How to lock through a dam.

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by catfishcentral, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    Procedures For Safe Locking ​



    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.


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    Approaching The Lock

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    Recessed Pull Chain​


    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.

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    Lock Opening

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    Traffic Light​


    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.

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    Floating Mooring Bit

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    Water Being Lowered 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.

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    Ready To Leave The Lock​


    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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    Looking Back After Leaving The Lock​