The Environment Agency is to remove several thousand tonnes of silt from the River Nene in a project costing £400,000.
Between 6,000 and 7,000 tonnes of silt will be removed from a 4km stretch of the River Nene upstream of White Mills Lock.
A shoal – or large build-up of material – will also be removed from Billing Lock.
The work, which started on Monday, April 22, will also reduce the risk of flooding by increasing the volume of water that can safely flow through the river.
Environment Agency project manager David Watts, said: “Over time, flows cause silt to build up in the river channel. If left, this silt could make boating difficult or hazardous.
“As navigation authority for the River Nene, we have responsibility to maintain the river for boaters and other river-users.
“This will help to make sure people can continue to enjoy the river ready for the start of this year’s spring and summer boating season.”
The silt removal is being carried out by Environment Agency contractors Interserve, using an excavator on a barge.
Navigation will be restricted along the river while the work takes place to ensure the safety of river users.
Mr Watts said: “We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to river traffic. By carrying the work out now, we aim to avoid the busiest periods on the boating calendar and keep disruption to a minimum.
“We hope people will understand that we need to carry this work out to ensure they can continue to enjoy recreation on the river over the summer and beyond.”