Group seeks change in Missouri management

Group seeks change in Missouri management A regional tourism group is collecting petition signatures to force the Army Corps of Engineers to change the way they manage the Missouri River Reservoir system in South Dakota.

"A $40 million industry may not survive the way the Corps of Engineers is managing the river system in South Dakota. For more than 11 years, we have been waiting for a revision to the Master Water Control Manual that would balance the need for downstream barge traffic with recreational needs in our part of the country. We hope to help the process by gathering petitions signed by citizens who want to save our recreation industry," said Kathy Zander, executive director, Great Lakes of South Dakota Association.

The Missouri River reservoirs in South Dakota attract thousands of anglers and boaters each year. Walleye fishing on these waters is recognized as some of the best nationally. Fishing on the Missouri River reservoirs comprises nearly 40 percent of the total fishing that occurs in the state.

"Fishing and camping are very important to the quality of life in South Dakota, as well as a major part of the state's economy," said Zander.

The petitions ask the Corps of Engineers to recognize the public interest in fishing and recreation on the Missouri River reservoirs, and place a higher priority on water management, which enhances fisheries.

The Corps of Engineers is also asked to adopt and use a revised Master Water Control Manual that has better balance between barge traffic and recreation.

People wishing to sign or carry petitions can contact the Great Lakes of South Dakota Association at 605/224-4617. Petition signatures will be gathered until Sept. 6. The Great Lakes of South Dakota Association is dedicated to promoting tourism and the best interests of the public for fishing and hunting along the Missouri River and the Lewis and Clark Trail in Central South Dakota.

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