Rory - Flood.jpg
Rory - Flood.jpg







Boyce Upholt is a Mississippi Delta-based freelance writer with a particular interest in the way we shape place and the way places shape us. He is the Small Town Spotlight editor for Mississippi Magazine, the senior writer for Delta Magazineand a contributing writer at The Local Palate. His work has appeared in The AtlanticThe New RepublicThe Bitter Southerner, and USA Today. Find more at

Boyce is at work on a book about the swamps along the Lower Mississippi River--the "batture."  In spring 2017, he will be traveling, by canoe, from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico , with John Ruskey's Rivergator expedition. This website collects his ongoing documentation of the river and its batture.

Banner images by Rory Doyle.



Rivergator Spring 2017 Schedule

For full descriptions, consult the Rivergator.

St. Louis

March 20 (Vernal Equinox): Launch at Columbia Bottoms Boat Ramp (on the Missouri River). Camp at Missouri/Mississippi Confluence on Duck Island.

March 21: Duck Island, Route 66 Bridge, City of St. Louis Waterworks, the I-270 Bridge, and Chain of Rocks, Mosenthein Island.

March 22: Great Arch, LaClede’s Landing, the Stan Musial Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (newest bridge on the Mississippi), Eads Bridge, the McKinley Bridge, East St. Louis, Anheuser Busch Brewery, Jefferson Barracks, JB I-255 Bridge, Meramec Confluence.

March 23: Herculaneum, Harlow Island, Fort DeChartres, Calico Island, Osborne Island, Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area.

Ste Genevieve

March 24: Ste Genevieve, Moro Island, Kaskaskia River, Chester, Rockwood Island.

March 25: Tower Rock, Grand Tower, Trail of Tears State Park, Devil’s Island.

March 26: Cape Girardeau, Marquette Island, Thebes, Pawnee Hills.

Cairo/Ohio River

March 27: Big Bends of the Middle Miss around Dogtooth Island and Missouri Sister Island, Cairo, Fort Defiance, Ohio River Confluence.

March 28: Wickliffe, Columbus Belmont, Wolf Island.

March 29: Hickman, Is No 8, Reelfoot Lake, Bessie’s Bend.

New Madrid

March 30: Bessie’s Bend, New Madrid, Kentucky Point.

March 31: Tiptonville, Lee Towhead, Hathaway/Island 14, Sandy Hook Bar, Caruthersville.

April 1: Island 18, Is 20, Is 21, Mouth of the Obion, Tamm Bend.

April 2: Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska Landing, Island 25, Island 26 and Forked Deer Island 27.

April 3: Ashport-Keyes Gold Dust, Lower Forked Deer River, Island 30, Osceola.


April 4: Sans Souci Driver Island, Old Mouth of the Forked Deer, First Chickasaw Bluff, Sunrise Towhead - Island 34.

April 5: Hatchie River, Randolph Landing, The Second Chickasaw Bluff (Richardson Bluff), Dean Island.


April 6: Denseford Bar and Dikes/Hen and Chicks, Meeman Shelby Forest State Brandywine Island, Hickman Bar, Loosahatchie River, Redman Point Bar, Memphis Upper Waswater Treatment Plant, Wolf River, Mud Island, Memphis "M" Bridge (Hernando De Soto Bridge), 4th Chickasaw Bluff, Memphis.

April 7:  Lower Bridges/Engineer's Bar, President's Island, Entrance to McKellar Lake, Dismal Point, Ensley Bar.

April 8: Josie Harry Bar, Cow Island Bend, Cat Island No.50, Starr Landing, Tunica Riverpark Museum, Buck Island (No. 53), Basket Bar.

April 9: Commerce Bend, Rabbit Island, Mhoon Landing, Mhoon Bend, Whiskey Chute/Walnut Bend, Whitehall Crevasse, Tunica Runout, Shoo Fly Bar, Stumpy Island.

April 10: Harbert Point, Mouth of the St. Francis River, St. Francis Bar, Buck Island (Prairie Point Towhead), Trotter's Pass, Helena Harbor.


April 14: Yazoo Pass, Montezuma Towhead, Friars Point, Kangaroo Point, Dewberry Island 61, Old Town Bend, Island 62.


April 15: Island 63, Quapaw Landing (Clarksdale), Muddy Waters Wilderness, Burke’s Point, Mouth of the Mellwood Lake, Mouth of De Soto Lake, Jug Harris Towhead, Island 68, Island 67.

