Notice to Navigators: Illinois River

IRCA: Ice Conditions Update IW


IRCA Members and Guests,


Please see below and attached from Doug Morgan.  It seems that the 21/22 ice season is in our wheelwash.  On behalf of IRCA, I’d like to take this opportunity to echo Doug’s sentiments of appreciation to all involved who kept commerce moving along the ILWW.  The ice was certainly challenging this season, but the silver lining is that it fostered some great teamwork.  Many thanks to all!


Best regards,


Jeremy “Shot” Tardy
Western Rivers Boat Management, Inc.
Office:  270.444.4772
Mobile:  270.933.8056





With the very warm temperatures experienced over the last several days, the presence of ice on the river has nearly disappeared.  The lakes at and above Peoria still have ice that has receded far outside the main channel and is rotten and thinning out.  I am very glad to say that we are now in a normal operating status on the waterway and ice coupling restrictions have been lifted at all sites.  Unless we hit a sudden and prolonged arctic cold snap I don’t anticipate any further restrictions for this season.


I want to express my appreciation to you and the IRCA locking committee/industry partners for you coordination and cooperation during some of the more challenging events we have experienced this past season.  With your help, I was able to successfully survive my inaugural winter ice conditions on the IW (Though I may have gained a few more gray hairs along the way.)


I especially have a deeper appreciation now for all those folks who work the river, the deckhands, lock operators, lock mechanics/electricians, industry pilots/captains, lockmasters/assistants, marine mechanics who work hard every day to keep navigation moving.  They are the ones who are busting ice, breaking gorges, making emergency repairs at all hours, working the wall, breaking/making couplings, handling lines, maintaining dams, providing assist boats etc. all in some of the most extreme conditions.  My sincerest thank you to each and every one of them.


Unless conditions change this will be my last update for the 21/22 ice season.


Thank you,




Douglas Morgan
Chief of Locks and Dams (Acting)
US Army Corps of Engineers
Illinois Waterway Project Office
O: 309-676-4601
C: 309-781-8591