Monday, December 7, 2009

Agenda for Annual Conference

Don't forget to save the date! Jan. 30 will mark our 2010 annual conference meeting at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls.

Here's the agenda:

Noon – 4:00 p.m.
The Outdoor Campus
4500 S. Oxbow Ave
Sioux Falls, S.D.

12:00 Welcome from Gene Preston, President SDCA
12:10 SDCA Year in Review – Cruising, Public Service, Safety
Brief remarks by SDCA directors about events of the year
12:20 Kayaking Down the Cheyenne River, Jarett Bies and pals
1:00 Kayaking along the Missouri River, Pat Wellner (Pirates of the Missouri)
1:35 Canoeing the Boundary Waters, David and Mary Finck
2:00 Break
2:15 Total Fitness and Having Fun, Ed and Kay Hoffman
2:50 The Missouri River Kayak Challenge for 2010 – Jarett Bies and Steve Dahlmeier
3:00 Reflections on the Life and Adventures of Dick Davidson - Dave Greenlee
3:35 Business Meeting
• Election of Officers – Gene Preston
• Plans Ahead for the SDCA in the Coming Year – President Elect of the SDCA

Evening Agenda – Bracco Restaurant 5001 S. Western Avenue, Sioux Falls

4:30 Silent auction of camping and canoeing gear of Dick Davidson with proceeds to be donated to the Boy Scouts – Lee Snyder
5:15 Dinner ordered from the menu
6:15 Travels with Dick, the adventurous life and contributions of Dick Davidson – Lee Snyder

In addition, all attendees are welcome to bring gear to sell or trade, so if you have an old paddle you want to part with, PFDs you no longer use, or anything of that nature, bring it out.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Sioux Falls Lake

For the first time in decades, Sioux Falls area paddlers will have a new body of water to explore. Family Park, a new park on the northwest side of Sioux Falls, opens November 25th. Although this isn't a large lake, it does give area residents the opportunity for a quick paddle without traveling.

Motorized boating is prohibited.

The lake is located near the intersection of 12th Street & Ellis Rd.

Read the Argus Leader for more detail: Fishing park in shadow of Sioux Falls

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sioux Falls Big Sioux Cruise

Join Mary & Dave Finck for a Big Sioux River cruise through Sioux Falls this Saturday, November 21st. Meet at the 57th & Western canoe launch (the park across from Barracos) at 1:00pm.

Cars will be shuttled prior to launching - and distance will be decided at that time.

Everyone is welcome! If you're not a SDCA member - ask Dave or Mary during the cruise about the benefits of joining this rapidly growing organization.

Forecast for Saturday: High 52 & Sunny

Questions? Call or email Dave @ 605-366-6844 or

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

November Big Sioux River Cruise

Sunday, November 8th: Klondike to Canton

SDCA members Mary and Dave Finck and Larry Braaten are hosting a cruise on the Big Sioux River Sunday, November 8th starting at 1:00pm.

Meet at Klondike on the South Dakota side - and the cruise will travel down to Canton.

Forecast calls for 58 degrees and sunny. Should be a great day for a paddle!

Questions? Call Dave at (605) 366-6844.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SDCA founder Dick Davidson: 1930-2009

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The South Dakota Canoe Association lost a large and important part of its history earlier this month when Dick Davidson passed away. He was 79.

Dick was a long-time canoe enthusiast whose efforts to get a club of paddlers going in South Dakota continue with every cruise, meeting, and endeavor we continue to perform or host. He was a quiet man, but one whose adventures spoke for him.

He established the SDCA with friends in 1981 and served as president for many years. In addition to his efforts setting up canoe and kayaking events in-state, he also led and took part in truly mind-blowing adventures across the dangerous barrens of the Canadian Northwest Territories.


Even though he no longer put paddle to water, Dick was still an active part of our club, hosting board meetings stopping out at our paddling fairs, and sharing his tales of the Arctic at our annual meetings.

He will be missed. We invite all SDCA members to share their memories of Dick here in the blog and we will dedicate the next issue of our newsletter to his memory.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saturday is President's cruise in Brandon

BSR April 25-2009 018
Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Join us on Saturday, Oct. 3, at McHardy Park in Brandon for the SDCA President's Cruise, it starts at 1 p.m.

