Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jan 28: SD Canoe & Kayak Association Conference

The SD Canoe & Kayak Association will be hosting their annual conference on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at The Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls from noon to 4pm.

The conference will include presentations on waterways, safety, conservation along with booths featuring various vendors. There will also be a short business meeting to elect new board members for 2012. Contact Steven at if you're interested in joining the board.

Schedule of presentations will be posted by January 15.

We hope you can join us!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Saturday, Nov 5th Cruise

On Saturday November 5th at 1:00 PM Larry Braaten is leading a cruise from Newton Hills to Fairview. This is a little over 5 miles and will meet
at the boat ramp across from the Newton Hills horse camp. Shuttle first.

If you have any questions you can call Larry at 605-764-5654. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oct 1-2 Cruise

This year the South Dakota Canoe & Kayak Association is celebrating it's 30th Anniversary. With every milestone comes a celebration.

On October 1-2, we will be hosting a two-part cruise. We'd love to have you join us on some or all of it!

Saturday, October 1:

2:00pm - Meet at Lien Park (North Cliff) in Sioux Falls. We'll shuttle cars to Big Sioux Recreation (Brandon).

2:45pm - Lien Park to Big Sioux Recreation (approx 11 miles)

7:00pm - SDCKA Cook-out at Big Sioux Rec Picnic Shelter

Please get your camping reservations as soon as possible. They fill-up fast on the weekends.

Sunday, October 2:

8:00am - Shuttle cars to the Lake Alvin access

8:45am - Big Sioux Rec to Lake Alvin access (approx 12.5 miles)

This will be a great event to get together with your paddling friends and meet new ones!
Please give me a call if you have any questions.
Steven Dahlmeier
South Dakota Canoe & Kayak Association

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BSR Clean-up

A HUGE thank you to all the volunteers who came out tonight (Aug 17, 2011) to help clean the river. We made a small dent in a dirty river - but we call can all be proud of what was accomplished. A TV, kiddy pool, shoes, inner tubes and way too many grocery bags - will no longer be spending their days hanging along the banks of the Big Sioux. THANKS AGAIN!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Annual Big Sioux River Clean-up

As the waters begin to recede on Big Sioux River through Sioux Falls, it makes way to piles of garbage that have washed down and collected along the banks and in trees. We have to take it among ourselves to get the river back to the way we all enjoy it most - clean!

As part of our yearly push to keep the rivers clean, we'll be hosting a clean-up cruise on Wed Aug 17 at 5:30pm.

Please meet at Farm Field Park (57th & Western).

Canoes & kayaks are welcome. Please bring along gloves and bug spray. Milk crates also work great for temp storage on your hull.

We will work our way downstream and collect trash along the banks. A few of the canoes will act as barges to haul the trash downstream.

This year we are partnering with Millennium Recycling to recycle as much trash as possible this year.

Post a comment with any questions.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 23-24 Paddles

Saturday July 23 2:00 P.M.
Lake Lakota Paddle
Lake Lakota is located southeast of Newton Hills State Park. Newton Hills is south of Canton.

Sunday July 24 1:00 P.M.
Meet at Legacy Park for a Skunk Creek / Big Sioux River paddle to E. 26th street

If you have any questions you may call Dave Finck at 605-366-6844.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 19: Father's Day Skunk Creek/ BSR Cruise

What: Father's Day Skunk Creek / Big Sioux River Cruise
When: June 19 @ 1pm
Where: Meet at Legacy Park (12th & Sertoma)

Dave and Mary Finck and Larry Braaten are planning a run from Legacy park to east 26th street we will meet at Legacy Park on west 12th at 1:00 P M on Sunday afternoon June 19 and shuttle vehicles to east 26th steet this is 4-4 1/2 hour trip hope to see you there. If you have any questions you can call Dave at 605-366-6844.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 12: Split Rock Creek

What: Split Rock Creek Cruise
Where: North of Brandon to McHardy Park - meet @ McHardy
When: Sunday, June 12th @ 1pm

Meet at McHardy park to caravan to the put-in at the bridge on 259th street. Anyone wanting to join us are more than welcome. If you have any questions you may call Dave Finck at: 605-366-6844.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saturday, June 4: Paddling Fair / Water Sampling

Saturday, June 4, 2011
10:00 a.m. Water Sampling with Dakota Water Watch (Lake Alvin)
12:00 p.m. Grilling at the lake
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Paddling Fair (Lake Alvin)
5:00 p.m. - Split Rock Creek Cruise

We will be meeting at Lake Alvin at 10:00 a.m. to conduct a water sampling throughout the lake in conjunction with Dakota Water Watch. Volunteers will paddle to various areas on the lake and take water samples and check depth. DWW will provide all the materials. Please let Dave Finck know if you plan on attending.

