The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, recently released its 2019 navigation statistics for the upper Mississippi River. The season started April 24 and ended Nov. 28.

During the 2019 season, Corps staff supported 1,140 commercial navigation lockages at Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings, which was below the 10-year average of 1,360. This was the lowest number since 2008 and was a direct result of high flows. The 2019 lockages supported 6,245,415 tons of commodities by the navigation industry. During the 2018 season, Corps staff supported 1,437 commercial lockages and the movement of 8,076,243 tons of commodities.

In addition to commercial lockages, Corps staff locked 2,213 recreation vessels during 1,064 lockages. To minimize lockages, the Corps tries to include multiple recreation vessels during a single lockage. There were an additional 12 lockages from various government agencies including the Corps.

Corps staff supported 1,320 commercial navigation lockages at Lock and Dam 3 near Welch in 2019, which was below the 10-year average of 1,546. This was the lowest number since 2010 and was a direct result of high flows. The lockages supported 6,238,852 tons of commodities by the navigation industry. During the 2018 season, Corps staff supported 1,669 commercial lockages and the movement of 8,078,798 tons of commodities.

At Lock and Dam 3, Corps staff locked 6,158 recreation vessels during 2,337 lockages. There were an additional eight lockages from various government agencies including the Corps.

Corps staff supported 1,371 commercial navigation lockages at Lock and Dam 4 near Alma, Wis., in 2019. The 10-year average is 1,442. The 2019 lockages supported 6,847,616 tons of commodities by the navigation industry. During the 2018 season, Corps staff supported 1,646 commercial lockages and the movement of 9,050,677 tons of commodities. Corps staff locked 3,038 recreation vessels during 1,505 lockages. There were an additional 42 lockages from various government agencies including the Corps.

Navigation statistics fluctuate from year to year, depending on the weather, river flows and the length of the navigation season. The St. Paul District maintains a 9-foot navigation channel from Minneapolis to Guttenberg, Iowa.