Locks and Dams

Vicksburg District Begins Drawdown Of Thatcher Lock And Dam

The Vicksburg Engineer District began a pool drawdown at Thatcher Lock and Dam on November 19 to make repairs to the seal of the hinge crest gate.

The pool at Thatcher Lock and Dam was expected to fall as much as 6 inches per day, from 77 to 72 feet. The Vicksburg District is working with city of Camden, Ark., personnel to create a slower drawdown from 73 to 72 feet to closely monitor the city’s water supply intake pipes. It is possible that the drawdown might have to continue to 71 feet if the inspection cannot be completed at 72 feet, the district said.

Thatcher is the northernmost lock and dam on the Ouachita River.  Completed and put in operation in 1984, Thatcher Lock and Dam creates a navigable pool all the way to Camden, a distance of 52 river miles. 

The inspection of the structure and installation of the poiree needle system will begin by December 3 with completion estimated on December 10. A repair plan will be developed once inspections are complete, and those repairs will begin immediately. The pool will be raised behind the poiree needle system to 74 feet until all repairs are complete.

The Vicksburg District has been in communication with the Ouachita River Valley Association, city of Camden, and Union County Water Conservation Board as well as the Arkansas Game and Fish and Arkansas Natural Resource commissions.

The public is encouraged to contact local authorities and management officials for updates about conditions in their area and should be cautious while boating upstream of the structure as underwater debris (i.e. trees, pipes, stumps) could become exposed as the pool level falls and become a boating hazard. 

The public can find pool levels for Thatcher Lock and Dam at https://go.usa.gov/xMJhU.