Life jackets required on this 3-4 hour cruise. It starts on the Split Rock Creek and continues to the Big Sioux River.

We'll shuttle vehicles to the end point starting a bit before 1 p.m. Gene Preston, SDCA president, is the contact: 605-582-2573.

Usually good scenery and some wildlife, deer cross this river often. Temps are low 50s with 20 percent chance of rain on Saturday, mostly before 1 p.m., winds 8-15.

See you there, hopefully.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Split Rock Creek event this Saturday in Garretson

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
SDCA members Mary and Dave Finck are going to host a paddling event at Garretson City Park, located on the north side of Garretson on Split Rock Creek, on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m.

Anyone who wants to come and join may do so for a little paddling and fellowship.

Dave is going to bring a grill and anyone coming for supper can bring some meat to cook, a dish to pass, and whatever you want to drink.

Dave and Mary will have plates and plastic silverware. Questions? Call Dave at (605) 366-6844.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Big Sioux Cruise set for Saturday, Sept. 19

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The SDCA will host a cruise Saturday, Sept. 19, at 1:30 p.m.

Come early to shuttle vehicles.

The starting spot is just N of the bridge near Lake Alvin. It is the road that runs over the Big Sioux River, crossing to become 140th St. It is also called the Grandview Covenant Church road.

Paddlers will head downstream to the Klondike area, and take out there. It is located at 276th (S.D.) and/or 180th (Iowa) and there is parking for shuttle vehicles.

Larry Braaten and David Finck are running the show. Questions? Call David @ 605-366-6844. PFDs required, bring water and snacks. It is about a 3-4 hour trip, and it's a nice run!

Saturday's weather: Sunny, with highs near 78.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ninety-seven smiles down the Mighty Mo

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Saturday morning nearly 100 canoe, kayak, and other paddle craft enthusiasts gathered in perfect conditions for an 11-mile run to christen the new stretch of Missouri River designated as a water trail.

Shuttles and teamwork got everyone back on the road when it was finished, it took a while, but the event was safe, satisfying, and the weather seemed scripted for a great day on the water.

We'll add more photos in the next day or two, and remind all who took part to use this blog (e-mail Jarett) to organize more trips on more rivers and lakes.

On a found gear note, a group of paddlers found a throw-bag and line lying in the take-out area. If this is yours, write Jarett and he'll put you in touch with the folks who found your equipment.

Here's to hoping everyone can wring some more paddling out of the rest of 2009. Cheerio!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rescheduled Missouri River event set for Aug. 29!

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The SDCA, along with several other groups/individuals, is organizing a make-up trip on the Missouri River for Aug. 29.

Be at the put-in - Mulberry Bend near the Newcastle-Vermillion bridge - at 8:30 a.m. on that Saturday morning.

The route and other information is included below. This is the "make-up" trip for the one planned in May but rained out.

There will not be rental boats or guide service available on this event, friends. Sorry. One club providing that backed out/could not do it.
With the documents below, you can click on the + and - signs to increase size, or toggle to full-screen view for better looks.


Float Trip Directions


Write Jarett at for answers to questions.

Rick Johns - - is the cruise leader on this extravaganza!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New event and other news

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Members of the club will gather at Split Rock Creek in Garretson again this weekend. It's a nice spot to paddle and Mary and Dave Finck will host those who show up on Aug. 16 at 2 p.m.

Split Rock Creek is a beautiful little spot in Garretson's city park. The creek is not long, but offers some amazing scenery in a tiny spot.

Join the club and get in some paddling, this coming Sunday.

In other news, the SDCA-sponsored kayaking race, the South Dakota Kayak Challenge, has been postponed. It was set to take place in September, but due to low enrollment and other factors, the race will take place in 2010. The route will be new and so too will be the effort to get as many folks involved as possible.

We send our thanks out to the many folks who supported the effort to get this event up and running and remind all who would help this year that we'll call on you again next.

