Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Argus Leader: Overflowing Big Sioux River off-limits for recreational use

The overflowing Big Sioux River is off-limits for recreational use until further notice.

Gov. Mike Rounds took the advice of the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Department and signed a declaration that closes the river starting today, according to Capt. Jim Hoekman.

“Because of the high water, it's not safe,” Hoekman said.

Signs will be posted at the two canoe launch zones in Sioux Falls - in Yankton Trail and Rotary parks - and throughout the county at high-traffic intersections, according to Regan Smith with the city's Office of Risk and Emergency Management.

The last time the river was closed for recreation during the spring thaw was 1997, he said.

A violation of the temporary rule is a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both.

-John Hult/Argus Leader


Anonymous said...

That is completely unnecesary. It is like closing all white water rivers in the whole state of Colorado. Let the kayaker deside if their skill level is adequate.

Jarett C. Bies said...

Yes: Kayakers must pick their spots and choose what is right for their level of skill.

But the South Dakota Canoe & Kayak Association would advise ALL paddlers to avoid going onto flooded waterways.

Even a gold medalist can suddenly round a corner and face a deadly strainer or debris pile.

To me, safety always comes first. Live to paddle another day.


Jarett C. Bies said...

In addition, the water temperature is so low right now that even a seasoned veteran paddler could make a simple mistake and end up with hypothermia in an area rescue crews cannot access due to the flooding.

Anonymous said...

The ban has stopped white water kayaking on split rock creek. The creek on Sunday was not over it's banks but running at ideal conditions for white water kayaking. Class 2 at the most which is an easy kayak. Kayakers typically wear wet suits when the water is this cold. Two three weekends a year if you are lucky for these condtions. This is the only white water I know in eastern South Dakota. Vern Olson, Brookings