Daily Update

New Orleans / Mississippi River

May 30, 2024


Good day,
Please find below Mississippi River daily report for May 30, 2024

A Daily Publication of the New Orleans Board of Trade

07:15 hrs. - 05/30/2024
New information (Except for the Air Draft, River Stages, and Vessel Information) is highlighted in Green

The Controlling Draft for Deep Draft Vessels is 50 Feet.
There are two dredges working in Southwest Pass.

 Pilot Recommendations:
Bar Pilots: Recommended maximum loading draft: 50 Feet.
Crescent Pilots: Recommended maximum loading draft: 50 Feet.
NOBRA Pilots: Recommended loading draft is as follows: 50 feet from New Orleans to Mile 175 ; 47 Feet from Mile 175 - Mile 180; 45 feet from Mile 180 to Mile 234.  Vessels with a draft of 41 feet or greater are required to transit the Baton Rouge Harbor (Mile 180 - Mile 234) during daylight hours only.

NOBRA Pilots - High Interest Vessels
Vessels classified as HIGH Interest by the Coast Guard, A Federal Authority, Any State Authority, or the NOBRA Board of Directors, may require 2 pilots and be limited to daylight transit only along the NOBRA Route.  Any customer of the NOBRA Pilots, docks, berths, moorings, agents, owner, or owner representative may petition the NOBRA Board of Directors to establish or remove the HIV classification.  PER THE NOBRA PILOTS, A VESSEL ONLY REQUIRING A CREW CONTROL SECURITY PLAN (CCSP) BY THE COAST GUARD WILL NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE 2 PILOT RULE.   

Federal Pilots: Recommended maximum loading draft:50 feet from the Sea Buoy to Mile 175; 45 feet from Mile 175 – Mile 232.4; and 40 feet from Mile 232.4 – Mile 233.8.Carrollton Gauge -12 Feet and Rising:
When the Carrollton Gauge reads 12 feet and rising, the following operating requirements will be in effect:
1. For barge fleets located between MM 88 and MM 240 AHP, additional high-water requirements are found in 33 CFR 165.803(m).
2. For all other barge fleets (below MM 88), a Safety Zone in accordance with 33 CFR 165.20 or other Traffic Control Measures may be established to enhance the safety of barge fleets. The 33 CFR 165.803 regulations requiring stricter barge fleeting standards on the LMR may be extended to include all barge fleets in these areas.
3. Downbound vessels planning to transit Algiers Point are prohibited from towing on the hawser without prior permission from Vessel Traffic Service LMR.
The following operating requirements remain in effect:
1. As per 33 CFR 161.65, the Governor Nicholls traffic light, Gretna Harbor traffic light, and Westwego traffic lights are energized. The Governor Nicholls Navigation Light and Gretna Navigation Light are extinguished.
2. As required by 33 CFR 165.810(b)(3), tows are prohibited from transiting VTS special areas by a vessel with insufficient power to permit ready maneuverability and safe handling (unable to maintain an average speed of at least 3 MPH (2.6 knots).
3. For all vessels operating in the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) below Mile Marker (MM) 233.9 Above Head of Passes (AHP), including South Pass and Southwest Pass, additional high-water requirements are found in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 165.810.
4. All Deep Draft vessels to include Ocean-going Towing vessels should have three means to hold position unless moored to shore or a mooring buoy.
5. Downbound Ocean-going Towing vessels towing on the hawser should consult with the appropriate pilot association to determine the need for assist tugs.
6. Towing vessels should review MSIB Vol XIX, Issue 007, “Towing Vessel Safety Advisory During High Water,” issued 15 January 2019 for additional provisions.
This MSIB supersedes Volume XXIV, Issue 024, “Carrollton Gauge at 8 Feet and Rising.”Coast Guard - Hurricane Season 2024

