Undated (KROC AM News) - The 2017 shipping season on the Upper Mississippi River can begin anytime now.

The Army Corps of Engineers conducted its first check of the ice covering Lake Pepin two weeks ago and found it comparable to last year. The season opened March 13th last year. 

The Corps says there is no more ice on Pepin but river traffic won’t be able to head upstream until a repair is made at the lock near Davenport, Iowa.

The Corps considers the first tow to arrive at Lock and Dam 2 in Hastings as the unofficial start of the navigation season, because it means all of its locks are accessible to commercial and recreational vessels.

March 4th is the earliest opening date for the Upper Mississippi River region. The average starting date is March 22.