Sunday, December 26, 2010

AP: Group works to promote Missouri River Water Trail

The Associated Press • December 26, 2010

YANKTON – Fourteen informational signs will be installed in spring for canoeists and kayakers using the Missouri River between Yankton and Sioux City, Iowa.

They’ll be located along the Missouri National Recreational River Water Trail. The signs will contain historical and scientific information and denote the mileage between points.

Trail organizer Tim Cowman told the Press & Dakotan newspaper that the historical notes will help visitors realize how much of the river has changed since it was explored by Lewis and Clark.

Various groups are involved in improving public access to the river, establishing trailheads and routes, and building a website to plan float trips and disseminate information.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Save the Date!

South Dakota Canoe & Kayak Association
Annual Conference

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Outdoor Campus
Sioux Falls, SD

Agenda coming soon!

Monday, November 1, 2010

There's another paddle on Saturday, folks

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Like some sort of paddling Energizer Bunnies, Larry, Mary and Dave are planning a cruise on the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls next Saturday, Nov. 6.

Meet at the river access point on 57th Street at 1 p.m., then take part in the vehicle shuttle first. The cruise will run to Kilian Community College on Sixth Street, so it's a perfect fall run in Downtown Sioux Falls.

Dave said this is a fun trip, and the weather forecast calls for a sunny day with temperatures in the lower to mid 50s.

Dave's number is in the post directly below this one if you have questions. Go, go, go paddling!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Snow Wednesday, but paddle set for Saturday

Originally uploaded by jayalbionheath
Yes, the snow is coming, but on Saturday, Oct. 30, Dave and Mary Finck and Larry Braaten are hosting another cruise, this one on Split Rock Creek in Brandon.

The start time is set for 12:30 p.m. at McHardy Park in Brandon. Do not unload your kayaks or canoes because the group will gather at the park, then drive to the northwest side of Corson for the start.

Participants will drop off boats, then move vehicles back to McHardy Park.There are several small rapids on that stretch of the creek and one portage in the gravel pit. It is a good place for a little break.

Dave said he hopes to see you at this event. If you have any questions you can call him at 605-366-6844.

Weather for Brandon on Saturday: Slight chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with highs near 59. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Big Sioux trip set for Sunday

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Dave and Mary Finck and Larry Braaten are planning a trip on Sunday, Oct. 24. Gather at 12:30 p.m at the Grandview area, and then paddle down to Klondike .

We will shuttle vehicles first.

The starting spot is just NE of 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 Klondike to the Iowa side, and take out there, If you have any questions you can call Dave at 605-366-6844. It is a nice run; hope to see you there

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Another Iowa trip set for Sunday

Here's a quick weather update for the cruise Oct. 10 (tomorrow) in Iowa:
Sunday: Slight chance of showers, thunderstorms after 1. Mostly sunny, highs, 78. E winds 3-7 mph. Chance of precip 20 percent.

Originally uploaded by jayalbionheath
Dave and Mary Finck, our industrious board members and cruise leaders, are inviting you, your neighbors, and everyone who is in the mood for some October fun to join them in Rock Rapids, Iowa, on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

The club will host a cruise on the Rock River. This is a re-do of a September cruise, and the river is higher and in great shape for canoes or kayaks.

Meet up at the park - it's located in the north central part of Rock Rapids. The town is about 30-40 minutes from Sioux Falls, go east on Iowa State Highway 9 to reach it.

After folks gather, they will shuttle vehicles, then get started on the run. Call Dave if you have questions, 605-366-6844.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CHANGE OF VENUE - Saturday, Oct. 2

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Due to the flooding conditions on the Big Sioux River and the closing of waters in Minnehaha County, the Split Rock Creek cruise scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 2, has been moved to Lake Alvin.

Cruise leader Gene Preston said he will plan to be at Lake Alvin at the Lake access point on the North side at 1 p.m.

Other members of the South Dakota Canoe and Kayak Association also will be there, and while it will not be a moving-water cruise, the lake is scenic and very full.

