- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WINONA, Minn. (AP) - The commercial shipping season is underway on the Mississippi River.

The first towboat of the season, the Mary Evelyn, passed through Lock and Dam 5A at Fountain City on Tuesday morning headed for St. Paul.

The opening is right in line with the average opening date of the past 10 years.

KAGE reports the first towboats will still have to navigate through ice on Lake Pepin that was still 21 inches thick in spots as of last week. That will be re-measured on Wednesday.

Towboats usually wait until Lake Pepin ice is 10 to 12 inches before trying to pass.

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Information from: KAGE-AM, https://www.winonaradio.com

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