Recreational boating banned on Mississippi River, tributaries, lakes due to high water

Published 4:46 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks issued a temporary ban Tuesday afternoon on all recreational boating on the Mississippi River in the state and its tributaries and oxbow lakes.

The ban comes as officials up and down the river are preparing for a near-record flood coming down the river. At Natchez National Weather Service hydrologists are predicting the river may rise next month to the third-highest level ever recorded.

The suspension impacts only recreational boating and not boating that is related to transportation to and from homes, MDWFP officials said.

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All boating activity that is allowed on the suspended waterways shall be conducted in accordance with a “dead slow; leave no wake” standard.

MDWFP has an increased law enforcement presence in the affected areas to patrol the levees, promote public safety for residents affected by the high water, and enforce the wildlife laws that protect animals affected by flooding.

The river levels are expected to be so high the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expected to open up flood control structures in Louisiana that are only used in extreme flooding cases.