Lake Alvin is fed, in part, by the Seven Mile Creek - shown in the photo - that will be worth exploring during the outing. Join us for this substitute adventure. Ryan Snuggerud, a club member, said this of the lake:

"The water is the highest I've ever seen it and it was fantastic to be on Alvin and not hit bottom with my paddle.The dock at the public access was partially under water and unusable. But all bank to the left was really easy to use as a substitute."

Post your questions here or call Gene Preston for more information - his number should be below on the original Oct. 2 trip entry - and consider joining the SDCKA for this fun trip to the lake!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The Split Rock / Big Sioux cruise scheduled for Oct 2nd has been cancelled due to flooding and closure of the waterways in Minnehaha County.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CANCELLED: Two new events this weekend - including moonlight


Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Dave and Mary Finck invite all paddlers to a moonlight cruise on Friday, Sept. 24, on the Split Rock Creek in the Garretson City Park.

They will gather there around 7 p.m. and then cruise up the Split Rock above the dam in the park. The water here allows for some scenic cruising, and if you have never paddled in the dark, this is a good and safe place to give it a try. It's a lot of fun.

In addition, Mary, Dave, and Larry Braaten are hosting a trip on the Split Rock Creek starting in Brandon on Sunday, Sept. 26. They are asking paddlers who want to join them to do so around 1 p.m.

If you arrive early, do not unload your boats as the group will only gather at the park, then caravan to a put-in near Corson. I say again, meet in McHardy Park in Brandon, do not unload, then roll to the starting point farther up river on Split Rock.

There is one small portage on the Sunday route, but it's a good place for a rest stop. So join the fun.

Questions? Call Dave at 605-366-6844.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another Big Sioux trip set: Sunday in Canton

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
We're trying it again! Starting at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, Larry Braaten will join Dave and Mary Finck for a cruise re-do from Canton to Newton Hills.

Meet on South Lincoln Street in Canton, near the river, for shuttle work first. Dave said he hopes everyone will try to make it as this is an enjoyable cruise on a nice stretch of the Big Sioux River.

If you have any questions, call Larry at 605-764-5654 or Dave at 605-366-6844.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

CANCELLED: Split Rock/Big Sioux trip set for Oct. 2

BSR April 25-2009 086
Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Come and join us for a Fall Canoe Cruise from McHardy Park, in Brandon, to the Highway 38/42 bridge at historic East Sioux Falls (the Arboretum) on Saturday, October 2, 2010.

Meet at 1 P.M. at McHardy Park in Brandon. This route has short stretches of flat water with gentle Class I rapids. A pole is useful on Split Rock Creek when the water is low. The water will probably be the best we have had this time of the year for quite a while.

Deer, fish, muskrat, ducks, owls, turkeys and other wildlife may be seen. The cruise takes about 3-4 hours depending on the water conditions and the skill and goals of the paddlers.

Bring a camera, snacks, and some drinking water and enjoy an afternoon on the water. An alternate route might be used if conditions warrant. The put-in and take-out may be altered depending on conditions. Life vests are required.

For more information call Eugene Preston at 605-582-2573.

*yes, I know this photo is not the location - it is in Flandreau - but it shows paddlers gathering!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sept. 11: Dells to Baltic run set for 1 p.m.

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso


Dave, Mary, and Larry are again organizing a cruise for all paddlers.

This cruise will be Saturday, Sept. 11 on the Big Sioux River between Dell Rapids and Baltic. It features a set of rapids and, as the picture shows, a nice run through the Dells of the Big Sioux River.

The plan is to meet at the city park in Dell Rapids around 1 p.m. Participants then will shuttle vehicles to Baltic and get things under way.

The water levels are still pretty high, so this run should be about 3 hours, perhaps less depending on paddlers. Call Dave with your questions at 605-366-6844.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sunday, Sept. 5: Rock River Iowa cruise planned

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The club is expanding into Iowa this coming weekend with a cruise on the Rock River on Sunday, Sept. 5.

