WINONA, Minnesota (FOX 47) -- The first barges of the season departed from the ports of Winona Wednesday.
The Port Authority reports that within the last 48 hours, all of the ports south of Lake Pepin have opened.
The shipping season usually starts at the end of March, but the late winter has pushed it back several days. A few patches of ice remain on the river, but the main part of the channel is open.
The port authority tells us tug boats have traveled from St. Louis to knock out the rest of the ice.
Shipping season runs through the end of November.
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