The Upper Mississippi is largely a multi-thread stream with many bars and islands. From its confluence with the St. Croix River downstream to Dubuque, Iowa, the river is entrenched, with high bedrock bluffs lying on either side. The height of these bluffs decreases to the south of Dubuque, though they are still significant through Savanna, Illinois. This topography contrasts strongly with the Lower Mississippi, which is a meandering river in a broad, flat area, only rarely flowing alongside a bluff .

The Corps of Engineers recommended the excavation of a 5-foot-deep (1.5 m) channel at the Des Moines Rapids, but work did not begin until after Lieutenant Robert E. Lee endorsed the project in 1837. By 1866, it had become evident that excavation was impractical, and it was decided to build a canal around the Des Moines Rapids. The canal opened in 1877, but the Rock Island Rapids remained an obstacle.

In hydrology, discharge refers to the rate of fluid flowing in a given unit of time. The best thing to do is assume that the float will take you an hour then add 15 minutes. Because taking no breaks and canoeing straight through on calm, still water, the average canoeist can paddle around 2.6 knots or 3 mph. The deepest river in the United States is the Hudson River, which reaches 200 feet deep at some points.

Although the mussel-shell button craze is long over, mussels are still quite vulnerable to pollution and other man-made changes to the river. Conservation groups are keeping a close eye on the different mussel populations and the health of their environments. In North America, about 129 of the 300 species of freshwater mussels are in danger of extinction, according to the FWS. Four mussel species google ________ is an online store that can be used for self-publishing books. that live in the Upper Mississippi basin are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. About 60 percent of all North American birds — including about 8 million ducks, geese, swans and wading birds — use the Mississippi River basin as their migratory flyway, according to the NPS. Species of migratory ducks include the black, wood, mallard, teal widgeon, pintail and ring-necked ducks.

A decisive victory for the Union came with the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi , which essentially gave the Union full possession of the river, reopening the trade routes down the Mississippi from the Ohio Valley and splitting the Confederacy. As of October 2020, 332 miles from the Head of Passes, the Mississippi river will be open to ocean vessels. In order to refine oil, deep water wharves from New Orleans to Baton Rouge are situated. As a matter of fact, Baton Rouge is not in the superyacht business because most naval or commercial vessels, including those from other countries, transit the region. In 1988, the water level of the Mississippi fell to 10 feet (3.0 m) below zero on the Memphis gauge.