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Okeechobee Waterway Boating Guide

Click here for tips on navigating the Waterway

General Info

Lake Okeechobee is the second largest fresh water lake in the US. The lake covers over 730 square miles and is connected to both of Florida's coasts via the man made Okeechobee Waterway. The Lake is 33 miles wide from north to south, and 30 miles wide from east to west. 

The Okeechobee Waterway was built in 1937 by the Army Corps of Engineers after two floods caused by hurricanes destroyed the areas surrounding the lake. A series of 5 locks helps boats through the 152 mile long waterway. The canal depth of the waterway is approx. 8 feet, and the width of the canal varies from 80 to 100 feet.

Many cruisers access the waterway from the ICW through Stuart, shortening their trip to the west coast of Florida and bypassing the Florida Keys.

Fishing and Camping are among the most popular activities on the Lake. Largemouth bass, blue gill, Okeechobee catfish, and black crappie are some of the species of fish that can be found in the Lake. Birds, beautiful scenery and the water all combine to make this a nature lover's paradise, as well as a mecca for boaters.


Operating hours are from 6 am to 9:30 pm daily, unless otherwise noted in Coast Guard published "Notice to Mariners." Hail locks on Channel 13.

There are five locks on the waterway  (from east to west):

St. Lucie Lock            50 x 250 feet           772-287-2665

Port Mayaca Lock     56 x 400 feet            561-924-2858

Moore Haven Lock    50 x 250 feet          863-946-0414

Ortona Lock                50 x 250 feet l         863-675-0616

W.P. Franklin Lock     56 x 400 feet          239-694-5451

For current information on water depths,
lockages and navigational routes, contact:

Army Corps of Engineers at 904-232-3187 (Jacksonville District Office)

South Florida Operations Office, Clewiston  at (863)983-8101

Okeechobee Field Office  at (863)462-5260


Atlantic Intracoastal to St. Lucie Lock          15.1 miles

St. Lucie Lock to Port Mayaca Lock            23.7 miles

Port Mayaca Lock to Moore Haven Lock

    Via open lake, route 1                             39.0 miles

    Via rim canal, route 2                              50.0 miles

Moore Haven Lock to Ortona Lock                15.5 miles

Ortona Lock to W.P. Franklin Lock               27.9 miles

W.P. Franklin Lock to Gulf Intracoastal         33.2 miles

Marinas on the Okeechobee Waterway

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Indiantown Marina, 16300 SW Famel Ave., on the Okeechobee Waterway, Indiantown.
Pahokee Marine Campground & Recreation Area, 190 N Lake Avenue Pahokee. 561-924-7832
Everglades Adventures RV & Sailing Resort, 561-924-7832
Belle Glade, SR 717, Torry Island, on Lake Okeechobee.
Roland Martin's Marina, 863-983-3151
Jolly Roger Marina, 863-983-7402
Angler's Marina, 863-983-2128
Moore Haven City Docks, 863-946-0711
Belle Hatchee Marina, 121 Riverbend Dr., & Hwy 29 N, LaBelle. 863-675-4371
Port Labelle Marina 863-675-2261
LaBelle City Dock 863-675-2872 (Rings at City Hall).
Centennial Harbor Marina, 2044 West First St., Fort Myers, FL. 33901 239-461-0775
Rialto Harbor Docks, between Alva Bridge and Franklin Lock. 239-728-3036
Owl Creek Boat Works, between Franklin Lock and Wilson Pigott Bridge. 239-543-2100
Proseperity Pointe Marina, 1016 N. Tamiami Trl., N. Ft. Myers, FL 239-995-2155
Sweetwater Landing, 16991 SR 31, Fort Myers, FL 33905 239-690-2003
Fort Myers Yacht Basin, 239-334-8271

Marinatown Marina, 239-997-2767

Manatee World, Ft. Myers, FL 239-694-4042
Fort Myers Yacht, Ft. Myers, FL 239-332-7800
Deep Lagoon Boat Club, Ft. Myers, FL. 239-454-2629
Landings Marina, Ft. Myers, FL 239-481-7181
Caloosa Isle Marina, 239-656-1700
Paradise Yacht Club at the Estuary, 239-997-1603
Best Western Ft. Myers Waterfront, 239-997-5511
Tarpon Point Marina 239-549-4900
Cape Coral Yacht Basin, 239-574-0809