The 2024 Hurricane Season commences June 1st and continues through November 30th. You are strongly encouraged to review your existing hurricane plan or develop a plan if you do not have one. It is extremely important to decide in advance how to minimize your risk and be prepared to evacuate as necessary.The Captain of the Port (COTP) will set hurricane port conditions in accordance with the Sector New Orleans Maritime Hurricane Contingency Port Plan (MHCPP). The MHCPP is available on the Coast Guard Homeport website https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/new-orleans. This plan describes actions the COTP will take in anticipation of a hurricane or tropical weather conditions, outlines the requirements of each port condition, and includes information regarding vessel movements and mooring requirements during anticipated landfall.Starting this hurricane season, COTP New Orleans will transition from paper to electronic forms for all MHCPP hurricane reporting forms. Electronic reporting will expedite our ability to gather and distribute time-sensitive information. These electronic forms are for reporting to the COTP New Orleans only and shall not be used for any party or entity in another COTP Zone. All COTP New Orleans MHCPP hurricane forms can be accessed using the QR Code below or at https://linktr.ee/secnolahurricanereporting. Please provide feedback or issues experienced to SecNOLA-WPM@uscg.mil.

Furthermore, the COTP emphasizes the importance of properly maintaining and securing your equipment during hurricane season. Important hurricane-related information will be provided to the maritime community, as needed, through Marine Safety Information Bulletins (MSIBs), Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNMs), and industry-wide emails.

Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) Annual Hurricane Operation Plans

In accordance with Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 165.838, all floating vessels are prohibited from entering or remaining in the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, Harvey Canal, and Algiers Canal, while the RNA is enforced. However, all facilities that have vessels intending to deviate from the requirements and remain within the RNA during the enforcement period shall develop an Annual Hurricane Operation Plan and provide a copy to the COTP as prescribed within 33 CFR 165.838(e)(1). Guidance outlining the requirements for the Annual Hurricane Operation Plan can be found in enclosure (6) of the Sector New Orleans MHCPP.

Mariner Distress Communications

Mariners are reminded that while operating in the VTS Lower Mississippi River Area, all VTS Users are required under 33 CFR 161.12 (d) to notify the VTS of any marine casualty, pollution incident, defect or discrepancy to an aid to navigation, hazardous condition, improper operation of vessel equipment required by 33 CFR 164, or a hazardous vessel operating condition. A hazardous condition is any condition that may adversely affect the safety of any vessel, bridge, structure, or shore area or the environmental quality of any port, harbor, or navigable waterway of the United States. VTS Users should notify the VTS on VHF Channel 05A, 12, or 67 or via phone at 504-365-2514. Mariners are encouraged to review 33 CFR 161.12 and the VTS LMR user guide to ensure reporting requirements are being met. The VTS LMR User Guide can be found on Homeport at https://homeport.uscg.mil/missions/ports-and-waterways/vessel-traffic-services/vts-lower-mississippi-river/user-guides.

For further information, contact:

Sector New Orleans Command Center (24 hours): (504) 365-2545

Vessel Traffic Service (24 hours): (504) 365-2514, VHF-FM Ch. 05A, 12 or 67

Sector New Orleans Waterways Management: (504) 365-2280 or SecNOLA-WPM@uscg.mil

Sector New Orleans Facilities Compliance Branch: (504) 365-2370 or FacilitiesNOLA@uscg.mil

Lower Mississippi River Bridges Air-Draft Calculations:

​The above clearances were calculated this morning using gauge readings provided by the Army Corps of Engineers. As a guide the pilots require at least an additional 3 feet of clearance for the Vessel's Air Draft.  The individual pilot assigned to the vessel will make the final determination of the vessel's allowable clearance.  Actual clearance should be verified when ordering pilot services. 


To Access the NOAA Ports System for the Lower Mississippi River, go to the following link:

National Information:

Marsec Level – 1


Weather / Marine Zone Forecast

U.S. Corps of Engineers:
Mississippi River - Projection- Based off 48 Hours of Forecast Rainfall

Mississippi River - NOLA Projection-  Based off 16 Days of Forecast Rainfall (Experimental)-


Disclaimer: For quality assurance purposes please note well that while the information contained in this website is regularly vetted for accuracy it is not intended to replace the local knowledge or expertise pertaining to port conditions of our marine operations personnel.

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