We will be using the southwest boat ramp at Lake Alvin.

Following the water sampling, we will be grilling out along the lake. Feel free to bring along something to grill and join us.

At 1:00 p.m. we will host our annual Paddling Fair at Lake Alvin. SDCKA members will bring their boats, along with various vendors in the area, and allow anyone new to the sport, or looking at upgrading their boats, to test drive anyone they'd like. Staff will be on hand for guidance and give instruction.

We've added a Split Rock Creek cruise starting at 5pm. We will meet below the dam in the Garretson city park.

We hope you'll come out an join us! Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Due to increasing river levels, the South Dakota Kayak Challenge has been canceled for this year.

Thanks to everyone who planned on racing or volunteering!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Upcoming Events

May 27-29, 2011
South Dakota Kayak Challenge

Registration has closed, but visit the website to sign-up to volunteer.

June 4, 2011
Paddling Fair
Lake Alvin

More information coming soon.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Saturday, May 14 - Big Sioux River

What: Big Sioux River Cruise
When: Saturday, May 14 @ 1:30pm
Where: 57th & Western (Sioux Falls)

Larry Braaten, Mary and Dave Finck are planning a trip from 57th Street across from Dairy Queen to 26th street. We will meet at 57th St just west of Western Avenue, on Saturday May 14, 2011 at 1:30 P M and shuttle the vehicles first. It is about a 2hr run. Nice trip Hope to see you there. If you have any questions you can call Dave at 605-366-6844.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Governor lifts ban on recreational use of Big Sioux River

Argus Leader | May 5, 2011

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has lifted the recreational use ban on the
Big Sioux River in eastern South Dakota.

Residents had been banned because of high flood waters creating
dangerous conditions.

Even though the ban has been lifted, Department of Game, Fish
and Parks officials are asking people recreating on the Big
Sioux to remain cautious.

A 300-foot no wake zone is in effect on both Lake Poinsett and
Blue Dog Lake. Boaters within 300 feet of the shoreline
anywhere on these two lakes must operate their boats at a
slow speed – about 5 miles per hour.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

TWO Events Saturday

Missouri River Cleanup 2011
May 7 @ 8am
Riverside Park Boat Ramp, Yankton, SD

For more information, contact Dugan Smith at the National Park Service by calling 605-665-0209 x28 or email him at


Rock River Cruise
May 7 @ 2pm
Rock Rapids, IA

Larry Braaten, Mary and Dave Finck are planning a cruise in Rock Rapids, IA down the Rock river on Saturday May 7th at 2:00 P M.

We will meet at the Island at Park in Rock Rapids and shuttle our vehicles first. Then proceed down the Rock river to Hyway 75.

It is about a 21/2 to 3 hour run. If there are any questions you can call Dave at 605-366-6844.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cancelled: Earth Day Cruise

Due to the perpetual high water levels on the Big Sioux, we're forced to cancel this years Earth Day cruise. The cruise was to be held this Saturday, April 23.

Check back soon for more opportunities to get on the water (pending flooding).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NIOBRARA RIVER Trip - April 16th & 17th

Valentine, Neb – SDCKA members Pete Larson and Cory Diedrich will be organizing an exciting early season paddle on the Niobrara River on April 16th and 17th. This will be a two-day, one-night paddling and camping trip on a scenic river about 4 hours drive from Sioux Falls.

We plan to paddle from Cornell Bridge about 5 miles east of Valentine to Smith Falls State Park on Saturday. We will then paddle from Smith Falls State Park to Rocky Ford on Sunday to complete the 25 mile section on the beautiful Niobrara River.

Participants will meet about 10am on Saturday at Cornell Bridge and expect to paddle by 11am. We plan to shuttle vehicles after arriving back at Smith Falls State Park.