The plan is to meet at the Rock Rapids, Iowa city park at 1 p.m., and then shuttle vehicles to either Doon or Highway 75, then get underway.

Mary and Dave Finck, along with Larry Braaten, are organizing this event, and they will determine the length upon arrival and shuttle.

This image is courtesy of the USGS site. Not sure how old it is.

Need more info? Call Dave at 605-366-6844.

Vermillion area Missouri River run set for Sept. 12

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
On Sunday, Sept. 12, kayakers and canoeists from the Vermillion/Yankton area are hosting a cruise from Myron Grove river access point to Mulberry Bend, near the Highway 19 bridge on the Nebraska side. It starts at 9 a.m.

Paddlers who want to take part should meet at Myron Grove at 9 a.m. Locals also call Myron Grove access "High Lines." A paid shuttle is available and costs $10 per person. Other shuttling arrangements are TBA.

The run is approximately 11.3 miles and depending on winds should take between 2-4 hours. Goat Island and the Gunderson backwater are areas of interest along the route.

The shuttle service, DJ's Sports Rentals in Yankton, also has kayaks for rent. To get information on their rentals or the shuttle service on Sept. 12, call 605-665-3206 or visit their site at

Updates, to include cancellation if weather goes pear-shaped, are available online at this site: SDCKA board member Rick Johns is organizing this on the club side, you can call him at 605-624-9704 or call member Dean Spader at 605-624-6831 for more information on the event.

Myron Grove, the starting point for the Sept. 12 trip, is located at the end of 454th Avenue, and that north-south gravel road (that goes all the way to the water) is about 5-7 miles west of Vermillion.

Mulberry Bend, the end-point, is on the Nebraska side of the Highway 19 bridge. Cross the bridge into Nebraska, then continue south about 1 mile to a quick right turn onto gravel. That road loops back under the bridge and down to the boat ramp/parking area.

Don't forget sunscreen, water, snacks. Feel free to post questions here and we'll answer them.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Short Notice Paddle (SUNDAY, AUG 22 - 3:30pm)

It is time to enter the water again. Ed Hoffman and Cory Diedrich are planning a SKUNK CREEK run Sunday afternoon.

Meet at Jerry Foy's house around 3:30pm. W 12th north on La Mesa (along the Skunk) - Turn west on Song Bird then turn north Blue Bell - look for the crowd.

We will unload and tranfer vehicles to either Granite City (5.5 miles) or 57th and Western (7 miles).

The river looks great right now. This run includes the best set of rapids and should take a couple of hours after putting in.

Contact Cory if you have questions 605-321-6554

This a a great river to run and it is local!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

All Clear

Big Sioux River open for recreational use

The Big Sioux River is open to recreational use again.

Gov. Mike Rounds has lifted the Aug. 6 executive order that banned people from the river after Sioux Falls pumped sewer water into it to deal with a sewer main collapse.

The city has been monitoring fecal coliform counts, and tests indicate levels are typical for this time of year. The city has stopped all pumping into the river.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sad news

We lost a good paddling companion this past weekend. Denny Lewis lost his battle with cancer.

I last talked with Denny at the Earth Day paddle in Flandreau. Due to his condition, he wasn't able to get on the water. He loved the sport so much he drove out to see everyone depart. He longed for a time that he could get back on the water, but admitted it probably would never happen.

Our thoughts & prayers go out to his family.


Dennis E. Lewis
(April 22, 1952 - August 14, 2010)