April 16: Wood Cottage, Knowlton Crevasse, Island 69, Cession’s Towhead, Hurricane Pint (Dennis Landing), Island 70, Henrico Sandbar, Scrubgrass Bend, Smith Point Sandbar, Mouth of the White River,  White River NWR. 

April 17: Big Island, Victoria Bend, Old Channel of the White, Wreck of the Victor, Great River Road State Park, Rosedale Harbor, Arkansas River.

April 18: Prentiss Sandbar, Mouth of Lake Whittington, Caulk Neck Bar, Cypress Bend, Catfish Point Bar, Choctaw Bar Island, Mounds Landing, Arkansas City.


April 19: Yellow Bend, The Greenville Bends, island 8, Leland Neck Point, Warfield Point State Park, Greenville Harbor, Greenville.

April 20: Sunny Side Landing, Greenville Bridge, Lakeport Towhead, American Bar, Kentucky Bend.

April 21: Leota Bar, Cracraft Chute, Worthington Cutoff, Matthews Bend, Grand Lake, Island 88, Bunch’s Cutoff, Corregidor Bar, Wilson Point Bar, Mayersville, Tennis Court Landing.

April 22: Baleshead, Stack Island, Ben Lamond, Shipland WMA, Fitler Bend, Arcadia Point Bar, Cottonwood Bar, Chotard Lake, Terrapin Neck Cutoff, Willow Island.


April 23: Eagle Lake Pass, Tara Landing, Madison Parish Port, Paw Paw Chute, Brown’s Point, Mouth of the Yazoo River, Vicksburg.

April 24: Vicksburg Loess Bluffs, Delta Point, Vicksburg Bridges, Racetrack Towhead, Letourneau, Palmyra, Togo, Middle Ground Island.

April 25: Big Black River, Grand Gulf State Park, Yucatan Ditch, Coffee Point Dikes, Diamond Cut-Off, Port of Claiborne County, Bayou Pierre, St. Joseph Boat Ramp, Bondurant Towhead.

April 26: St. Joseph, Waterproof, Natchez.

April 27: Natchez, St Catherine's Wildlife Refuge, Carthage, Warnicott, Homichitto River, Washout Bayou, Artonish, 3 Rivers WMA.

April 28: Ft. Adams, Old River (Mouth of the Atchafalaya River), Angola Ferry & State Penitentiary, Shreve’s Bar, Hog Point, Tunica Bayou, Polly Creek, Little Island, Iowa Point.

April 29: St. Maurice Island, Bayou Sara, St. Francisville, St. Francisville, John James Audubon Bridge, Fancy Point.

April 30: Thompson Creek, Profit Island, Devil’s Swamp, Istrouma Bluff.

Baton Rouge

May 1: Re-supply in Baton Rouge.

May 2:  Baton Rouge, I-10 Bridge, Baton Rouge to Plaquemine Red Eye Dikes Manchac Bend, Plaquemine, Nottoway Plantation, Bayou Goula Towhead.

May 3: Point Clair, White Castle, Philadelphia Point, Eighty-One-Mile Point, Donaldson, Bayou Lafourche, Bayou Teche, Bringier Point, Point Houmas, Sunshine Bridge, Oak Alley Plantation, Magnolia Landing, Paulina.

New Orleans

May 4: Bonnet Carre Spillway, Twenty-Six Mile Point, I-310 Bridge, Huey P. Long Bridge, 9-Mile Point, Audubon Park, Algier’s Ferry, French Quarter, Algiers Point.

May 5: Algiers Point, Industrial Canal, Algier’s Lock, Poydras Bend, English Turn Bend, Caernarvon Crevasse, Twelve Mile Point, Shingle Point, Belle Chasse Ferry, Jesuit Bend, Will’s Point

May 6: Will's Point, Poverty Point, Point Celeste, Pointe A La Hache Bohemia Beach, Mardi Gras Pass, Happy Jack, Sixty Mile Point.

May 7: Tropical Bend, Point Pleasant, Ostrica Pass, Buras Landing Boat Ramp, Fort Jackson, Plaquemines Bend/Fort Jackson Point, Baptiste Collette Bayou, Venice, Grand Pass Island, Cubit’s Gap, Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Pilottown, Head of Passes, -0- Mile Zero.

-0- Mile Zero

May 8: Head of Passes, -0- Mile Zero, Southwest Pass, South Pass, Port Eads, Lower South Pass Island, Pass A Loutre, Southeast Pass

May 9: Paddle back upstream to Venice, Grand Pass Island, Cubit’s Gap, Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Pilottown, Head of Passes, -0- Mile Zero, final takeout at Cypress Cove Marina in Venice.