This article is taken from the March 24 USDA Transportation Report.

On March 21, the 2022 navigation season on the Upper Mississippi River began, as announced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

Originating from St. Louis, MO, and pushing nine barges, the Motor Vessel W. Red Harris kicked off the season’s unofficial start: that boat was the first of the season to break through the ice of Lake Pepin (between Mississippi River Lock and Dam 3 and Lock and Dam 4).

Lake Pepin is the last major barrier for vessels reaching the head of the navigation channel in St. Paul, MN.

For the past 30 years, the season’s average opening date has been March 20, but the date varies from year to year, depending on water conditions.