December 16, 2012 – When Lewis & Clark Marine fills barges these days, a lot of material stays on the dock. “There is less tonnage that can be moved because the drafts are restricted in low water,” said Paul Wellhausen, a vice president of Lewis & Clark Marine Inc., which operates on the Chain of Rocks Canal in Granite City. The draft is how deep a boat goes into the water. Because of the low water level, barges are coming off the gulf with reduced capacity, said Paul C. Rohde, vice president of the Waterways Council Inc. “It’s having an immediate impact in the operations and that translates to economics.” While barges are running now, operators might have to shut down operations if the river level drops more. A spokeswoman for the American Waterways Operators said stopping barge traffic could mean the loss of thousands of jobs.