Boat Ramps

W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam (North)   (239) 694-8770
W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam (South)  239-694-5451
W.P. Franklin Visitor Center  239-694-2582
Alva Access Area, 17200 Josephine St. on the Caloosahatchee River, Alva.  
Alva Community Park, 21471 N. River Rd., Alva.  
Bob Mason or Labelle Lion's Club Park, SR 78 & SR 29, Caloosahatchee River, LaBelle.  
Belle Hatchee Marina, 121 Riverbend Dr., & Hwy 29 N, LaBelle.  
Port Labelle Marina  
Ortona Lock & Dam (North), off SR 80 & SR 78 on the Caloosahatchee River, Ortona. 863-675-0616
Moore Haven Recreational Village, 102 Yacht Club Way, Moore Haven.  
Sportsmans Village, off SR 78 on Lake Okeechobee, Moore Haven.   
Fisheating Creek  
Harney Pond Canal  
Bare Beach  
Indian Prairie Canal  
C. Scott Driver Jr.  
Taylor Creek  
Nubbin Slough  
Henry Creek  
Chancy Bay  
Port Mayaca Lock & Dam, SR 76 & US 441, on Lake Okeechobee, Port Mayaca.   561-924-2858
Canal Point  
Pahokee Marine Campground & Recreation Area, 190 N Lake Avenue
Belle Glade Marina & Campsites, SR 717, Torry Island, on Lake Okeechobee.  
South Bay Access Area, US 27 and Rim Canal, on Lake Okeechobee, South Bay.  
John Stretch Park, 47225 US 27 & SR 80 at Lake Okeechobee, Lake Harbor.  
Clewiston Park, Francisco St. & Lake Okeechobee Rd., on Lake Okeechobee, Clewiston.  
Liberty Point  
Alvin Ward Sr. Memorial Park, US 27 at Daniels Rd., Moore Haven.  
Indiantown Marina, 16300 SW Famel Ave., on the Okeechobee Waterway, Indiantown. 772-597-2455, FAX: 772-597-2451
St. Lucie Lock & Dam, off SR 76A, on the St. Lucie Canal, SW of Palm City.   772-287-2665
St. Lucie Visitor Center   772-219-4575
Phipps Martin County Park, 2175 SWLocks Rd. at Gregor Way.  

Fuel Docks
G - Gas / D -Diesel / B - Both

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Caloosa Isle Marina - G 239-656-1700
Port La Belle - B 863-675-2261
Cape Coral Yacht Basin - B 239-574-0809
Prosperity Pointe Marina - B 239-995-2155
Everglades Adventures RV & Sailing Resort - B 561-924-7832
Ft. Myers Yacht Basin - B 239-334-8271
Indiantown Marina - B 772-597-2455
Marina RV Resort - B 863-946-2255
Port LaBelle - B 863-675-2261
Roland Martin's Marina - B 863-983-3151
Slim's Fish Camp - G 561-996-3844
Sweetwater Landing 239-690-2003
Tarpon Point Marina 239-549-4900
The Landings 239-481-7181

Bridges on the Okeechobee Waterway
There are many closed RR bridges across the waterway. Hail these on channel 9 to open. After hours openings require three or four hours notice. There are several fixed bridges with a maximum clearance of 53 to 55 feet, however, there is one lift bridge which has a maximum opening of 49 ft which is the limiting height for masts.

Bridge infomation is not for navigation and should not take the place of a proper chart and local knowledge. We are not responsible for incorrect or out of date information.

Bridges listed from East to West
Mile 17: SR 717 55' fixed bridge
Mile 28.2: SR 710 54' fixed bridge
Mile 28.2: CSX RR Bridge. CH 9. Opens on demand, 6AM - 10PM. Call 239-656-7800 before 5 pm or 239-656-7838 for special help. CSX Railroad - 813-664-6240
US 98 & 441 53' fixed bridge
Mile 37: FEC Liift Bridge, opens on demand, maximum open clearance of 49' when lake is at normal level of 14.5'.
Torry Island Bridge: SR 71 Mon - Thurs. opens on demand 7AM - 6PM. Closed at night. Fri-Sun opens 7AM - 7PM.
Moore Haven SCF RR Bridge Opens on demand from 6AM - 10PM
Mile 78.4: US 27 55' bridge  
LaBelle Bridge, SR 29 Closed 28'. Opens on demand 6AM - 10PM, except between 7-9AM and 4-6PM Mon-Fri.
Mile 108: Fort Denaud Bridge Closed 6'. Opens on demand 6AM - 10PM.
Mile 116: Alva Bridge Closed 21' Opens on demand 6AM - 10PM.
Mile 126.3: Wison Pigott Bridge SR 31 Closed 27'. Opens on demand 6AM - 10PM.
Mile 129 Beautiful Island Seminole Gulf RR Bridge, open unless train approaching.
Mile 130 Fixed Bridge I-75  
Mile 134.5 Edison Memorial Bridge 55' fixed bridge
Mile 135: Caloosahatchee Bridge US 41. 55' fixed bridge
Mile 138.5: Mid Point Bridge 55' fixed bridge
Mile 142: Cape Coral 55' fixed bridge

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