Dennis E. Lewis, 58, of Egan, died Saturday, August 14, 2010 at Riverview Manor, Flandreau. Dennis was born April 22, 1952 at Wells, MN to Claude and Vergean (Stombaugh) Lewis. After his mother’s death in 1953 he moved to Egan and was raised by his maternal grandparents Irving and Emma Stombaugh. Dennis was baptized and confirmed at Egan Methodist Church. While in high school he was a member of “The Thirteenth Hour” band and graduated from Egan High School in 1970. Denny married Roberta Babcock on March 30, 1970 in Kingman, AZ. He worked on the construction of the London Bridge at Lake Havasu City, AZ until 1972. He attended Pipestone Vocational School for meat cutting and then worked as a meat cutter for several grocery stores and at John Morrell’s. He started Lewis Construction in 1989. Denny was proud to have his son, Scott, working with him and took pride in their quality of work. He received his private pilot’s license in 2000 and became a certified scuba diver in 2003. Denny was a member of the SD Pilot’s Association, the AAC, SD Canoe and Kayak Association, a former Egan School Board member and had been to 17 continuous years at the Oshkosh, WI air show. Denny enjoyed scuba diving, kayaking, ham radio and constructing intricate train displays.
Dennis is survived by 3 children, Scott (Tiffany) Lewis, Egan, Jennifer (Eric) Valdez, Sherwood, OR, Roxanne Bush, Bryant, SD; 10 grandchildren, Alyssa, Kyle, Kelly, Jessalyn, Alec, Marissa, Vanessa, Cody, Riley, Wyatt; one sister, Claudia (Alan) Beyer, West Branch, IA; a niece, Stacy and special friend, Carole Cook. He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.

Funeral services will be Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 11:00 AM at Egan Methodist Church with burial at Hillside Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 5:00 PM Tuesday with a 7:00 PM prayer service at Skroch Funeral Chapel, Flandreau.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

UPDATES! Location/event change this weekend!

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Due to conditions farther south, the SDCKA will host a cruise at noon on Saturday, Aug. 14, in Egan.

The cruise is about 10 miles and Larry Braaten is the leader for the event. The Egan event replaces both Larry's planned cruise near Canton and ShaRon Kelly's planned cruise near Baltic. This is the only organized event scheduled for the weekend of Aug 14-15.

If you want to join us, gather around noon in Egan. We'll unload there and then shuttle vehicles to the River of the Double Bend Campground in Trent. It's about 10-12 river miles downstream from Egan, and with the water moving so quickly, it should take about 2-3 hours to complete this route, depending on paddler's pace, etc.

Since the river has been so high, expect muddy conditions at both the start and finish. The starting point is the Egan City Park, located on the southeast edge of town. There's an iron bridge that crosses the river, and the park is adjacent.

If you have any questions, call Jarett at 605-941-4940.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

CANCELLED: Cabela's Kayak Test Drive

***Cabela's has decided to postpone this event and hold it next spring.***

If you happen to be in the Mitchell area on Saturday, stop by Cabela's. SDCKA Board Members will be assisting with their kayak demo day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010
Kayak Test Drives
11:00am to 1:00pm
Cabela’s Pond

Whether your looking to get started with your first kayak or if you’re an experienced kayaker wanting to try out some new kayaks, stop outside by our Cabela’s Pond for our Kayak Test Drive Day. Kayak brands that we carry at Cabela’s include Old Town, Emotion and Perception. Members from the South Dakota Canoe and Kayak Association will be present to help out and give you some pointers if it’s your first kayaking experience.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hopefully we can get back on the water before it snows...

Executive Order Makes Big Sioux River Use Illegal

KELO TV | August 5, 2010

SIOUX FALLS, SD - Governor Mike Rounds has issued an executive order prohibiting use of the Big Sioux River in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties until further notice. This makes it illegal to use the river and its tributaries throughout these counties.

High water flows along with emergency discharge from the Sioux Falls sanitary sewer system prompted the order.

Officials say it is unsafe to be exposed to the river or its tributaries for recreational purposes.

WARNING: Big Sioux River

Canton officials advise residents to stay out of Big Sioux River

Argus Leader | August 5, 2010

The City of Canton has issued an advisory for people to stay out of the Big Sioux River after a sewer main break in Sioux Falls Wednesday caused city officials to discharge sewage into the river.

On Wednesday evening Sioux Falls residents west of Minnesota Avenue were asked to stop using water after a sewer pipe broke near the state penitentiary and the intersection of First Avenue and North Drive.

