The 2014 Mississippi River navigation season in the St. Paul District has arrived. The Motor Vessel Angela K locked through Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings, Minn., around 5:30 p.m., April pushing 12 barges en route to St. Paul, Minn.
The Corps considers the first tow to arrive at Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings, Minn., as the unofficial start of the navigation season, because it means all of its locks are accessible to commercial and recreational vessels. The earliest date for an up-bound tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 was March 4, in 1983, 1984 and 2000.
The lockage of the M/V Angela K today signifies the latest start to the navigation season within the St. Paul District since 1970, excluding the 2001 season, which was delayed because of flooding. This is only the seventh time that the first tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 occurred after March 31. The average start date of the navigation season is March 22.
The navigation season was delayed this year due to historic ice thickness on Lake Pepin, south of Red Wing, Minn. Lake Pepin is the last part of the river to have ice break up, because the river is wider and subsequently the current is slower there than it is at other reaches of the river. The district’s channels and harbors section did a visual inspection for ice April 14 and found no ice within the river.
Local tow boats began operating through the three Minneapolis locks and dams April 2.
The first tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 in 2013 was the M/V Roberta Tabor. She was locked through April 8, 2013.The last tow of the 2013 season was the M/V Ginger Griffin New. She departed the lock heading south Nov. 27, 2013.