Notice Number: MSIB: 16-22


  1. Despite recent dredging of Stouts Pass at MM 113 to MM 117 on the Atchafalaya River, current Army Corps of Engineers hydrographic surveys revealed extensive shoaling continues to create challenging width and depth channel conditions. MM 115.5-117, in particular, pose significant navigation challenges. In addition, hydrographic surveys revealed active underwater pipelines that cross Little Island Pass at an unknown depth posing a potential hazard to navigation and the environment. Therefore, Little Island Pass, Middle Island Pass, and Riverside Pass are closed to commercial vessel traffic. The following Captain of the Port (COTP) restrictions remain in effect from Atchafalaya River Mile Marker 113 to Mile Marker 117:
    • All Mariners must check in with VTS Berwick Bay at MM 110 on the Atchafalaya River.
    • Vessels shall not meet or overtake between these mile markers.
    • All tows shall have a draft no greater than 10 feet.
    • All tows shall have a maximum length of 600 feet and maximum width of 70 feet.
    • Any tows with a length greater than 400 feet are strongly advised to utilize an assist vessel while transiting this area.
    • Vessels are highly recommended to use the alternate Port Allen route.
  1. Marine Safety Information Bulletin 015-22 is cancelled and superseded by this alert.
  2. The Coast Guard sets advisories based on the information obtained from the hydrographic surveys conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers. These surveys should be considered during voyage planning and can be found here: under Missions > Navigation > Channel Surveys
  3. Be advised that hydrographic surveys show water depths at the time of the survey and shoaling in this area changes daily.  In addition, mariners should not rely on buoy locations to mark shoaled areas.  All Mariners transiting through Morgan City should report any hazards to navigation to Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service Berwick Bay at (985) 380-5370.
  4. Conducting proper navigation assessments, or voyage planning, is critical for mariners to be aware of known hazards to be encountered during a voyage.  Vessels found to be in violation of any federal law or regulation may subject the owner/operator to civil penalties.  Credentialed mariners that violate this COTP navigation restriction or federal law or regulation may be subject to Suspension and Revocation action.
  5. To access all MSIBs in the COTP Houma Zone visit:

W. Russell
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Captain of the Port
Houma, Louisiana