Residents in Sioux Falls also are being asked to avoid the Big Sioux River and Covell Lake after wastewater was discharged into them. Wastewater also was pumped overland north of Falls Park.

As the sewage flows downstream, people south of Sioux Falls also are being asked to be careful.

The City of Canton issued an advisory this morning asking people to stay out of the river after they were advised by Lincoln County Emergency Management to do so, said Amy Nelson, city manager.

Nelson said her main concern besides keeping people out of the water was to let people know that drinking water is safe and there are no issues with Canton’s wastewater system.

“In terms of our wastewater system, it’s working and operable, and it’s not threatened in any way,” she said.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Seriously folks, stay off the water

I just returned from scouting the river.

Apparently, someone in a canoe decided it would be a good idea to paddle into the river and snap a few photos. This led to a flurry of SF Search & Rescue folks working to find this individual.

I'm not sure of the specifics, but please do not be foolish and attempt to enter swollen rivers.

UPDATE: The apparent canoeist was actually a couple walking along the bike path.
I did, however, spot two kayakers on the river around 1:30pm. Not smart.

Also - the city is letting raw sewage into the river to relieve some pressure from the system. Just another reason to stay out of the water for a while.

57th & Western parking lot for the boat landing

Spencer Park entrance is now being used as a boat ramp for SF Fire & Rescue

SF Fire & Rescue after locating the missing person

Looking downstream from the Yankton Park Bridge

Yankton Park southern bridge

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Clean-up event among several right around the corner

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso


Several new events are rapidly approaching, and all are set on the Big Sioux River.

On Aug. 1, the SDCKA will host a cruise that starts in Canton at 1 p.m. Gathering spot will be near the river access on South Lincoln Street in Canton. Meet up there, then shuttle vehicles to Newton Hills State Park. The group then will paddle down to their cars. It's a great stretch of the river and all are welcome. Call Larry, 605-764-5654, or Dave at 605-366-6844.


On Aug. 4, a Sioux Falls run (shown in the first picture) with a focus on clean-up is set. This event starts at 5:30 p.m. at the river access on 57th Street, located near the DQ. Meet at the lot, then help get trash and junk off the river for a few hours. Dave and Mary Finck are running this operation, so join them if you wish, and if you have questions, call Dave at 605-366-6844.

On Aug. 15, ShaRon Kelly is leading a BSR trip of length - Dells to past Baltic - that starts at 9:30 a.m. The trip is set to highlight the necessity for work on the low-head dams that are near Baltic, and it includes a run through the Dells of the Big Sioux River. ShaRon will meet with folks at 9:30 a.m. and then he and others will shuttle vehicles as needed. There is a long portage around two low-head dams near Baltic. For information on this event, call ShaRon at 605-323-8053.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Moonlight cruise set for Friday night

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso


Dave and Mary Finck are hosting a gathering on Friday night, July 23, on Split Rock Creek in the Garretson City Park.

They will host a little "moonlight" run that evening and will have both canoes and kayaks if anyone who is boat-less wants to join the fun. Paddlers with boats are welcome, too, and they plan to hang around and kayak until darkness falls.

The moon goes full on Monday, but there should be plenty of fun regardless of the size or shape of the moon. If you have never paddled after dark, it's quite fun and the spot Dave and Mary picked is perfect for first-timers to give it a spin.

Questions? Write Jarett ( or call Dave, 605-366-6844.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

City kayak event set for Sunday at 1 p.m.

Originally uploaded by jayalbionheath
Club members Larry Braaten, along with Dave and Mary Finck, are planning a cruise on the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls on Sunday, July 18.

They will start at a put-in across from the Dairy Queen near Western Ave on 57th Street, then paddle down to a take-out near 14th Street and Cliff Avenue.

The gathering starts at 1 p.m. with a quick shuttle of vehicles. To join them, just show up, or e-mail Jarett and he'll relay your info to Dave, Mary, or Larry.

