There’s a lot of water in the Missouri River Basin this spring. This is a great opportunity to see how high flows affect Pallid Sturgeon movement and behavior. In order to do that, we first need to get on the river, a problem when river levels are at flood stage and boat ramps are disappearing beneath the muddy water.
Biologists on the Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Project are familiar with boat ramps from Gavins Point Dam in Yankton, South Dakota, to the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers near St. Louis, Missouri. Using the USGS WaterWatch website and the National Weather Service Advance Hydrologic Prediction Service we plan our field activities around which boat ramps are accessible. For example, if the river level at Glasgow is 29 feet or above, we know the Glasgow boat ramp is under water, but chances are good that Franklin Island boat ramp near Boonville, Missouri is still usable.