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RIVER PROFILE

The Elbląg River, also known as the Elblążka, starts in Lake Druzno and flows through Żuławy Elbląskie (the Elbląg Fenland) to the Vistula Lagoon. Its length is about 15 km (9.32 mi), although different data may be found in the literature (from 14.5 to 17.7 km / 9-11 mi). These divergences stem from the fact that the river’s outlet into the Lagoon is considered by some to be located at the red entrance beacon and by others at the green entrance beacon of the Vistula Lagoon fairway. The river begins its course in Lake Druzno. The lake itself resembles a canal overgrown with reeds. This makes it hard to be sure if you are already on the river, which is a natural continuation of Druzno.

The watercourse described here is an important artery, connecting the Elbląg Canal and the Iława Lakeland with Elbląg and the Vistula Lagoon. Its tributaries are the Tina and the Fiszewka. The Elblążka is connected with the Nogat (and, further, with the Lagoon) by the Jagiellonian Canal, which begins at the boundary of Elbląg. This canal is the oldest one in Poland, dating back, as its name suggests, to the reign of the Jagiellonian dynasty. The construction of the canal gave Elbląg a connection with the Nogat and Gdańsk, contributing to the economic development of the town and the region. It is worth noting that, below Elbląg, the river is treated as inland maritime waters, which means sailors are required to have special equipment.

KANAL PROFILE

The canal (class II waterway) with length of 5,8 km (2,70  mi), connects the Nogat with the Elblążka near the village of Kępki. It enables navigating between Gdańsk and Elbląg without entering the Vistula Lagoon. It is also the alternative route from Elbląg to the Vistula Lagoon. This makes a difference when the pontoon bridge over the Elblążka in Nowakowo is not opened (during too high or too low water stages).

NAVIGATIONAL INFORMATION - THE ELBLĄG RIVER

DEPTH
At medium water, depth is about 3 m (9.8 ft). This enables navigation to virtually all recreational and sports vessels as well as the development of commercial shipping. Consequently, the stretch between Elbląg and the Vistula Lagoon is characterised by a considerable traffic of watercrafts. Yachts and motor boats sail this way, and so do anglers’ boats, ships of the Harbour Master’s Office or the border guard, pushboats with barges, and – slightly less often – Elbląg–max ships, meaning sea vessels heading for Elbląg through the Baltiysk Strait and the Vistula Lagoon. Vessels of the white fleet (small passenger ships) are also seen, whose “duty free” cruises on the waters of the Kaliningrad Envlave will become increasingly frequent.

POWER LINES AND BRIDGES
The lowest power line is located at the beginning of the route, where Lake Druzno becomes the Elblążka. Two others, at the height of 21 and 19 m (68.9 and 62.3 ft) run across the river between km 3 and 4. Thanks to the efforts of the boaters’ community, the power line with a clearance of 10 m (9.8 ft), placed at the outlet of the Jagiellonian Canal, has been installed under the bottom of the watercourse. The lowest bridge, with a clearance of 3.5 m (11.5 ft) is located between km 4 and 5 of the waterway.

MOORING
Elbląg abounds in convenient stopping places for sailors. In the very centre, just next to the old town, there is Bulwar Zygmunta Augusta quay (Sigismund Augustus Boulevard), where you can moor for a short stop. Heading further towards the Vistula Lagoon (km 5.3 of the route), you can stop at the marina Fala (LB), which is a convenient place for a longer stop. These are professional marinas, where it is possible to dock a yacht for a longer period or for the winter. At km 6.5 of the route, two professional marinas are located: Jacht Club Elbląg and Bryza. Both offer possibilities of a convenient longer stay, including slipping.

CURRENT
The Elblążka has a minimal current, and sometimes, with the wind blowing from the Vistula Lagoon, backwater current occurs: the river changes direction and flows towards Lake Druzno, flooding Elbląg and the nearby villages. The last disastrous flood took place in October 2009.

NAVIGATIONAL INFORMATION - THE JAGIELLONIAN CANAL
Navigating the canal presents no particular problems. Yachts need to have their masts laid down because of the bridge at the meeting point of the Jagiellonian Canal and the Nogat. The banks are mostly overgrown with reeds and long stretches of the canal are reinforced with wooden stakes. The surrounding landscape is mostly cultivated land. Quite a few anglers are seen along the entire route.
 
HYDROTECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS

DRAWBRIDGES IN ELBLĄG
The two existing footbridges will be replaced with drawbridges. Both facilities are designed to have three spans, with the one in the middle to be lifted. The width of the navigable span will be 16 m (52.5 ft) for both bridges, but the so called upper bridge will be smaller and available only to pedestrians and cyclists. The lower bridge will additionally have a section for road traffic.


THE JAGIELLONIAN CANAL
Built in 1483, the Jagiellonian Canal is the oldest canal in Poland. It is part of the shortest route between Gdańsk and Elbląg and measures 5.7 km (3.54 mi). The canal itself was intended to enhance the position of the port of Elbląg in relation to its rival, Gdańsk. When navigating the canal, you pass through the no longer functioning floodgate in Bielnik, in place of which there used to be 2 locks.


THE PONTOON BRIDGE IN NOWAKOWO
All the boats navigating the river will most probably have to stop at the pontoon bridge in Nowakowo, whose clearance is insufficient even for small vessels. Its construction is based on four pontoons. One of the spans is opened mechanically and very efficiently in the northern direction. In the 1970s, a ferry crossing existed in place of the bridge.



TOURIST HIGHLIGHTS

ELBLĄG is worth visiting for its Old Town. Make sure to take a walk along Ścieżka Kościelna (Church Lane) during your visit. The old town conceals even greater treasures underneath: it is one of the largest areas in Europe where extensive archaeological works are carried out. The finds excavated so far can be seen at the Museum of Archaeology and History. Other places worth visiting include St Nicholas Cathedral, Brama Targowa (the Market Gate), and the Art Centre – “El” Gallery.

THE ELBLĄG CANAL connects Elbląg with Ostróda It is one of two waterways in the world that have inclined planes. They were necessary due to the big elevation difference, which amounts to c. 10 m (32.8 ft) on the distance of nearly 10 km (6.2 mi). It is only here that inclined planes have the so called dry back, which means that vessels travel a certain distance on dry land. In 2011, the Canal was included in the list of historic monuments; it has been in operation in an unchanged condition for 140 years without interruption.


LAKE DRUZNO. When travelling the Elbląg Canal, you cannot fail to visit Lake Druzno. This water body used to be part of a sea bay, and its banks abound in over 200 species of waterbirds and marshbirds. Despite small depth, reaching a maximum of 3 m (9.8 ft), the lake is also a paradise for anglers – a beautiful pike is not hard to catch here.

 

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INTRODUCTION

1

IW E70 – THE EAST-WEST (E-W) STRETCH

2

THE BRDA

3

THE BYDGOSZCZ CANAL

6

THE NOTEĆ

9

THE WARTA

15

THE ODRA

19

IW E70 – THE SOUTH-NORTH (S-N) STRETCH

21

THE VISTULA

22

THE NOGAT

31

THE SZKARPAWA

36

THE VISTULA LAGOON

39

THE ELBLĄG RIVER AND THE JAGIELLONIAN CANAL

50

THE MARTWA WISŁA, THE ŚMIAŁA WISŁA, THE GDAŃSK MOTŁAWA

52

INFORMATOR

56

WATERWAY SIGNS AND MARKING

57

LEGEND

58

SCHEMES OF LOCKS AND HARBOURS

59

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