Don't forget we need volunteers for the July 17 water testing. Please RSVP for this, as we need help to test the Grass Lake water, friends.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Water testing Saturday at Grass Lake

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The SDCKA will take part in water testing efforts starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 17, at Grass Lake. Volunteers for this effort are needed, and we hope to see many kayaks and canoes out at the lake.

Grass Lake is located west of Sioux Falls. To get there, take 12th Street (Highway 42) west of town about 7-10 miles until you reach 459th Avenue. There, turn right (or north) and go about 3 miles. The road curves in several spots, and Grass Lake access is on the west (or left) side just after one of the curves.

The turn to go into the lake comes up quickly, so slow down as you see the lake on the left, a slough (near a trap shooting lodge) on the right.

We'll gather there and Jeremy from Dakota Water Watch will give instructions on what information we'll gather, to include water samples and some data. The forecast is for 86 and partly sunny.

Usually the sampling takes about 90 minutes, depending on the number of paddlers. Mary and Dave Finck are running the show, so to speak, and if you have any questions, you can relay them to Jarett ( or call them at 605-366-6844.

We are hoping to have pre-registration so that the Dakota Water Watch person has a good idea how much equipment to bring, so please call Mary and Dave to confirm you are going, or post a comment here, or e-mail Jarett.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CANCELED! Dells to Baltic run Saturday at 8 a.m.

CANCELED DUE TO HIGH WATER...look for a new date in the near future.

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Hola amigos!

SDCKA board member Judy Austad is going to lead a cruise on Saturday, July 10, from Dells to Balti on the Big Sioux River. The river is up but not dangerous, but there was more rain last night in Brookings County, so who knows what the wacky Big Sioux will have in store.

Judy welcomes all to the event. Meet up at the Dell Rapids park, then shuttling will start. River splits just past the bridge in Dells, and the trip should take 2-3 hours, depending on the flow.

If rains lead to flooded conditions, the event will be postponed. We'll update the blog again on Friday morning to confirm this run.

If you have questions, write Jarett at and he'll relay the information.

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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Wow - so many to thank

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The first-ever South Dakota Kayak Challenge ended with the last of the nearly 90 racers finishing early Sunday afternoon in Sioux City.

The South Dakota Canoe & Kayak Association really kicked ass, so many members volunteered, raced, or just contributed a bit of themselves in order for this race to be a success.

We have certainly helped to put South Dakota paddling on the map with the race!

Our concerns and plans turn local now as we get ready for Saturday's Paddling Fair. It's 1-4 p.m. at Family Lake and if you have any questions, write to any board member or call Jarett at 605-941-4940.

We are indeed planning a 2011 South Dakota Kayak Challenge, and we sure hope we can get more paddlers on the water for this super event, and more volunteers to help them enjoy this majestic waterway.

Again, huge thank yous to all the volunteers who made our checkpoints and organization work so well. YOU ROCK!


Monday, May 24, 2010


Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Oahe Days/Pierre event is June 19.

Two events coming up AFTER SDKC

BSR April 25-2009 086
Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Sorry, this blog has been ignored as of late, in part due to preparation for the South Dakota Kayak Challenge that takes place in Yankton this weekend. Feel free to write Jarett or Steven if you would like to volunteer for that event.

Beyond the big 85-boat kayak race, we have our annual paddling fair on June 5 at the new Family Lake Park in Sioux Falls. It's running 1-4 p.m. and we encourage ALL members to come out, share their sport, and have some fun.

In addition, on June 12, member Pat Wellner will host a little paddling action in Pierre. It's also Oahe Days, so if you'd like to paddle the Missouri River with a river rat who knows it very well, give Pat a shout, or search for "Pirates of the Missouri" on the Interweb.

His blog of the same name is also linked to this one.

We'll continue to update you with more events as they come up this summer.

Huge thanks to everyone for getting the word out about the race, and for taking time to volunteer and contribute.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CANCELLED:May 22: Missouri River Cruise

From my inbox

Due to the dangers of high winds, the May 22 Canoe and Kayaking event on the Missouri River from Highline to Mulberrry Point has been cancelled. Visit for further information.

