Do You Want Ice With That?

Icy blasts of arctic air brought bitterly cold temperatures to the Missouri River Basin late in December 2013 and early January 2014.  The frigid temperatures created significant ice flows in portions of the Lower Missouri River, hampering pallid sturgeon tracking efforts.  In addition, low water levels have restricted access to the river at several locations between Kansas City and St. Louis.   This is not the first time that winter-related weather has delayed tracking activities (see previous posts “How Low Can It Go?” and “Ice Ice Baby”).  The river does not freeze solid in Missouri, instead “pads” of ice usually form and slowly fill the river, crushing and grinding together as they make their way downstream.  When the ice fills the river you can stand on the river bank and listen as it moves slowly past—if you are willing to brave the cold.  CSRP biologists prepare for winter tracking efforts by routinely checking ramp and river conditions and conducting maintenance on tracking vessels and equipment.  Taking these extra steps ensure that our crews are ready to get back on the water safely, conditions permitting.

Blasts of arctic air brought freezing temperatures throughout the Missouri River Basin near the end of December 2013 (source of graphic: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).


Frigid temperatures created significant ice flows throughout the Lower Missouri River, hampering pallid sturgeon tracking efforts. Pictured is the Lower Missouri River at Hartsburg, MO near river mile 160.

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