As a reminder of this fertility, this morning the river shrimp appear from nowhere and flood the traps set out for them. All of a sudden they are there. They were there (somewhere in the river) all along of course, but for some reason the water gets muddy, especially red muddy, and wow, out come the shrimp moving in hordes. My friend Ray Bauer’s graduate students will set out traps today and they should have no trouble getting the shrimp they need to continue the river shrimp studies they are doing.
And why is the river muddy, and rising, all of a sudden? It rained yesterday, yes, but that’s not the real reason. The real message is that something has happened far up the Mississippi, something big enough to change the river dynamics all the way down here. That something is related to the very large floods that are taking place on the upper Mississippi. The message is that it is a big thing that has happened up there. For us, at least, it is fortunate that the equivalent floods are not taking place on the Ohio instead of, or in addition to, the Mississippi. If that were so, and building on waters that have not fully receded from the high spring waters we had, we would need to be looking for higher ground. As it is, we will get a rise from it and that isn’t usual for June.
The river is at 13.2 feet on the Butte La Rose gauge right now, rising to 13.7 in about five days. The Ohio isn’t rising much at all. But the upper Mississippi is flooding Iowa. What happens down here as a result of the flooding will illustrate the effect of the upper Mississippi compared to the Ohio. It will be interesting to see how much of a rise we get. Stay tuned. We shall see.
Rise and Shine, Jim