Lastly, longtime club mentor and leader Dick Davidson has taken ill and is in the hospital in Sioux Falls. He has little family in the area and club member Jay visited him - he is in Sanford, room 6166 - and Dick seemed to appreciate that, he requested reading materials.

I'm sure it would mean a lot for Dick if others would visit him. He is an amazing man with epic tales of adventure. IMG_7050

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This Saturday: Gathering in Garretson

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
SDCA members Dave and Mary Finck are inviting everyone out Saturday, July 25, to the Split Rock Creek in Garretson, above the dam shown here in the photo.

As Dave said, this is nice little run with beautiful scenery. It is
an especially good opportunity for those new to the sport who wish to
sharpen their skills. The gathering is set for 2 p.m.

In addition to paddling with friends or friends-to-be, Dave and Mary will be grilling a pork loin and ask others to bring a dish or dessert or something to share, or some chips, for a nice lunch in the park. They will provide plates and silverware, but bring your own beverages.

Any questions, email Dave at

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Come sampling on Saturday @ Diamond Lake

Originally uploaded by jayalbionheath

View Larger Map

There's a pair of great events in the next few days.

The first is on Diamond Lake, shown above in a Jay Heath photo. The map above shows Franklin, the lake is just south of that town.
SDCA board members Dave and Mary Finck are running the show. Here's the skinny:


South Dakota monitors water quality on lakes and rivers in the state, but funding does not allow all areas to be monitored on a regular basis. The SD Canoe Association volunteers to help monitor additional sites in our area.

A club group water sampling event is scheduled at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 18. All paddlers are welcome and should meet at the boat ramp on the northeast side of Diamond Lake.

Representatives from East Dakota Water District will be there to give us instructions on how to take the samples.

Diamond Lake is in the northwest corner of Minnehaha County:
West on Highway 42 (10th Street) to Hwy 19, turn north.
North on Highway 19 through Humboldt to 244th Street, turn west.
Go west to Diamond Lake.

The turn off is between the Minnehaha Lake County signs.

Water sampling sites will be divided among the participants who are there, so the more paddlers who come, the quicker the work.

In addition, there's a Big Sioux River Clean Up set for July 22, at 5:15 pm.

We will put in at Spencer Park and take out at 14th & Cliff. Neither is the greatest access, but they work.

The Spencer Park access is off Minnesota Avenue, where you would enter for the Heartland House Christmas Light display, or for Jazz Fest. There is a parking lot immediately to the south after you enter.

Last year, Dave and I brought our canoe, and the kayakers picked up stuff and deposited it in our canoe as needed. Jay Heath attached a milk crate to his kayak so he could pick up more stuff. Garbage bags will be provided by Parks & Rec. They will also pick up the bags when we have finished.

The take out is near a parking lot on the northeast corner of 14th & Cliff. I have requested gravel from the SF Parks Dept. since it has been a muddy take out most of the year.

If 5:15 p.m. is too early, let me know. We will make arrangements with shuttle etc. to accommodate late-comers as best we can. Since clean up takes more time than just cruising, late comers can easily catch up with the group.

If interested in either event, please let us know. Email Mary or Dave at or, or let Jarett know.

View Larger Map

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sunday! Big Sioux @ Klondike

Hola amigos:

View Larger Map

Sunday, July 12, 9 a.m.
276th Street crosses the Big Sioux River
We'll put in just below the dam on the South Dakota side.

The map/photo shows (If the link does not work on your computer, Google "Canton, SD" and look at the image there, the dam is north up the river from the town) the put-in is just downstream of the dam, on the South Dakota side.

To make the shuttling system work, please come a bit early, so we can get enough vehicles down (share rides, communicate out there) to the end and everyone can boogie afterwards/less work when we're tired.

E-mail if you have questions. Larry will give a briefing at 8:55 a.m. just before we depart, for those new to the river/area, etc.

There is a chance of rain Sunday, so pack rain gear. Highs are set at 81 degrees, and the winds sound light, 5-15 mph.

Should be a hoot!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Fourth Weekend

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Sorry, it's been too long on updating this blog.

But as the image shows, the Big Sioux River is on tap, this Sunday, July 12, at 9 a.m.

