Lock 2

Locking Through:  Safety is the prime consideration when locking any type of vessel through a lock. All passengers are required to have a coast guard approved life jacket. As you approach a lock in Arkansas, you must inform the lock operators of your desire to pass and they, in turn, will indicate to you when it is safe to proceed into the lock. There are several methods of communication with the lock personnel, as follows.

  • Radio:  Is the preferred method of making contact with the locks in Arkansas. If your vessel is equipped with a two-way radio, please establish contact with the lock on VHF (FM) Channel 16. The lock will then move you to their working channel. Do this well in advance of your arrival at the lock so that the passage of all vessels may be facilitated, and allow the operator time to prepare the lock.

  • Cell Phone: Cell phones may be used to contact the lock when within sight of the lock. Please keep in mind lock operators are very busy and are not always able to answer the phone.

  • Pull Chains: Pull ropes which sound an alarm letting the lock operator know that you desire lockage, are provided at the upstream and downstream ends of the lock guard wall.                                                                                                       

  • Once you have made contact with lock personnel you will be instructed by traffic lights, air horn signals, and/or marine radio.

  • Light Signals: Red, amber and green signal lights are located at both ends of the lock. A red signal indicates that the lock is closed in your direction and you should wait for the lock operator to give you the green light before you proceed into the lock. The amber signal indicates the lock is being made ready to receive vessels for lockage. The green signal means that you have been cleared to enter the lock chamber, unless you have been informed by the lock operator that you are required to yield to a commercial vessel. Proceed only when the signal light is green and enter the lock at a slow NO WAKE speed. The lock personnel will direct you toward one of the lock walls. You are required to catch and tend a line on one of the floating mooring bits. DO NOT TIE TO LADDERS.  The amber-green signal indicates the lock is ready for traffic but one or both miter gate leaves cannot be fully recessed.  Vessel may enter under full control and with extreme caution.

  • Air Horn Signals: Vessels desiring passage through a lock shall notify the lock operator by one prolonged (4 to 6 seconds) blast followed by one short (1 second) blast of a horn, whistle, or megaphone, when within a reasonable distance from the lock. When the lock is ready for entrance, the lockmaster shall reply with one prolonged blast of a horn, whistle or calls through a megaphone to signal permission to enter the lock chamber. Permission to leave the lock shall be indicated by the lock operator by one short blast of the horn.

    Obey all the instructions of the lock personnel. Your total time in the lock will be approximately 30 minutes. The pool in the lock chamber will be raised or lowered 20 to 48 feet depending on which lock you are in Arkansas. When the pool reaches the proper level, the gates will be opened for your departure. Please wait for the operator's signal to release your line and exit the lock at a slow NO WAKE speed.

    Locking Times: Lockages for pleasure craft will be conducted as traffic conditions permit. Arkansas Locks are open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

    Navigating the ChannelStay between red and green buoys. They mark the river’s navigational channel. The McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System waterway is 445 miles long and has 18 locks along the entire waterway. The navigation channel minimum depth is 9 feet with widths ranging from 300-feet on the White River, 250-feet on the Arkansas River and 150-feet on the Verdigris River. All lock chambers are 110 feet wide by 600 feet long with depth over the sills of 15 feet minimum.

    McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System Arkansas Lock Contact Information

Montgomery Pt Lock and Dam: (870) 548-3400

Norrell Lock and Dam 01: (870) 548-2796

Wilbur Mills Lock No. 02: (870) 548-2791

Joe Hardin Lock and Dam 03: (870) 479-3164

Emmett Sanders Lock and Dam 04: (870) 534-2127

Col Charles D. Maynard Lock and Dam 05: (501) 842-2761

David D. Terry Lock and Dam 06: (501) 961-9281

Murray Lock and Dam 07: (501) 663-1997

Toad Suck Ferry Lock and Dam 08: (501) 327-0853

Arthur V. Ormond Lock and Dam 09: (501) 354-8402

Dardanelle Lock and Dam 10: (479) 890-4987

Ozark-Jeta Taylor Lock and Dam 12: (479) 667-2120

James W. Trimble Lock and Dam 13: (479) 452-0488