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Oswego, N. Y., November 11, 1887. GENERAL: In compliance with General Orders No. 7, current series, Headquarters Corps of Engineers, I have the honor to report the follow. ing structures interfering with free navigation of the harbors under my charge:

AT OSWEGO, NEW YORK. During the year 1883 the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, or other parties, constructed, in the new harbor formed by the west breakwater, a pier carrying a cal trestle. The pier and trestle is about 1,000 feet in length, extending to within 407 feet of the west break water, and located with its outer end in about 174 feet of water at the lowest stage of the lake. The right to so occupy the har. bor was questioned by the United States, and the subject was placed in the hands of the United States district attorney. This office has no further record of action in the matter. It has been frequently reported to me by tag masters that tows easily handled in the broad spaces east and west of the coal trestle gave difficulty in passing around it.

AT CHARLOTTE, NEW YORK. A railroad draw-bridge over the Genesee River, built by authority of Congress, now owned and used by the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburgh Railroad, having one span of 130 feet in deep water and one of 130 feet in shallow water, offers, as usually managed during the season of navigation, as little obstruction to commerce as is consistent with its use. At about the opening of the present navigation season complaints were made to this office of difficulty and delay in consequence of refusal to open the draw.

No other structure in any degree interfering with free navigation of the barbors under my charge is known to me. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CARL F. PALFREY, The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. A. Captain of Engineers.



San Francisco, Cal., June 15, 1887. SIR: The following report is respectfully submitted in regard to Oakland Harbor, the only case coming within the provisions of General Orders No. 7, Headquarters Corps of Engineers, June 2, 1887:

There are two bridges over the channel of Oakland Harbor, neither of which at present can be regarded as an interference with free and safe navigation. It is altogether probable, however, that at a future date, when the harbor improvements shall bave been considerably advanced, both bridges will be an interference with navigation, which may then be obviated by a sufficient increase of space in the draws.

The Webster Street Bridge, bearing a highway and a railroad, has an opening of draw 82 feet in the clear. The Alice Screet Bridge has a draw opening of 79 feet. The depth in channel above these bridges admits now only vessels of light draught, which have no difficulty in passing through the draws. When the time shall arrive for passage of large vessels the openings will be found insufficient, and will need to be increased to 150 feet, more or less.

The Alice Street Bridge is used for rail traffic solely. Both bridges were built within the past seventeen years, the Alice Street Bridge bearing a date several years later than the Webster Street Bridge.

The bridges are of wood, and are not costly structures. The draw of the Webster Street Bridge is, however, of iron or steel. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Corps of Engineers. The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. A.




San Francisco, Cal., August 26, 1887. SIR: In accordance with instructions contained in General Orders No. 7, current series, from Headquarters Corps of Engineers, regarding obstructions in navigable waters, I have the bonor to transmit herewith a map of a portion of San Diego Harbor, showing wharves constructed along that front and also proposed constructions.

The increase in the commerce of this harbor has caused a demand for additional wharfage facilities, in consequence of which an extensive wharf has been erected by Babcock & Story, and others are projected that will tend to obstruct the free and safe navigation of the harbor. The sketch herewith gives the location of the wharves now built, and, in addition to those marked as projected, others are in contemplation at various points along the city front.

The wbarves and slips are built in such a manner as to interfere with the free flow of the water, and extend out to a depth greatly in excess of that actually required in the interests of commerce and what can be carried over the bar.

Suit was recently brought in a justice's court against Babcock & Story, under a State law, for obstructing navigation, which resulted in a verdict against them and a fine of $100 imposed. This was paid, but no further steps taken to prevent any extension or addition to the structure. It is understood that the wharf will be extended as indicated on the map.

It is desirable that steps be taken to limit the length of the structures and to prescribe the manner in which they shall be built, to the end that the navigation of the harbor may not be obstructed.

I have no survey of this locality that would enable me to report what the actual effect of the wharves already constructed has been, but it is desirable in the interest of navigation that these surveys be made and repeated from time to time to ascertain the changes that take place attributable to these and other constructions. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major of Engineers. The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. A.



Portland, Oregon, July 20, 1887. Sir: I bave the bonor to report that the only structures in the engineer district with which I am connected, now erected or in the process of erection, which do or will interfere with free and safe navigation are those described in Captain Powell's report on the subject, dated January 7, 1887.

The log-boom at Coquille City, Oregon, has been extended by the ad. dition of a “catch-boom," and connected with this, at times, is a string of boom-sticks stretching right across the river. The master of the river steamer Little Annie complains, in writing, of this boom, saying that he carries the United States mail, and that he has been stopped as much as two hours trying to get by the boom.

The superintendent of the Government work states that cutting of the left bank opposite the boom is recent. Complaint is also made that the boom about 2 miles above Parkersburgh, on the Coquille River, bas been extended out into the channel so as to make it difficult for boats to pass.

In this connection it may be well to call attention to the fact that trees have been felled directly into the Coquille River by settlers along its banks, and that, too, quite recently. This practice is to be regretted, as it directly tends to destroy existing channels, and thus to interfere with the free and safe navigation of the river. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain of Engineers. The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U.S. A.



Portland, Oregon, August 22, 1887. SIR: I have the honor to make the following report concerning certain structures, now erected or in process of erection, which interfere, or will interfere, with free and safe navigation.

