Friday, June 25, 2010

Too high for fun

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
A pair of events set for Saturday and Sunday on the Big Sioux River have been canceled due to the height, depth, and speed of the water.

Until the river gives up a little of its muscle, members organizing the Canton-area cruise on Sunday and the Moonlight cruise on Saturday night (on the Split Rock Creek, which is also quite high) have decided to hold off.

The Argus Leader ran a brief recently on some canoeists who were tipped and had to battle to shore. The river is not to be trifled with, so if you do go out on it, please use all caution, to include telling someone your plans, always wearing a PFD, and of course, knowing your personal limits.

These two pictures, from April and last week, at the same spot, show how high the water has risen. The top image is the put-in at Big Sioux Rec Area, where the muddy path to the water's edge no longer exists.


Earth Day 2010

If anyone does go out, please let us know, so we can keep adding information on the river's levels.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
This photo accompanies the post below - this was the same stretch of river a couple of years ago, great photo of Big SIoux River paddling!

Living up to its name

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The Big Sioux River is truly big these days, due in part to all the rain eastern South Dakota has been getting. Paddlers are advised to use caution, but to remember the river is not closed, it's just very high and moving fast.

Paddler Bruce Wylie sent in these images from a trip he did last week on the BSR between Dell Rapids and Baltic. Other paddlers including Pat Dunn said the route took less than half the normal time, and that many alternative shortcuts are formed where the river is flowing across fields and through new channels.

Dunn said a Sunday trip on the route, which normally takes 3-4 hours at this time of year, took her only 90 minutes to complete.

Wylie mentioned that most of the rocks in the rapids at the dells were submerged and that there were not a lot of new sweepers and strainers, so the runs were fun, fast, and smooth.

As with any moving water, caution is key, but the Big Sioux certainly is big especially when compared to its normal state around the end of June.

Don't forget to scroll down, club members are hitting the Big Sioux this weekend, and there's a moonlight paddle upcoming as well.


Here's the low-head dam at Flandreau, showing just how powerful the BSR flow is these days.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Saturday is Marindahl Lake event - 10:30 a.m.

Originally uploaded by jayalbionheath
The club is gathering on the shores of Lake Marindahl, not far from Irene, on Saturday, June 19. The event starts at 10:30 a.m.

Rick Johns is hosting the event and will have several of his hand-made boats. He encourages all who attend to bring something to grill and perhaps some chips and drinks. He'll have a grill and some condiments.

Feel free to e-mail Rick at for more information.

Don't forget member Pat Wellner is looking to lead a cruise on the Missouri River Saturday as well, so if you are up at Oahe Days or in Pierre, give Pat a shout and he'll take you out paddling.

Pat's e-mail is

Looks like good weather for both events. Make sure to share your photos if you attend so we can let everyone who was busy know what happened.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

River trips coming up fast - June 27 on Big Sioux

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Members Larry Braaten and David Finck are hosting a cruise on the Big Sioux River between Canton and Newton Hills State Park on June 27.

The want to start the shuttle process at noon. Meet near the river in Canton, the put-in is just off South Lincoln Street, then the shuttling can do down, and everyone can paddle back to their cars, basically.

The night before (June 26) is a full moon, and Dave and Mary Finck are hoping to host a moonlight cruise on the Split Rock Creek at the Garretson City Park. It's a creek, but dammed, so it should be easy navigation regardless of the amount of light.

Questions? Need directions? Call Larry at 605-764-5654, or Dave at 605-366-6844.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Another June paddling chance on June 19

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
From a Sioux Falls Tourism/museum promo:

"Learn about historic Sioux Falls landmarks while traveling down the Big Sioux River on the History from the River Canoe Trip Saturday, June 19 at 9 a.m.

Take an adventure through Sioux Falls on the Big Sioux River beginning at Farm Field Park off of 57th Street and Western Avenue with several stops along the river to learn about the history of the city.

The trip will conclude downtown. Shuttle service will be available before the trip begins to bring participants to the starting point. $10 Adult $8 Ages 8-17. Call 605-367-4210 for information and registration."

We have not heard if they are looking for help, but we could pry call and see if they would like some experienced paddlers in the mix. Perhaps they would waive the fee if we helped out with shepherding, etc.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A chance to return ...

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
To Sioux City, and to return a favor to the river by joining in a Missouri River Relief clean-up on June 12.

Details are at this link, which you will have to copy and paste into your browser. Or just Google the organization:

The event starts with registration at 8:30 a.m. at the Larsen Park Boat Ramp in Sioux City, near the finish of the South Dakota Kayak Challenge last weekend.

Vols work from 9-noon, get a t-shirt and lunch. This might be a nice little contrib to make, and if anyone feels like carpooling, let's start a list.

Don't forget Saturday, 1-4 p.m. at Family Park Lake in western Sioux Falls is our annual paddling fair. Bring out your boats, let people give them a try.