Vicksburg District urges boater safety measures during high water conditions at Lake Ouachita

Published Sept. 3, 2020

VICKSBURG, Miss. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District urges boaters on Lake Ouachita to take extra precautions as water continues to rise after heavy rainfall in the area.

As a result of recent storms and rainfall, Lake Ouachita’s water levels continue to rise, and debris is prevalent. Lake levels are currently several feet into the flood control pool with an elevation of 581.13 feet above sea level, and the lake is expected to rise an additional 1.5-2 feet. Although widespread flooding is not anticipated, hazardous conditions may exist on the lake. Boaters should navigate with caution as recent storms have washed debris into the lake, and rising lake levels have dislodged downed trees. These hazards are carried with the lake’s current and may be difficult to see, and boaters should slow their speeds and avoid debris fields as much as possible. 

The USACE Vicksburg District encourages boaters to remain vigilant and take extra safety precautions, including wearing a life jacket at all times and scanning for hazards in the water. Boat operators should wear their engine safety cut-out switches, also called kill switches, to mitigate accidents or injury while in motion.

Boating at night on Lake Ouachita is discouraged during this time due to water hazards and low visibility. Individuals who decide to boat at night should leave a detailed float plan with family or friends, ensure the functionality of their vessel’s navigation lights and carry a fully charged cell phone or marine band radio in case they must call for assistance.

For more information about Lake Ouachita, contact the Lake Ouachita Field Office at 501-767-2108 or visit

The USACE Vicksburg District owns and operates more than 100 recreation areas across Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana where millions of visitors enjoy fishing, camping, hunting, boating, hiking, swimming, geocaching and more every year. The district’s 10 flood control reservoirs across Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana provide numerous benefits to the region, including flood risk management, hydropower, water supply, wildlife management and recreation.

The USACE Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds seven major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The district is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.

Anna Owens

Release no. 20-071