Join area river enthusiasts for an outing on the Missouri River Water Trail. The route will be from Myron Grove (Highlines) near Meckling, SD to Mulberry Bend near the Newcastle-Vermillion Bridge. We will meet at the Myron Grove boat ramp at 9:00am. (To get to Myron Grove, drive east from Yankton or west from Vermillion on Highway 50 to 454th Ave, then turn south and drive 6.5 miles to the Missouri River.) Unique features of this segment of the river include Goat Island and the Gunderson Backwater.

Shuttle service from the takeout back to Myron Grove will be provided by DJ’s Sports Rentals of Yankton until 2:00pm for $10 per person payable at the event. Provide your own kayak/canoe, or rent one in advance from DJ’s (605-665-3206). No guide service will be provided; you must be able to navigate on your own. If you have any event questions, you may contact Rick Johns of the SD Canoe and Kayak Association at 605-624-9704, or Dean Spader at 605-624-6831.

For event updates and more information about the water trail, visit

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 8: Missouri River Clean-up


In 2009 over 200 volunteers attended this event to cleanup the banks of the Missouri River near Yankton. Boaters covered 12 miles of banks on the South Dakota and Nebraska side and collected over 7.14 tons of garbage. Thank you to everyone who helped with this event to protect one of the areas greatest natural resource!

Volunteers are needed to help at The Great Missouri River Cleanup event. Volunteers will be collecting trash along the shoreline. Gloves and vests will be provided. Keep Yankton Beautiful will serve coffee, juice and donuts at the morning kick-off meeting. Hot dogs and hamburgers will served for the noon lunch.

LOCATION: Riverside Park Boat Ramp - Yankton SD
May 8th 8am - Noon or 1pm

Email with questions.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Get on the BSR Saturday - Klondike - 1 p.m.

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
SDCKA cruise director Larry Braaten and Dave Finck are planning a cruise this Saturday, May 1, on the Big Sioux River between the Klondike and Canton. Gathering starts at 1 p.m.

This trip is a good one - plenty of wildlife and the river is running nicely - and all members and paddlers alike are welcome to take part in this free event.

Folks will begin shuttling vehicles to Canton around 1 p.m. You can call Dave with questions at 605-366-6844.

Here's the way the Klondike looked last year.

It's a simple trip - probably 2-3 hours - and there's often owls and other birds of prey. Join the group - it's fun - and the Klondike road is pretty easy to find. From I-29, take the County Highway 116/276th Street exit, then head east until you hit the river. That exit is the one right before (heading S) the Worthing exit. Or the one right after Worthing if you are heading N.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Volunteers needed for the race - it starts here!

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The South Dakota Kayak Challenge is set for May 29-30 on the Missouri River between Yankton, S.D. and Sioux City, Iowa, and its organizers seek volunteers to make the race a smashing success.

The race is about 70 miles in length and racers will have 36 hours to complete the course. Currently about two dozen racers are signed up and a grand total of racers could reach 50.

The organizers are seeking volunteers for the following duties:

Registration: Help racers get their packets, answer questions about Yankton and the region, and provide other miscellaneous help or information. This will take place between 5-7 p.m. on the night before the race, May 28. We are seeking between 5-10 people for this duty, depending on the number of racers.

Pre-race set up: Help racers set up for the starting gun that takes place at 7 a.m. on May 29 at Riverside Park in Yankton. Basically helping make sure people are in the right place as the event starts, assisting unsupported crews with their gear, helping out as necessary. Checkpoint staff will synchronize watches/phones/iPods at this event, too.

Checkpoints: The race will have four checkpoints and we'll have staff/volunteers at the first one by 11 a.m. Volunteers at checkpoints will watch for racers and when they approach, they will record the racer's number and team name. We'll have “rolling” checkpoints so the racers need not exit their boats, just get close enough so the checkpoint staff can get the info, then off they go. We also will have ice and water for racers at the checkpoints.