Meet at the South Dakota side of the Klondike dam, below the dam. Paddlers will join cruise leader Larry Braaten for a 3-hour paddle down to Canton.

The dam itself has a large hole in it and plans have it being torn down. So see it Sunday with the SDCA, then return after work is done to compare.

Write me if you have questions. The newsletter will be out Tuesday, to pass the word on this front, but if you see anyone or talk to those who do not visit this site often, let them know.

More news coming soon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sunday's weather was lame, but ...

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
More than a dozen folks came out and played about at Lake Alvin Sunday. Air and water temps were both in the high 50s, but no one seemed to care, and a number of new paddlers got out and tried their hands on the lake.

Jay Heath's blog, has a great account of the event.

There were folks ready to put-in there at 11 a.m. when we got started, and some were still trying other boats around 3 p.m. when we took off. The weather did not lead to outright enthusiasm, but a good time? It was had.

More photos on the way.

Don't forget June 20 is the planned SDCA event in Pierre. Members there welcome any and all South Dakota paddlers to join them for a few options on the Missouri River in the state's historic capital.

Details on that event are beginning to take shape and are open to ideas. Visit member Pat Wellner's blog at to get ideas on the next organized event, or contact him with specific questions via his e-mail link on his Web site.




About that early bird ...

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
While the christening event for the Missouri River was postponed due to Saturday morning's weather, several members of the SDCA did kayak the state's biggest river last weekend, and we stayed dry, had fun, and saw some eagles.



John Adler and Pat Wellner from Pierre made the trip to Vermillion as well, and they actually ran the route that was planned. Jim, Laura and I just did High Lines to Clay County. But by sleeping in, we met with good conditions.

As soon as the kick-off event is rescheduled, we will have information here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Missouri River trip not happening Saturday


The organizers and staff of the Missouri National Recreational River (MNRR) Water Trail kickoff event, scheduled for Saturday morning near Vermillion, have postponed the event until sometime later this summer.

Why? Weather. There are thunderstorm warnings and the winds are supposed to be unfriendly.

On the bright side, more than 100 paddlers were due to turn out, and this event will happen, only on a better day.

The organization's Web site is located at if the trip is news to you. No date has been set for the make-up date.

Sunday was the proposed backup date, but it's out as the weather all weekend down there is questionable.

But the SDCA paddling fair on Sunday at 11 a.m. is on. We'll post if the weather prevents the event, but we'll be out with boats.


Current Lake Alvin forecast says there's a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Sunday, with mostly cloudy and a high of 65.

That event is, I say again, a go.

As soon as the Missouri River kickoff event is rescheduled, we'll have information here.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The May 2009 Prairie Paddler


One week to the paddling fair at Lake Alvin

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Don't forget that a week from Sunday, on June 7, the club will have a paddling fair for all comers to try their hands at kayaking and canoeing.

There are details in the new newsletter that is going out today.

The event begins at 11 a.m. Take the SW entrance to the lake - no fee to pay - and you'll see where to park. There's a vault toilet there, and there will be plenty of SDCA members.

We'll put a news release out with the Argus Leader today but send the word far and wide to anyone who wants to give paddling a try. Last year we had a great turnout, in part due to the stellar weather.

Looking forward to seeing YOU there.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Water quality meeting Thursday night

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
A public open house to discuss the Big Sioux River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study currently in progress is set for Thursday, May 28, 2009, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Kuehn Community Center, located at 2801 South Valley View Road, Sioux Falls.

The presentation will begin at 5:45 p.m. and includes an overview of the project followed by a question and answer session. There will also be examples of equipment being used to assess the water quality within the project area.

This link: has information on the project and updates.

The TMDL study is under way on the Big Sioux River in the Sioux Falls area, looking primarily at sediment (total suspended solids) and bacteria (fecal coliform.)

The levels of these two are now, or have historically been, above the target threshold levels for full beneficial use of the water. Both impact recreational use of the river: High TSS adversely impacts the fishery, and elevated bacteria counts pose human health risks under certain conditions.

There is more information from the 2008 Integrated Report at this link:, which has replaced the old 303(d) listing under the Clean Water Act.

The study is not looking at organic compounds such as herbicides, as there are no known impairments attributable to these substances.

