Hidden Dangers In Columbia River

Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Officials at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advise recreational boaters and commercial mariners that recent high-water levels may be concealing some pile dikes on the Columbia River. 

Pile dikes are frequently just below the surface during high water events and can cause serious damage to vessels attempting to transit over them. 

The wooden structures, which are also called wing dams, extend from the shore into the river. The structures have a variety of uses ranging from protecting the shore to managing the flow of the navigation channel. More information and photos of pile dikes can be found on the Corps' website at www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/Pile-dikes/.

Commercial and recreational mariners should review the Corps' channel conditions maps regularly for the locations of pile dikes and other obstacles. The maps are located at www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/surveys.aspx.


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