Notice to Navigators: Illinois River

Industry Self-Help at LaGrange Lock


The ice is packing-in and gorging at Grape Island and Briggs Landing once again – causing the Beardstown gauge to rise and the LaGrange gauge to fall.  When this happened over the weekend, the wickets at LaGrange were at the risk of being breached due to the ice buildup and we only locked 4 boats in 48 hours.  The IRCA Locking Committee just met with USACE and USCG and the following request for industry self-help is urgent to prevent further delays:


  • Vessels are currently needed to help bust ice at Grape Island and Briggs Landing
  • N/B vessels departing the lock will likely need assistance to get above Briggs Landing – please have a helper boat identified prior to departing the lock n/b
  • Vessels in queue must monitor radios at all times
  • When safely possible, vessels should remain ready and willing to respond to calls for assistance from LaGrange Lock and/or nearby vessels


Currently, we have 24 vessels in queue at LaGrange.  By keeping the channel flowing at Briggs Landing and Grape Island, and by assisting each other in and out of LaGrange, we’ll expedite clearing the queue at LaGrange which will be beneficial to all.


Be safe,



Jeremy “Shot” Tardy
Western Rivers Boat Management, Inc.
Office:  270.444.4772
Mobile:  270.933.8056