With the continued decrease in river flows, the U. S. Coast Guard has granted Gov. Dennis Daugaard�s request to rescind the ban on boating on the lower portions of the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers.
Effective at 8 a.m., on Monday, Sept. 26, the Missouri River was re-opened downstream from Ponca State Park in Nebraska to the Iowa-Nebraska border, or river mile marker 734.
In addition, the boating ban that was in effect for the Big Sioux River from the confluence of the Missouri River upstream to Military Road in North Sioux City was re-opened at 8 a.m. Monday.
South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks personnel have surveyed those rivers and conclude that they can be safely opened for public use. However, boaters will need to exercise caution on those waters.
Although flows are greatly diminished from the peak Gavins Point Dam releases of 160,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), current releases of 65,000 cfs continue to create strong currents. Boaters should control their wakes and be alert to possible water hazards.
Gov. Daugaard�s decision to ask that the rivers be opened came after careful consideration for public safety and the potential for property damage from waves created by boating. It was determined that the potential for property damage is greatly diminished with reduced river flows.