High water temporarily closes boat launches on Red River

Natchitoches, Louisiana … The public boat launching ramps (operated by the Red River Waterway Commission) on the Red River were closed beginning March 9, 2015 in Red River, Natchitoches, Grant, Rapides and Avoyelles Parishes. The public boat ramps were closed in Caddo and Bossier Parishes last week. Heavy rainfall, in the Red River valley, has resulted in increased flows and a rise in the river throughout northeast Texas, southwest Arkansas and Louisiana. As a result, the docks, which are a vital part of safely launching a boat into the river, will remain under water over the next few weeks. Launching a boat into the swift current, with floating debris, is not recommended during this period of high water.

The decision to close the public boat launching ramps described above is a safety measure based on procedures developed by the Red River Waterway Commission in conjunction with the Red River Valley Association, local sheriff departments and law enforcement/safety personnel.

The Red River is not closed to boat traffic. Boaters may want to contact the private marinas on the Red River to discuss launch conditions prior to arrival. The recreation areas will remain open, where possible; however, the boat launching lanes will be closed. We regret any inconvenience this may cause to boaters and commercial fishermen wishing to utilize these facilities to access the Red River. The boat launches will be re-opened as soon as conditions permit the public to utilize the ramps safely.  In addition, an advisory to commercial navigation on the Red River will be issued.

For up-to-date information, visit www.redriverwaterway.com or call the Red River Waterway Commission at 318-352-7446 or 1-800-874-9431.