On-water safety/spotters: We invite any and all boaters to follow our racers to make sure they are OK and so we have an idea when to close and open checkpoints as we go. This is open to powered and non-powered watercraft.

On-land safety/spotters: We will have some folks at a variety of points to make sure we are attuned to the progress of the racers, these jobs will open/close as the race progresses down the river.

Finish line staff: We'll need about 5-10 people to record the finishes of racers as they cross the finish line at the entrance of the marina at Bev's on the Water in Sioux City, and we'll need a few strong volunteers to assist racers in exiting the water and hauling their boats and gear up from the marina to the staging area.

Finish line will also have a tent to give racers water/beverages and to record their information for awards.

Awards staff: Seek two to three people to help with awards and other sundry closing ceremony duties.

If you would like to volunteer, call Jarett Bies at 605-941-4940, or Steven Dahlmeier at 605-864-9011. Or you can e-mail Jarett at, or Steven at

For more information on the event, visit the South Dakota Kayak Challenge website at this link:

Share your sport opportunity on May 27

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls will host an adult paddling skills class from 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 27, at the ODC's pond.

The ODC has asked the club to lend a hand. Anyone who would like to take part and share their knowledge is welcome to do so. Some members may not be able to due to the South Dakota Kayak Challenge race that weekend.

If you want more information, e-mail Jarett at and he can put you in touch with the organizer at the Outdoor Campus.

Great outing, albeit with variety of weather

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Here's a short video of the Earth Day trip. Seven of us took part and we did face fog and - as you can see - rain, but in all, it was a hoot. This video shows everyone paddling.

By the time we took a break, it was sunny, and many of us stripped out of rain layers and coats.


It was a great trip, overall. We left right at 10 a.m. and we were off the water before 1 p.m.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

You won't know if you don't go

Earth Day 2010 -edit
Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The lucky seven in this photo found out Flandreau was going to have some sun after noon on the annual Earth Day trip.

The group finished in about 2.5 hours on a day that started with fog, followed with rain, then finished with sunshine.

In all, it was a hoot. More photos and video to follow.

Remember that May 22, the club is joining other groups on a Missouri River run that starts near Vermillion. Details will come in no time.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Put-in view looks pretty good

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Remember, tomorrow, rain or shine, we are having our Earth Day paddle from the powwow grounds 1 mile north of Flandreau to the dam in the city.

It is a 9-12 mile paddle. Should take 2-3 hours. We'll start shuttling vehicles around 9-9:15 a.m. We aim to launch the cruise at 10 a.m.

In the event of lightning in the area, we will postpone the event.

As the picture shows, the river is high but not too high, it might actually work to our advantage. And the trip will be a bit shorter. You can see how fast the water's moving in this video.

Niobrara action!

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Check out this cool video Cory D. shot on the Niobrara trip. More videos on Jarett's flickr account. They rock!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Overview for Saturday

Picture 6

Earth Day cruise set for Saturday at 10 a.m.

The 2010 Earth Day cruise starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 24, on the Big Sioux River near Flandreau. It's a 9-12 mile trip that ends near the lowhead dam in town. It should take about 2-3 hours, depending on wind and water.

Paddlers should meet at the powwow grounds about 1 mile north of Flandreau on SD Highway 13. We'll shuttle vehicles starting around 9-9:15 a.m., then circle back with hopes of a 10 a.m. launch. Click on any of these photos/maps for a bigger view.

Here's a close-up of the put-in spot at the powwow grounds:
Picture 3

Here's a look at the dam - there's plenty of parking on the nearside, and if we run out there's a ton on the other side of the river.

Picture 4

Last year, some paddlers who wanted a longer trip continued down river to Egan. It can add 2-3 more hours of trip to your day on the water. Let me know if anyone wants to do this so we can shuttle vehicles to Egan as well as to the dam.

Bring a dry bag with a spare set of clothing. The water will be bone-chilling and a simple mistake can lead to dangerous conditions. Having dry clothes along might seem superfluous but it could save a life.

Picture 5

Picture 6

I hope these maps help.