oklahoma
    so howd it look down south of newt? thats interesting how there was that many fish in the lock. i know the lock at 17 has a real good hole in it and right in front of it so i assume its probably the same story.
     
  7. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    There's quite a few people that don't even know we even have locks here in Oklahoma and have no idea on proper procedures. There fun to experience and there's a couple here in Oklahoma that are not used that much by locals and have some good fishing. Hope it helps anyone thinking of locking through.
     
  8. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    Josh, I took these pics a few months ago. Heck I think inside the lock had some of the deepest water below the dam. There's a couple decent holes on the West side where the three over flow gates are located but most of it's pretty shallow. Downstream for several miles it's only 10 feet deep on average and a lot around 8 feet or so. I wanted to fish below #18 this spring when we had good current but the rain came a little too late. May finally brought rain but the spawn was already on and there were mostly farther downstream and not stack up below the dam if we would have rain at the right time to drive them farther upstream.
     
  9. oldprowler

    oldprowler New Member

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    321
    State:
    Mannford, Oklahoma
    Chris: I am surprised you did not write on "how not to use a lock" LMAO :cool2:

    Good article by the way.
     
  10. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    Tom,

    I figured this way would be better. I did start by writing..... drink a 12 pack while waiting for the lock operator to open the door while you constantly pull the chain for him to hurry up. Then tell your buddies in the boat while in the lock to hold your beer and watch me jump into the little whirlpools.... well that wasn't the best idea.:lol: :lol:
     
  11. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

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    4,532
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    McMinnvill
    Well that is way cool. I wasn't even aware that small craft could lock thru.
    Thanks for enlightening an old man. I don't know whether I would want to experience that or not in a small craft but who knows.:tounge_out:
     
  12. grizzly

    grizzly New Member

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    229
    State:
    Griffithville, Arkansas
    Thanks for all the usefull info in a nicely written article. I know the first time I locked through, I had no idea of what to expect. I just followed the signs and the personel at the lock were very nice. I was in a 14 X 36 jon and made it just fine. grizzly
     
  13. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    State:
    Missouri Originally Now I
    We Have Many Locks Here & There Are Still Many People Whom Are Not Educated As How To Go Thru Them.

    Here, It Is Required Than Once Inside The Lock, You Must Turn Off Your Engine & You Are NOT Allowed To Fish There Either.

    They Have Gotten User Friendly As They Now Have Ropes Hanging Down The Wall So You Can "Hold Off" Instead Of "Tying Off". That Way As The Water Recedes You Just Release More Rope, In A Small Vessel It Makes It Much Easier.

    I've Gotten Friendly With Many Of The Locktenders & I Can Call Ahead On The VHF & If No One Is Waiting On The Other Side, They'll Have It Opened When I Get There:big_smile:
     
  14. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    Actually I know that you can't fish there but it would be fun. :big_smile: Now I have gone into the locks and locked through a few times though to pick up some jugs before. We have had some strong current and big fish take jugs down into the locks and they will get locked through to the other side. We will lock through if we believe some have made it through and have found a few swimming in the lock before also. We will let the operator know when we lock through that there is a jug or two of ours in the lock and will pick them up as we go through the other side. That's of course after they have finished letting all the water out to open the downstream doors when you leave. Other common sense things always wear a life jacket and don't stand up in the dang boat while locking through. You don't want to fall in and become fish food.:eek:oooh: