U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jul 15, 2024

§ 207.640 - Sacramento Deep Water Ship Channel Barge Lock and Approach Canals; use, administration, and navigation.

(a) Sacramento Deep Water Ship Channel Barge Lock and Approach Canals; use, administration and navigation—(1) General. The lock, its approach channels and all its appurtenances, including the highway and railroad bridge, shall be under the jurisdiction of the District Engineer, U.S. Army Engineer District, Sacramento, Federal and Courts Building, 650 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, California. His designated representative at the locality shall be the lockmaster, who will be in immediate charge of movement and position of all water traffic while at or near the locks and in the barge canals.

(2) Immediate control. The lockmaster shall be charged with the immediate control and management of the lock, bridge, and of the area set aside as the lock area, including the entrance channels. He shall see that all laws, rules and regulations for the use of the lock, bridge and the lock area are duly complied with, to which end he is authorized to give all necessary orders and directions in accordance therewith, both to employees of the Government and to any and every person within the Government lock area. Crews shall render such assistance in the lockage of their craft as may be required by the lockmaster.

(3) Signals—(i) Sound. All craft desiring lockage shall signal by two long blasts followed by two short blasts of the whistle, delivered at a distance of one-half mile from the lock. When the lock is ready for entrance, notice will be given by one long blast from the control house. Permission to leave the lock will be one short blast given by the lockmaster.

(ii) Visual lock traffic signals. Visual signals are located outside of each lock gate on the north guide wall, and will be used in conjunction with sound signals. When the red light is flashing, lock cannot be made ready for entrance immediately, vessel must stand clear. When the amber light is flashing, lock is being made ready, prepare for lockage. When the green light is flashing, lock is ready for entrance, the vessel may proceed with caution into the lock.

(iii) Visual river traffic signals. Visual signals are located on the south bank of the barge canal at the confluence with the Sacramento River and also 1,950 feet upstream on the west bank of the Sacramento River. When the red light is on, a river-bound vessel of a size making passing in the canal hazardous is in the lock or canal. Approaching vessel shall stand clear of canal to permit out-going vessel to pass. When the amber light is on, a river-bound vessel of a size to permit passing is in the lock or canal. Vessel may enter canal with caution. When the green light is on, vessel may enter canal and proceed under full control.

(iv) Radio. The lock is equipped with two-way radio operating on a frequency of 156.60 mc. The frequency is monitored by the lock personnel. Vessels equipped with two-way radio may communicate with the crew operating the lock but communications or signals so received will only augment and not replace the sound and visual signals.

(4) Permissible dimensions of vessels and tows. The lock chamber has a maximum usable width of 86 feet and length of 600 feet. The sill at the harbor end and the bottom of the lock chamber are −13.0 feet elevation, CofE datum, and usually provides a depth of water ranging from 14.0 feet at LLW to 19.4 feet at HHW, with greater depths during large floods in the delta. The sill at the river end is at −10.0 feet elevation, CofE datum, and usually provides a depth of water ranging from 14.6 feet at LLW to 16.8 feet at HHW, with greater depths when the river is high. The depth of water at any time is indicated by staff gages located on the south wall of the lock, riverward and harborward of each lock gate and at the center of the lock. A vessel must not attempt to enter the lock if its beam or length is greater than indicated above, or if its draft exceeds the depth of water indicated by the gages, with due allowance for clearance.

(5) Precedence at lock. Ordinarily, craft will be locked through in order of arrival; however, depending upon whether the lock is full or empty, this precedence may be modified at the discretion of the lockmaster if boats are approaching from the opposite direction and are within reasonable distance of the lock at the time of the approach by the first boat. When several craft are to pass, precedence shall be given as follows:

First: Government owned or controlled craft. Second: Commercial craft. Third: Passenger boats. Fourth: Small vessels and pleasure boats.

(6) Loss of turn. Boats that fail to enter the lock with reasonable promptness, after being authorized to do so, shall lose their turn.

(7) Multiple lockage. The lockmaster shall decide whether one or more vessels may be locked through at the same time.

(8) Speed. Vessels shall not be raced or crowded alongside another in the barge canals. When entering the barge canals and lock, speed shall be reduced to a minimum consistent with safe navigation. As a general rule, when a number of vessels are entering the lock, the following vessel shall remain at least 200 feet astern of the vessel ahead. No overtaking, except when directed by lockmaster, will be permitted.