Camping is available at Smith Falls State Park on Friday and Saturday evenings. The majority of the group did camp together for the weekend and had a really amazing time enjoying the vast array of wildlife, scenery, and camaraderie. The park was completely empty except for the kayaking enthusiasts. Please feel free to join us at Smith Falls State Park on both evenings. If you are an enthusiast about outdoor cooking, bring your Dutch ovens and grills for a community cookout on Saturday night at the park. There is no requirement to do so, but participants must “fend for themselves” when it comes to food on the trip.

On Sunday morning, we will break camp and again shuttle the vehicles downstream to Rocky Ford, the site of the trips conclusion. We will return to Smith Falls to begin our paddle with the expectation to be back to our vehicles by 2pm on Sunday afternoon, April 17th.

There is no cost to take part in this event, but you must provide your own canoe or kayak, camping gear, food, and water. There is a $4 nightly camp fee at Smith Falls and a $4 daily park entrance fee per vehicle. There may also be a $2 per person access fee at Cornell Bridge, but that depends on whether the wrist bands are available this early in the year.

To make this cruise event successful, Pete and Cory hope to get confirmed numbers of participants prior to Tuesday, April 12th.

Direct any questions you might have about this trip to Pete Larson at 605-934-1995 (day) or 605-934-2338 (evenings). You can email Pete at

You can also contact Cory Diedrich at 605-321-6554 or at

Information on the Niobrara River is available online at these links:

National Park Service Website:

Google Photo Collection of the area:

Valentine, Neb Website with river information:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Big Sioux River Closed to Recreational Uses

PIERRE, S.D. – In the interest of public safety, Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Friday declared the Big Sioux River closed to boating and other recreational uses until further notice.

The closure order is effective on the river from Codington County through Union County. State law gives the Governor authority to prohibit or restrict recreational use or navigation on any portion of a river, lake or stream to protect the public peace, health or safety.

“The rising water level and rapid flow of the Big Sioux River as the spring melt takes place simply makes it unsafe for citizens to use the river for recreation,’’ the Gov. Daugaard said.

Public notices will be posted along the Big Sioux River at high-traffic intersections. A violation of a prohibition or restriction order is a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine of $500 or both.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Last Pool Sesson - THIS SUNDAY (March 20th)

This is your last chance to get on the water and practice wet exits/reentry. If you have never done this before, I STONGLY encourage you to attend. We've had a lot of people learn reentry for the first time, and it's a crucial skill to know.

RSVP'd for Sunday:
- Chris K
- Robert V
- Loren O
- Jarett
- Dave
- Mary
- Eric L
- Matt S
- Willard S
- Cory D

Email me if you have any questions:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pool Session RSVP

March 13:
- Eric L
- Matt S
- William L
- Claire E
- Pat W
- Mitchell J
- Kati A
- Shawn G
- Kelcey M
- Willard S

March 20:
- Chris K
- Robert V
- Loren O

Email Steven at to add your name to the list.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

March Pool Sessions

We have scheduled additional pool sessions at the YWCA in Sioux Falls.

Sunday, March 13th - 11am-1pm
Sunday, March 20th - 11am-1pm

Both sessions are free to members. Not a member? $10 single / $12 family for a year membership.

SDCKA Board Members will be on hand to work with you on wet exits and reentry. Space is limited for each session - so sign up soon. We will have boats on hand if you don't have one.

Email me to sign-up

I'd encourage you to wear clothing that you typcially paddle in. Getting into your boat might be easy if you're wearing a swimsuit, but if you normally paddle in pants, that could add an extra challenge. Changing rooms are available poolside.

Pool sessions are a great way to help you familiarize yourself with your boat.

February pool session photos...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

NWS Spring Flooding Outlook Presentation

Another Tough Year for Paddling?

S.D. flooding expected along James, Big Sioux rivers
Argus Leader Feb. 17, 2011

A new 90-day outlook from the National Weather Service continues to forecast a high probability of major spring flooding on most of the James and Big Sioux rivers through South Dakota.

Thursday’s report shows an 85 percent to 95 percent chance of major flooding at Columbia, Stratford, Ashton, Huron, Mitchell, Scotland and Yankton.

The probability of major flooding is the same on the Big Sioux River from Watertown to Sioux Falls.

