Missouri River Levels Down | VideoAlex Hagan | 9/20/2012
Even though it`s almost fall, people are still enjoying the Missouri River and after the flood last year, boaters are taking advantage.
"Before they raised the water level it was fantastic, fishing was really good. Last fall was really good, this spring was really good and I`m anticipating this fall bites going to be good," said fisherman David Horner.
"This has been a very good summer season for the river. We`ve had better weather, we`ve had dry weather, but you have to be careful because the river has changed," said boater Dale Klein.
But when temperatures drop, so do the water levels.
"Ice cover generally when ice forms on the Missouri usually around the end of October beginning November it actually increases the stage as the ice builds on the river, reduces what`s called conveyance or the ability of the water to flow through," said USGS Associate Director Steven Robinson.
The flood from last year changed the dynamics of the river, and there are now more sandbars.
"The most visible impact that we`ve seen from the flood is the redistribution of the sediment in the channels and how sandbars have changed because of the flood," said Joel Galloway with the USGS Water Science Center.
And that could cause trouble for boaters.
"As far as the sandbars, if you don`t know the channel well, I would take your time, don`t hurry up. Make sure you watch your depthfinder to see where you`re navigating in the channel to make sure you don`t run up on a sandbar," Galloway said.
However, some fisherman have been out on the river frequently and have learned the channels to avoid accidents.
"The sandbars are more prominent than they were before so it`s re-learning the river, but it`s still pretty simple," Horner said.
Others are more cautious when out on the water.
"You have to once again go slow so that you know the architecture of the river, otherwise you`re going to hit something," Klein said.
Either way, all boaters will have to be wary for these last few months to avoid being stuck in the middle of the Missouri.
Depending on the cold weather, the Corps of Engineers will decrease the flow through the garrison dam to prevent ice jams during the winter season.