Locking Through the Okeechobee Waterway

In making use of the Okeechobee Waterway to cross the state from one coast to the other, locks are needed to raise the mariner from sea level to the level of Lake Okeechobee and once past the lake to lower them back down to sea level on the other side.

There are (5) locks on the Okeechobee Waterway that accomplish this and are of interest to the cruiser or passagemaker looking to make the inside trip across Florida. From east to west they are the St Lucie Lock, the Port Mayaca Lock, the Moore Haven Lock, the Ortona Lock, and the W. P. Franklin Lock.


The St. Lucie, Moore Haven, and Ortona Locks have a length of 250’ and a width of 50’ and a depth over the sills of 10’. The (2) remaining locks, the Port Mayaca and the W.P. Franklin have a length of 400’ and a width of 56’. The Port Mayaca Lock has a depth over the sills of 16’, while the W.P. Franklin Lock has 14’ over the sills.

Okeechobee Waterway Locks

A complete listing of the Okeechobee locks with distances, lifts, and estimated transit times can be viewed below. This file is also available for download for your personal and private use and contains the tables in both NM and SM both eastbound and westbound.

Okeechobee Waterway Locks - Westbound

* Estimated Transit Time Includes 00:20 for lockage time and presumes no bridge delays.
** Via Lake Okeechobee Route #1.
Lock (SM) Marker Lift Next Lock Distance (NM) * Est. Transit Time @ 10 Kts VHF Telephone
AICW Jct. 0.0 --- St. Lucie 13.1 01:19 --- ---
St. Lucie 15.1 14.5’Up Arrow Port Mayaca 21.1 02:27 13 772-287-2665
Port Mayaca 39.0 1.0’Up Arrow Moore Haven ** 33.9 03:43 13 561-924-2858
Moore Haven 78.0 1.5’Down Arrow Ortona 13.5 01:41 13 863-946-0414
Ortona 93.5 8.0’Down Arrow W.P. Franklin 24.2 02:45 13 863-675-0616
W.P. Franklin 121.4 2.5’Down Arrow GICW 26.2 02:57 13 239-694-5451
GICW Jct. 148.9 --- --- --- --- --- ---

Okeechobee Waterway Locks - Eastbound

* Estimated Transit Time Includes 00:20 for lockage time and presumes no bridge delays.
** Via Lake Okeechobee Route #1.
Lock (SM) Marker Lift Next Lock Distance (NM) * Est. Transit Time @ 10 Kts VHF Telephone
GICW Jct. 148.9 --- W.P. Franklin 26.2 02:57 --- ---
W.P. Franklin 121.4 2.5’Up Arrow Ortona 24.2 02:45 13 239-694-5451
Ortona 93.5 8.0’Up Arrow Moore Haven 13.5 01:41 13 863-675-0616
Moore Haven 78.0 1.5’Up Arrow Port Mayaca ** 33.9 03:43 13 863-946-0414
Port Mayaca 39.0 1.0’Down Arrow St. Lucie 21.1 02:24 13 561-924-2858
St. Lucie 15.1 14.5’Down Arrow AICW 13.1 01:39 13 772-287-2665
AICW Jct. 0.0 --- --- --- --- --- ---

Okeechobee Waterway Locks - Download

Normal lock operating hours are 0700 to 1700 daily. Important Note: Water levels on Lake Okeechobee directly impact the operation of all locks on the waterway. High water levels may require all locks to be left open to assist in keeping the lake below flood stage. While low water levels can restrict the timing of lock operations at the St. Lucie and W.P. Franklin locks. The prudent mariner will check current lake levels during the planning of their passage through the waterway.

Okeechobee Low Water Restrictions

Below is a list of the current low water restrictions for the Okeechobee Waterway, valid as of 01 April 2015. When used with the current water level in Lake Okeechobee it can be used to determine if any restrictions are in effect. This file is available for download for your personal and private use.

OWW - Low Water Lock Restrictions
Water Level Restriction St. Lucie Lock W. P. Franklin Lock
> 12.5’ On Demand 0700 - 1700 0700 - 1700
< 12.5’ Every 2 Hours 0700, 0900, 1100, 1300, 1500, & 1630 0700, 0900, 1100, 1300, 1500, & 1630
< 12.0’ 4 Lockage's per day. 0700, 1000, 1300, & 1630 0700, 1000, 1300, & 1630
< 11.5’ 3 Lockage’s per day. 0700, 1200, & 1630 0700, 1200, & 1630
< 11.0’ 2 Lockage’s per day. 0700 & 1630 0700 & 1630

Okeechobee Low Water Lock Restrictions - Download

You may view the official USACE Navigation Notice on Okeechobee Waterway Lock Restrictions due to reduced water levels here. USACE Official Notice

Communicating with the Okeechobee Locks

Communicating with lockmaster’s is done on VHF Channel 13. While we have listed the phone numbers for each lock, these should be used only as a last resort. Your VHF radio is your primary means of communications.

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