(9) Lockage of small boats—(i) General. The lockage of pleasure boats, skiffs, fishing boats and other small craft will be coordinated with the lockage of commercial craft. If no commercial craft are scheduled to be locked through within a reasonable time, not to exceed one hour after the arrival of the small craft at the lock, separate lockage will be made for such small craft.

(ii) Signals. Small boats desiring to use the lock will sound two long blasts followed by two short blasts of the horn. When the lock is ready for entrance, the lockmaster will notify the small boat by one long blast of the horn; or through the public address system. Permission to leave the lock will be given by the lockmaster by one short blast of the horn.

(10) Mooring in lock. All boats, when in the lock, shall be moored to the fastenings provided for that purpose, by bow and stern lines and other spring lines as may be necessary, and the lines shall not be let go until the signal is given by the lockmaster for the craft to leave the lock.

(11) Waiting for lockage. The mooring or anchoring of boats or other craft in the approaches to the lock, where such mooring will interfere with navigation of the lock is prohibited. All boats, barge tows and other craft to be passed through the lock shall lie in designated waiting areas in such manner as not to interfere with the navigation of the lock or its approaches, and, if a barge tow is to be divided into sections for locking, the sections shall be brought into the lock as directed by the lockmaster. After passing through the lock, the sections shall be reassembled at such a distance from the entrance as not to obstruct or interfere with navigation of the lock or its approaches.

(12) Delay in lock. Boats or barges must not obstruct navigation by unnecessary delays in entering or leaving the lock.

(13) Damage to lock or other structures. The regulations contained in this paragraph shall not relieve the owners and operators of vessels from liability for any damage by their operations to the lock or other structures. They must use great care not to strike any part of the lock, any gate or appurtenance thereto, or machinery for operating the gates, or the walls protecting the banks of the approach canals. All boats with metal nosings or projecting irons, or rough surfaces that would be liable to damage the gates or lock walls, will not be permitted to enter the lock unless provided with suitable buffers and fenders.

(14) Tows. Tows shall be made up outside the canal entrance. All vessels engaged in towing other vessels not equipped with a rudder shall use two tow lines or a bridge and one tow line. If the vessel in tow is equipped with a rudder, one tow line may be used. All tow lines or hawsers must be hauled as short as practicable for safe handling of tows.

(15) Crew to move craft. The pilots in charge of tows and persons in charge of other craft must provide a sufficient number of men to handle lines in mooring craft and to move barges and other craft into and out of the lock easily and promptly.

(16) Handling valves, gates, bridges and machinery. No person, unless authorized by the lockmaster shall open or close any bridge, gate, valve or operate any machinery in connection with the lock; but the lockmaster may, under emergency conditions, call for assistance from the master of any boat using the lock, should such aid be necessary, and when rendering such assistance, the man so employed shall be strictly under the orders of the lockmaster.

(17) Landing of freight. No one shall land freight or baggage on or over the walls of the lock so as in any way to delay or interfere with navigation or the operation of the lock.

(18) Refuse in lock. No material of any kind shall be thrown or discharged into the lock, and no material of any kind shall be deposited into the lock area.

(19) [Reserved]

(20) Persistent violation of regulations. If the owner or pilot of any boat persistently violates the regulations of this paragraph after due notice of the same, lockage may be refused by the lockmaster at the time of the violation or subsequent thereto, as required in the interest of public safety or protection of Government property.

(21) Other laws and regulations. In all other respects, the existing Federal laws, rules and regulations affecting navigable waters of the United States will govern in the use, administration and navigation of the ship channel, lock and its approaches.

[26 FR 11201, Nov. 28, 1961, as amended at 27 FR 4737, May 18, 1962; 27 FR 10484, Oct. 27, 1962; 28 FR 8461, Aug. 17, 1963; 31 FR 6590, May 3, 1966; 33 FR 14166, Sept. 19, 1968; 42 FR 17120, Mar. 31, 1977; 42 FR 57962, Nov. 7, 1977; 48 FR 6708, Feb. 15, 1983; 50 FR 42696, Oct. 22, 1985; 51 FR 25198, July 11, 1986; 56 FR 13765, Apr. 4, 1991]