SDCA members are encouraged to attend, especially if they wish to get information on how to contribute to the efforts to keep an eye on pollution in our rivers.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gung-ho group gets good Skunk Creek

Corey (1)
Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso

Seven early-riser paddlers took part in the Jerry Foy-led cruise on the Skunk Creek in western Sioux Falls Saturday morning.

DSC03282 (1)

The waterway is described well on Jay Heath's blog, he was a participant. It looks and sounds like the Skunk has something to offer for paddlers.

Only two weeks until the June 6 Missouri River cruise in Vermillion and the SDCA paddling fair on June 7 at Lake Alvin.

Nice work, crew. Looks like a good way to start a Saturday. Envy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Details for Saturday ... and more

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The next SDCA event is a cruise on the Skunk Creek in Sioux Falls.
The event begins at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, May 23.

Member Jerry Foy will play host, and we'll launch from his back yard.
In this image, Jerry's house is in the top left corner

Jerry lives at 529 N. Blue Bell Lane in Sioux Falls. For some reason, Google won't map it, but the directions are easy: Exit I-29 at 12th Street and head west to La Mesa, then go north on that street.
Take La Mesa to Fifth Street (which is known as Song Bird on the west side of the street, then go left on Song Bird for three blocks. Take a right on Blue Bell Lane to 529. He has a three-car garage, and his phone number is (605) 359-5517.

Jerry said the water levels are a bit low, so be ready to wade a little, get a few new boat scrapes, and in general to have fun. There's some rain in the forecast so perhaps it'll refill a bit before Saturday.

Hopefully it won't be as low as this shot Jerry included from a recent run on the Split Rock Creek between Garretson and Palisades State Park.

But chances are there will be some low spots. An easy trick for kayakers, to avoid getting out, is to set your paddle across your cockpit, reach down with both hands, and press/pull/drag your boat through the shallow spots. It doesn't always work, but it beats entering/exiting dozens of times.

The early start should give paddlers a chance to see some wildlife. Owls abound along the creek, and Jerry said he usually sees deer and sometimes turkey along the bank.

From Jerry's house it's about three hours to take-out on Western Avenue. Shuttling will be arranged that morning. The possibility of taking out at Cliff Avenue is there, so we'll see what people want to do and plan accordingly.

In other news, don't forget the SDCA paddling fair June 7 at Lake Alvin. It's a great chance to try a new boat or if you have yet to buy, to paddle before you spend. Last year we had a great time, great weather, and a number of people were able to see what kayaks and canoes have to offer.

On June 6, there's a cruise set on the Missouri River near Vermillion. A PDF with the directions is here: Mulberry Bend Directions

The Vermillion event is set to celebrate the development of the Missouri National Recreational River Water Trail. The route follows part of the trail. There are cockpits in kayaks available for rent for folks who want to go but have no boat. Missouri River Expeditions, a kayaking outfitter based near Gayville, will host/guide this event.

Tim Cowman with the team developing the Missouri National Recreational River Water Trail is the contact on that event. You can e-mail him at, or visit the MNRRWT site at this link:

Lastly, there's been some talk of fences across waterways. The rules, guidelines, and a contact to report these things is all below, compliments of the South Dakota Dept. of Natural Resources.

Legal fencing in South Dakota
Online at:
More info on streams and fencing:
The contact is Michael DeFea at 605-773-3352, or
Landowner Responsibilities
A landowner who fences any navigable waterway must register the fence location, and mark the fence and gate, so both are visible upstream and downstream. Landowners intending to build fences and landowners who already have fences in place must comply with these laws. Failure to comply with these laws is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Following is a complete list of landowner requirements and gate specifications.
Landowner Requirements
1) Registration of the fence with the Chief Engineer includes the following:
a) The name, address, and telephone number of the landowner proposing to construct or maintain the fence.
b) The name, address, and telephone number of the person responsible for maintaining the fence if different than the landowner.
c) The location of the fence where it crosses the stream, described by its direction and distance from the nearest legal section corner, including section number, township, and range.
2) Install and maintain a functional gate in the fence over the stream or, if allowed by variance, immediately adjacent to the public right of way to allow passage of boats, canoes, other vessels, snowmobiles, and pedestrians.
3) Remove the gate or keep it open when livestock are not present, unless a variance has been granted.
Trespassing or criminal acts such as vandalism should be reported to local law enforcement.
Minimum Gate Specifications
1) The gate must have a minimum overhead clearance of 6 feet, and a minimum opening of 6 feet wide.
2) The gate opening must be outlined with reflective or highly visible material.
3) Fencing materials may be used to close the gap on each side of the gate between the gate and the stream bank.
4) Reflectors, spaced at a maximum of 25 feet, must be attached to the fencing that connects the gate to the stream banks.
5) All reflectors or highly visible material must be visible both upstream and downstream.
6) The gate must lie between the ordinary high water marks of the stream.

