The Missouri River has seen flooding since March and the waters still remain high into the fall months.
The river has sat at about 20 feet for most of the summer, which is 8 to 10 feet higher than average. When it’s raised, the current flows at a faster pace than the typical 6 to 7 miles per hour.
Parker Rice, conservation agent with Missouri Department of Conservation, said the recreational use has slowed down due to the changes in the river.
“People don’t want to get their $70,000 fiberglass boat out here and hit a stump that they don’t see under the water,” Rice said.
There are maps of the river that boaters should study if they’re not familiar with the channels and want to avoid damaging their boat.
“Just like on land, speed can kill, so if you don’t know where you’re going, maybe don’t go quite as fast,” Rice said.
The flooding has caused there to be a large amount of debris and trees in the water that boaters need to look out for as well.
“There can be huge trees floating just inches under the water and if you don’t see them it may be really expensive to your motor,” Rice said.
The flooding has affected a large amount of bottom-land farmers and the population of homeless individuals who call the edges of the river home.
“People that are unfortunately having to live along the river bank are having a rough time right now,” Rice said.
Even though the river is continuing to stay at a high level, Rice said it’s safe for recreational use.
As the weather cools down, more people have started boating and setting trout lines along the river. The only aspect boaters and fisherman aren’t able to take advantage of is the sandbars that are still covered with water.
“The river does what it wants to and there’s no way you can control this thing,” Rice said.