NEW ORLEANS – In response to recent water-related accidents at the Old River Control Complex, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District will begin enforcing a 500-foot restricted boating zone downstream of the Low Sill and Auxiliary Water Control Structures.
The restriction zone will increase from 175 feet to 500 feet at the Low Sill Structure, and 300 feet to 500 feet at the Auxiliary Structure. Extension and enforcement of these restricted zones is crucial to protect boaters from the turbulent and dangerous water conditions near these structures.
The Auxiliary Structure works together with the Low Sill Structure to maintain a 70-30 flow distribution between the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers, respectively. To maintain this flow distribution, discharge rates below each of these structures are continuously changing with enormous amounts of water being released within minutes. Flows of 200,000 cubic feet per second are common during high water situations and can create turbulent waters and dangerous boating conditions.
No vessels (commercial or recreational) and no bank fishing will be allowed within 500 feet of these control structures at any time. These restriction zones are clearly marked by large U.S. Coast Guard - Aids to Navigation signs to alert boaters as shown below:
Compliance with these restricted boating zones will be enforced by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Rangers. Offenses could result in a fine, imprisonment, or the banning of the violator from federal lands and waters.
For comments or questions, please contact: Old River Control Project (225) 492-2169
Release no. 13-031