The DENR Water Rights Program is responsible for processing fence registrations and processing variance requirements. Any questions regarding fencing issues, or location of registered fences, should be made to DENR, Water Rights Program, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. Phone (605) 773-3352. Registration forms are available on the Web at:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lots o' new: May 13

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Sorry there's no audio on this video - it's my new camera and I'm still learning. But this image of Travis on Marindahl Lake, and his father, Dave, gives a good indicator of the outreach SDCA can do. Both were neophytes to kayaks, both got out and loved 'em.

The Marindahl Lake paddling fair was fun, but we ended up having more members there than we did curious public.


The weather was about perfect, and save for the tricky nature in finding the lake, all nestled in a little South Dakota prairie valley, everyone had fun.


Host Rick Johns brought a few of his creations and several family members, and in all, it was a great operation in May. P1000071 It should serve us all well as a good tune-up for our June 7 event at Lake Alvin, which is all set, with Jay Heath and Jarett running things on the dock. Write either member for information, and pass the word to your friends and neighbors.

On to other news. Several SDCA board members attended the May 7 meeting to discuss the plans for the Klondike Dam on the Big Sioux River near Canton. The dam is going to be reduced and restructured to make it more friendly to paddlers, fishing enthusiasts, and fish.

Mary Finck of the SDCA board provided this photo of the proposed plan. Anyone with insight on the dam or input on possible changes to the construction/thinking is welcome to share with the Iowa DNR.

klondike dam 111

Waters downstream include our May 23 Skunk Creek run in Sioux Falls. It appears more people are voting to run the river bright and early (5 a.m. start time) to get a glimpse of some wildlife.


Reports received say the Skunk is still running nicely, but there will be some shallow spots, so leave your fiberglass at home, ya'll.

We'll have more information soon, but June 6 is a big cruise on the Missouri River. Several groups, including ours, are sponsoring the event and there will be boats available for rental for $20. More to come on that front. The cruise takes place in the Vermillion/Burbank area of the river.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Saturday at noon: Marindahl Lake

The first paddling fair of 2009 starts at noon sharp Saturday, May 9, at Marindahl Lake, located about six miles west and three miles south of Irene. Since we'll be in the southeastern part of the state, we sure hope we get some paddlers or curious folks from Yankton, Vermillion, and even Sioux City.

SDCA building chairman Rick Johns will host the event and will offer a range of craft he built for folks to try out. One of the newest Johns' creations is this unique canoe.

Rick said it is a solo canoe, designed for a paddler with a double-blade. It will be available for folks to put its 11-foot, 1-inch beauty through the mild waves of Marindahl. Weather looks sharp, too, with sun and 63 forecast.

Please spread the word wide and far - esp. to those who do not go to this blog - and we'll see you Saturday for some hands-on fun.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Big Sioux news - May 7 meeting

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
A open house meeting to discuss the future of the damaged Klondike Dam on the Big Sioux River is set for Thursday, May 7 at Lake Pahoja Park in Lyon County, three miles east of the South Dakota border. The park is located just south of Larchwood.

The meeting is open to all - paddlers, anglers, etc. - and runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Nate Hoogeveen of the Iowa DNR has invited us to get the word out and to come to the meeting. He said the SDCA can set up a table if we have any volunteers for that, a good possible recruiting chance.

