The USCG held a Port Coordination Team conference today. Here is a summary of that meeting.Current River Stages

  • The LMR stage at BR today (1300) was at 44.08 feet, up 0.19’ over the last 24 hours. 
  • The LMR stage at New Orleans today (1200 Hours) was at 16.80 feet, up 0.01’ over the last 24 hours

NOAA/NWS Crest Predictions

  • The LMR at Baton Rouge is cresting now and should begin to fall beginning tomorrow. 
  • The LMR at New Orleans is cresting now through end of March with starting a slow fall in early April.
    • The operation of the Bonnet Carré Spillway will artificially control the crest at 17 feet (approximately) and maintain the maximum flow at New Orleans at or below 1.25 million cfs.
  • ——————- Quote:”Since we have falls on the Lower Ohio and significant reductions at Barkley and Kentucky Dams,   the upstream flooding on the Missouri and Upper Mississippi Rivers will keep (LMR) levels elevated   but not cause significant rises without additional rainfall.” Jeff GraschelService Coordination HydrologistLower Mississippi River Forecast Center——————


  • Old River Lock is closed. Estimated will be closed through 8 April.
  • Bonne Carre Spillway is open. 
    • 196 Bays are open (of the total 350).
    • Flow rate remains steady.
    • Forecasts shows spillway open through mid-April.
  • Dredge Update
    • 4 Hopper Dredges working Cubit’s Gap and Head of Passes areas.
    • 1 Cutterhead working SWP.
    • One dredge down for repairs. RS WEEKS expected to return to work 25 March.


  • BAR – 
    • Maximum Recommended Draft is 41’. (Click here)
    • Watching surveys.
    • SWP High Tide Entry Window Restrictionhas been rescinded.
  • CRPPA – 
    • Maximum Recommended Draft is 41′. (Click here)
    • General Anchorage is not being used.
      • Until the river drops below 15’. 
    • High Water Operating Restrictions Are in Effective (Click here)
      • Reminder – At a 16’ Carrollton Gauge,and
        • Downbound vessels with a draft of 30’ or greater,and
          • A pilot is ordered after 1600 Hours,and
          • Fog is predicted;then
            • Minimum One Assist Tug is Required.
  • NOBRA – 
    • See 16’ High Water Restrictions. (Click here)
    • Reports that 5 pilots are currently on board vessels at berths where vessels are struggling to hold lines.
    • Still experiencing problems holding vessels in anchorage. 
      • Request vessels proceed north when any time required in anchorage is minimized.
  • Federal Pilots – 
    • Maximum recommended draft is 41’ (Click here)
    • SWP High Tide Entry Window Restrictionhas been rescinded.


  • Update on the sinking of the SEATTLE SLEW:
    • Vessel has been located near MM 57.0, LDB, under the barge fleet.
    • Two crew members were able to escape safely.
    • One crew member remains missing.
    • The LMR is open, slow bell, wide berth.
  • Salvors working sunken towboat in Baton Rouge Anchorage. (MM 225.) (Anchorage closed)
  • Salvors working sunken barges (2) in Belmont Anchorage.(Anchorage OPEN to only 1 spot.)
  • Salvors working sunken towboat at MM 132.6.
  • Two allision incidents occurred near MM 144 this week are being investigated.
  • See current MSIB’s below in High River Restrictions.
  • Port Assessment Teams are out making inspections.
  • Bonne Carre Anchorage is closed.
  • Overflights are being conducted.

Current USCG High River Restrictions (See here—> Link)Sincerely,
“Capt Ron”
Ronald W. Branch, CAPT. USCG (Ret.) 
Louisiana Maritime Association (LAMA)
Desk: (504) 899-5535
Cell: (330) 760-0786 Branch