Follow-up to Mississippi River train derailments

OMAHA, Neb. — BNSF has started taking additional safety measures for crude oil shipments because of four recent high-profile derailments in the U.S. and Canada, the railroad said Monday.

Under the changes, BNSF is slowing down crude oil trains to 35 mph in cities with more than 100,000 people and increasing track inspections near waterways. The Fort Worth, Texas, based railroad also is stepping up efforts to find and repair defective wheels before they can cause derailments.

BNSF spokesman Michael Trevino said these additional safety efforts were imposed last week in response to the recent derailments, including one involving a BNSF train earlier this month near Galena, Illinois, and the Mississippi River.

Source: AP

Public input sought on Mississippi River Master Plan

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, is proposing to revise its Mississippi River Master Plan and is seeking public input. The plan guides public use and management of approximately 55,000 acres of federal lands and 314 Mississippi River miles from near Guttenberg, Iowa, to Saverton, Missouri, for environmental stewardship and recreational purposes. Continue reading

Alton Marina to address silt issues

ALTON — With next year’s 20th anniversary of Alton Marina approaching, the city will solicit bids to dredge parts of the facility that took on silt from flooding in recent years.

“A couple years ago, during the last flood, we took on some silt,” said General Manager Karen Baker-Brncic, of Parrot Pointe Marine Inc. “We need to get it dredged out of there and cleaned up. It was part of the fallout from the flood of 2013.” Continue reading

Eagle numbers down around area rivers

APPLE RIVER – The Eagle Nature Foundation has released the results of its 55th annual Midwinter Bald Eagle County.

“The results of this year’s count are very disturbing,” said Terrence Ingram, count compiler. “It confirms that the downward trend of the bald eagle population along the Mississippi River is continuing.” Continue reading

Pool 12 Overwintering Project

The Pool 12 Overwintering project will improve habitat in four lakes – Sunfish, Tippy, Kehough, and Stone. Newt Marine Service (Dubuque, Iowa) began the Sunfish Lake construction in December 2013 and anticipates completion in Fall 2016. This work includes dredging over 2 miles of channels and constructing the adjacent berms. The Corps of Engineers will plant trees on the Sunfish Lake berms once construction is complete. Work in the remaining three lakes will begin in subsequent years.

Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

How good do we have it on the Upper Mississippi?

Relatively speaking, you don’t hear a lot about bass fishing on the Upper Mississippi River. Maybe it’s because walleye fishing is equally as popular on the river and in the states that border it. Or maybe it’s because largemouths don’t grow to double-digit size in the river. Whatever the reason, you seldom see the Upper Mississippi on the list of top-10 bass fishing hot spots that gets published  from time to time in national bass fishing publications. Maybe an honorable mention. But that’s about it. Continue reading