The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues Fiscal Year 2024 (FY 24) channel maintenance dredging with the two industry hopper dredges: GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) and PADRE ISLAND (Great Lakes Dredge & Dock). The hopper dredges are working under the FY 24 early award hopper dredge contracts (Awarded in Fiscal Year 2023 for Work in FY 24). The USACE has options to deploy the hopper dredges on the Crossings and in SWP while monitoring rising river stages and updated channel surveys. The industry hopper dredges could also be released to work in other USACE Districts depending on channel conditions along the Mississippi River Ship Channel. 




PADRE ISLAND: The PADRE ISLAND (Great Lakes Dredge & Dock)continues working on assignment from Mile 7.0 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 5.0 BHP. The dredge began working on this working under Southwest Pass & Calcasieu Hopper Dredge Contract #11-2023 on May 5, 2024. 


GLENN EDWARDS: The GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) continues dredging on assignment in SWP from Mile 1.0 Below Head of Passes (BHP) to Mile 6.0 BHP. The USACE awarded the first of the two annual early award 2023/2024 hopper dredge contracts, Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Contract #2-2023 to Manson Construction for the large hopper dredge (GLENN EDWARDS.). The industry hopper dredge began work in SWP under this contract on March 4, 2024. 




WHEELER: The USACE hopper dredge WHEELER is scheduled to conduct Readiness Exercise #4-2024 in SWP from May 14 to May 27 (2024). The WHEELER completed Readiness Exercise #3-2024 in SWP from April 16 to April 29 (2024). The WHEELER is expected to complete a total of five Readiness Exercises in Fiscal Year 2024. 



(UNCHANGED SINCE July 7, 2023)   


The updated maximum draft recommendation for each Pilot Association as adjusted due to the Mississippi River Ship Channel Deepening is detailed below:


Associated Branch Pilots of the Port of New Orleans (Bar Pilots): The Bar Pilots returned their maximum draft recommendation to 50 feet (freshwater) on July 6, 2023. The Bar Pilots originally increased their maximum draft recommendation to 50 feet (freshwater) on March 16, 2022, prior to the temporary reduction to 49 feet from May 22 to July 6 (2023).   


Crescent River Port Pilots Association (CRPPA): The CPPRA raised their maximum draft recommendation to 50 feet (freshwater) in coordination with the Bar Pilots on July 7, 2023, after also temporarily reducing their maximum draft to 49 feet (freshwater).


New Orleans Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association (NOBRA): The NOBRA returned their maximum draft recommendation to 50 feet (freshwater) from Mile 175 AHP to Mile 88 AHP on July 7, 2023. The maximum draft recommendation from Mile 175 to 180 remains 47 feet and from Mile 180 to Mile 233.8 it remains 45 feet.


Associated Federal Pilots and Docking Masters of Louisiana (Federal Pilots): The Federal Pilots increased their maximum draft recommendations to the following to match the draft adjustment to 50 feet by the other Pilot Associations.  


  1. 50 feet from Sea Buoy to Mile 175 AHP
  2. 45 feet Mile 175 AHP to 232.4 AHP 
  3. 40 feet Mile 232.4 AHP to 233.8 AHP


The controlling maximum freshwater draft for the MRSC from Mile 175 AHP (Smoke Bend) to the Southwest Pass Sea Buoy is 50 feet (freshwater) remains unadjusted since July 7, 2023.  


Mississippi River Stages and Forecast Updates:


The Carrollton Gage (New Orleans) reading at 1300 hours today was 10.48 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.03 feet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gage issued today forecasts stages will remain steady near 10.4 feet for the 6 days and then resume a quick rise predicted to crest at 11.7 feet on May 25 before beginning a slow fall to 9.4 feet on June 4 (2024). 


The Baton Rouge Gage reading at 1300 hours was 29.32 feet with a 24-hour change – 0.18 feet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Baton Rouge Gauge issued today forecasts stages will continue a rise forecast to crest at 33.5 feet on May 23 and to then begin a slow fall to 26.3 feet on June 4 (2024).