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Vänern Pilot Area consists of the water areas Lake Vänern, the rivers Göta Älv, Byälven and Säffle Canal. 
The land areas included are counties of Värmland and Västra Götaland, excluding coastal regions under the responsibility of the Pilot Areas on the west coast.

The fairway between Göteborg and Vänersborg has a length of 50 nautical miles and the difference of height between Lake Vänern and the westcoast is 44 metres. This difference in height is overcome by 6 locks, each of height 6 - 8 meters.

The longest fairway in Lake Vänern is from Vänersborg to Karlstad and measures 82 nautical miles.

The opening of bridges in river Göta Älv is remotely operated from different canal stations, e.g. Lilla Edet, Trollhättan and Brinkebergskulle.

There is traffic in the whole traffic area all year around, even during winter conditions.