The salmon pound-nets near the mouth of the Columbia River and fish-wheels next below the Cascades Canal, described, with statements of their effect on navigation, in my report of January 7, 1887, and pub. lished in Senate Ex. Doc. 105, Forty-ninth Congress, first session, are in more extensive use than formerly. It is understood that there are over a hundred pounds in Baker's Bay; they occupy the greater part of that water, leaving only a comparatively narrow passage-way for vessels. A special report of the effect of these structures on the bay channel leading to Fort Canby was submitted January 4, 1887, and a draft of proposed regulations for the location of these and similar structures was prepared in accordance with instructions and forwarded March 10, 1887.

Besides interfering with free and safe navigation, the pounds to some degree cause a shoaling; they are, in effect, permeable dikes, which check the current and cause more or less of a fill; they contract the water-way and deflect the current. Wherever the channel is good enough this contraction and deflection are unnecessary and apt to be injurious to navigation. On the other hand, where the channel is not good, the pounds, which are a strong kind of fish-trap, may be arranged to improve it, and at such places be on the whole a benefit to navigation. The location of these and similar structures, consequently, ought to be regulated for the protection and amelioration of navigable waters, and preferably by the War Department, which is charged with the

execution and maintenance of works for the objects named, and which has agents in direct supervision of such works.

No authority is exercised or delegated by Oregon or Washington Territory in locating or limiting fish-pounds, traps, or wheels. Existing laws concern size of openings and times of use of traps. Structures named are built as a right of the land-owners, the same as a public wharf or landing pier would be.

The waters are public property. Bridges and the location of wharves generally are regulated, but they are for use of the public, while fish. traps, of which fish-pounds are one kind, and fish-wheels are wholly private.

Some of the Cascades fish-wheels are fixed structures of cribs and rough stone walls; others are floating. They are generally located on the low sharp points which help to form the rapids, and all of them have runs, or chutes, and sometimes wings, partly made by building walls of riprap in the river bed.

The fish-wheel structures decrease the river cross-sections, and con. sequently injuriously affect the current at the rapids, adthough not to a large degree. The removal of the fish-trap structure from along the channel shores will be advisable when this part of the river becomes nav. igated, and be necessary when the work of a radical open-river improvement is undertaken, as contemplated by the Cascades Canal project. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain of Engineers. The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. A.


DECEMBER 14, 1886. SIR: I have the honor to report as follows upon the bridge now in course of construction across the Willamette River, Portland, Oregon:


With some minor changes which do not materially affect the main proposition as to whether or not it is an obstruction to navigation, this is the same bridge which gave rise to the extensive discussion to be found in Annual Report Chief of Engineers, 1880, Vol. III, p. 2043; also Senate Ex. Doc. 162, Forty-seventh Congress, first session.

This discussion shows conclusively that the bridge as then projected would be a serious obstruction to navigation,

The pier foundations up to low water were built before the bridge was enjoined, and subsequent events have proved that they alone have practically cut the harbor of Portland in two. The deep-water ship as a rule no longer goes above the line of the piers in place.

LOCATION. Inasmuch as the present location is identical with the one before the United States circuit court, and inasmuch as the court therein held, “Upon the evidence and in the very nature of things there can be no doubt that the bridge wbere and as it is being constructed is a serious obstruction to the navigation of the river," it will not be necessary for me to touch upon the questiou of location.

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CHARACTER OF THE PRESENT BRIDGE. The bridge now in course of construction differs from the one before the United States court in this:

That the draw openings have been increased to 136 feet at the lowwater line. They were 100 feet in the enjoined bridge. The pivot pier remains the same. The other clear spans and abutment spans have been changed and are as follows, commencing from the Morrison street approach:

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The bridge is a combination truss-pivot draw-bridge. The draw and draw-rest piers are of stone, laid on a pile and grillage foundation ircased in cribs filled with riprap stone.

The remaining piers are iron tubes 5 feet in diameter, in pairs, and filled with concrete. These rest on foundations similar to those of whe draw.piers. I have not the dimensions of these cribs, but they are an important factor in any discussion of the effect of the bridge upon the regimen of the river. The clear head way of the bridge is about 8 feet at high water. The character of the bridge trusses is not material to the discussion. It will be seen that the short pile bents running out from the eastern shore have been replaced with trussed spans of considerable dimensions. These rest on tubular piers 5 feet in diameter. The stationary spans are now of sufficient dimensions. The superfluous pier foundations have, I understand, been removed, but I am not informed as to whether sufficiently so or not.

The width of the draw opening measured parallel to the axis of the bridge is, as stated, 136 feet at low water. But the effective draw open- . ing for a passing vessel is a function of the direction of the current through said opening. The chart submitted shows that this direction is continually varying with changes in the river stages. It shows a a current direction through the draw at a stage, when the velocity is very great, that varies from the direction of a line parallel with the piers at an angle of 20 degrees. The effective width of the draw opening is its width at right angles to the current passing through it. Hence the record shows that the effective width of the draw opening became reduced at a season of great commercial activity to 121 and possibly 115 feet, and this when the river velocity was so great as of itself alone to render navigation difficult. No rest piers for the open draw and no sheer booms are provided.

There are submitted herewith:
Two maps of the river, showing soundings and position of piers.
Map showing currents and piers.

A projection showing effective width of draw opening at greatest angle of current.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major of Engineers.

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