The weather service said the soil moisture content is above normal, especially in the Big Sioux River basin. It said snow depth has decreased in many areas because of warm temperatures this week, but that water content in the remaining snowpack is high.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

SF Mayor / Parks Department listening session

I'd encourage SDCKA members to attend this session and share your thoughts with Mayor Huether and Parks Director Kearney.

Mayor, parks director to talk with residents Saturday
Argus Leader Feb. 9, 2011

Sioux Falls’ mayor and director of parks and recreation will talk with the public at an event Saturday morning.

The Listening and Learning Session runs from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Hy-Vee, 1900 S. Marion Road.

Don Kearney, director of Parks and Recreation, will give an update on the Recreation Needs Assessment Project.

Mayor Mike Huether will discuss any topics involving the city of Sioux Falls.

Kearney will provide a summary of the duties and responsibilities performed by department staff in the winter months, recap the 2010 capital
projects that improved existing park infrastructure, and discuss plans for west-side bike trail improvements.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pool Session - SUNDAY

If you'd like to join us for the pool session on Sunday (FEB 13), don't forget to RSVP. We have room for 12-14. Please let me know if you need a boat.


Registered so far:
  1. Jessica P
  2. Robin S
  3. Kati A
  4. Rosalin W
  5. Byron H
  6. Deb G
  7. Curt J
  8. Curt J's wife
  9. Jon C
  10. Tim
  11. Bev

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Conference Follow-up

Thanks again to everyone who made it to the conference!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011 SDCKA Annual Conference

Saturday, January 29, 2011
12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

The Outdoor Campus
4500 S. Oxbow Ave
Sioux Falls, S.D.
Steven Dahlmeier, President SDCKA

SDCKA Year in Review – Cruising, Public Service, Safety
Brief remarks by SDCKA directors about events of the year

Paddling with Kids
Cory Diedrich (SDCKA Board Member)

Kayaking in High Winds: What you need for a trip that goes wrong
Jarett Bies (SDCKA Vice President)

Sioux Falls Waterways
City of Sioux Falls Park & Recreation Department

Water Conservation / Water Issues
East Dakota Water Development District / Dakota Water Watch

Sponsored by Scheels

Whitewater Kayaking
Justin Herreman, Black Hills Paddlers
The Missouri River
National Park Service

Kayak Racing & the 2011 South Dakota Kayak Challenge
Jarett Bies & Steven Dahlmeier

Business Meeting
• Election of Officers
• Plans Ahead for the SDCKA in the Coming Year

This conference is open for anyone interested in canoeing or kayaking. The presentations will be focused upon paddling opportunities and experiences, and the presenters will be members of the SDCA with significant experience in area waters. This is an opportunity to network and establish links with paddlers from the area. There is no admission charge for the conference.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Paddling Network

Let's help update the best places to paddle in South Dakota. Click on the link below and add your favorite launch site. This is a great resource for locating areas to paddle around the US.

h/t Patrick

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Annual conference agenda

Here's a quick look at plans for our Jan. 29 conference (specific presentation times are tentative, a final schedule will be posted next week)

Noon: A welcome to all from Steven Dahlmeier, President SDCKA, followed by a look at the year in review, including cruising, public service, and safety.

12:20 p.m. Paddling with Kids, Rick Johns & Cory Diedrich (SDCKA Board Members)

12:40 p.m. Kayaking in High Winds: What you need for a trip that goes wrong, Jarett Bies

1 p.m. Whitewater Kayaking, Justin Herreman, Black Hills Paddlers

1:30 p.m. Water Conservation with East Dakota Water Development District / Dakota Water Watch (Tentative)

2 p.m. Break

2:15 Big Sioux River Water Trail, City of Sioux Falls Park & Recreation Department

2:45 The Missouri River, National Park Service

3:15 Kayak Racing & the 2011 South Dakota Kayak Challenge, Jarett Bies & Steven Dahlmeier

3:45 p.m. SDCKA board meeting/election of officers for 2011.

This conference is open for anyone interested in canoeing or kayaking. The presentations will be focused upon paddling opportunities and experiences, and the presenters will be members of the SDCKA with significant experience in area waters. This is an opportunity to network and establish links with paddlers from the area. There is no admission charge for the conference.