Department of Natural Resources Suggests Boaters Stay off Mississippi River

By Katie Wiedemann, KCRG-TV9

DUBUQUE, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is suggesting boaters stay off the Mississippi River. Officers say the high water level creates dangerous conditions, especially during the Jaycee’s 3rd of July fireworks display.

On Wednesday the Raash family held a preholiday grill out on their boat. They’re flipping burgers on the back of their boat while it’s docked at the Yardarm Marina. And there it will stay.

Bonnie Raash said, “I am sure starting tomorrow morning people will start flooding in. It’s very popular down here. “

Other river lovers say they’ll also hop on board but stay idle.

Tyler Billmyer said, “I will probably just sit on the docks and watch the fireworks from here.”

That’s a smart move says D.N.R. Conservation Officer Andrew Keil.

Keil said, “Out here, you hit something in the water, you’re at the river’s mercy.”

Keil spent Wednesday checking out the channel near Lock and Dam 11. He says the high water is extremely concerning.

“The current is ripping pretty good. There’s going to be an issue with folks trying to keep an anchor,” said Keil.

And Keil says there’s no telling what floats below the water.

“There’s stuff that’s obviously underneath the water. You can see are sticks in there. We don’t know big that is,” said Keil.

The United States Coast Guard and the DNR will keep the river open for boaters who want to take the chance. But they strongly encourage boaters to stay in their slips, where it’s safe.

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