Nate said:

“We can expect further damage to the dam over the coming years. Rapids constructed below the dam could shore up the existing dam, improve angler access, and enhance fishing in the area. It appears to be a sensible option for this area, but we are interested in knowing what the public thinks before proceeding.”

Contact: Nate Hoogeveen, Iowa DNR river programs coordinator, 515-281-3134.

Anyone who would want to go and represent the club at the meeting, please talk to Gene Preston and we'll set that up.
ShaRon Kelly from the SDCA is offering to give people rides to the event, you can contact him at

And yes, I know this photo is of the Dells, but I had none of the Klondike region. Same river!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Waters ahead, May

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The SDCA will host several events in May, including a cruise on the Skunk Creek in Sioux Falls on May 23.

That event will start at either 5 a.m. or noon. We are putting it out there for members to decide. If we go early, the likelihood of seeing more wildlife is higher. Of course that means getting up before the sun to get in on the fun.

Jerry Foy of Sioux Falls lives on the creek. We will launch from his house and cruise to either Western or Cliff Avenue in Sioux Falls, for a two-to-three hour cruise.

Starting at noon on May 9, we'll have a paddling fair at Marindahl Lake, located about six miles west and three miles south of Irene. There is some construction on the Irene-Volin exit, so if you are traveling I-29 to get to this event, be aware of possible detours.

The lake is good sized and pretty, as this Jay Heath photo shows. He has many more on his Web site,


A Missouri River trip in June is in the works. It'll offer a chance to bring buddies who do not have kayaks. We'll have information asap.

Sixteen-and-a-half-mile Saturday

BSR April 25-2009 076
Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
For those who paddled on Saturday from the powwow grounds to Egan, the route measured about 16.5 miles total based on member's GPS. The video above shows John Adler of Pierre finishing his day. But both John and Ryan S. wanted to either keep going or run back up and do the route again.

In all, more than 20 folks put in at the powwow grounds. BSR April 25-2009 087

Add in those who started in Flandreau and paddled to Egan and the turnout was nice, esp. considering the weather forecasts. Here are some more photos from the event.

A new post on waters ahead is coming soon.

BSR April 25-2009 052

BSR April 25-2009 043

BSR April 25-2009 030

BSR April 25-2009 026

BSR April 25-2009 017

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Everyone had fun

BSR April 25-2009 075
Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The weather actually improved through the day Saturday, and the 25+ paddlers who ran the Big Sioux enjoyed it one and all.

More photos and info about upcoming May events tomorrow.BSR April 25-2009 050

Friday, April 24, 2009

See you tomorrow

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The weather forecast continues to improve, friends:

A 20 percent chance of showers before 10 a.m.
Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 54.
North northeast winds around 10 mph.

Light to no rain, and it ends as we begin. Mild winds. Cool enough to work up a good paddling sweat. Awesome!

Just a reminder to newcomers, we do not have boats available for rent or loan at the event. The best place locally to rent boats is Nyberg's Ace in Sioux Falls, the one located at 12th St. and Kiwanis Ave. rents canoes and kayaks.

The River of the Double Bend Campground in Trent, S.D., might rent to you as well. I would Google them and call ahead if you are boat-needy.

See you tomorrow. Arrive ahead of time to give us all a chance to get acquainted and to ferry some vehicles to the dam.

We'll have a short safety briefing at approximately 9:45 a.m. with hopes of launching shortly thereafter. In summary: Safety is the No. 1 thing about this event. All other concerns are secondary.

But this is a safe route. We all need to be aware of strainers and debris, and stay way to the left of the dam at the end.

E-mail me if you have questions! See you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Better bring rain gear

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Last year, the weather was perfect for our Earth Day event. So far the forecast for Saturday is a mixed bag.

The National Weather Service report as a 9:30 a.m. Thursday says this for the Flandreau area:

Rain likely, mainly before 1pm. Cloudy, with a high near 47. Breezy, with a northeast wind between 15-20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent.

So don't forget your poncho. Or rain hat. We will run the river rain or shine, lightning would be the only factor that would lead to cancellation.

There is some road construction between Flandreau and Egan but our main N-S route should be open Saturday. But if you are coming up state highways be aware of possible detours.

And bring a poncho.