Missouri River Water Management News

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Hazardous conditions exist below Gavins Point Dam for anglers during paddlefish season

Published Sept. 26, 2019

YANKTON, S.D. – With paddlefish snagging season set to begin Oct. 1, anglers are cautioned that hazardous conditions will exist on the Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam due to high releases. Outflows from Gavins Point Dam will be at or above 80,000 cubic feet per second for the entire month of October to help evacuate the 9 million acre-feet of water from the reservoir system prior to the start of next year’s runoff season. This will be the highest outflow at Gavins Point for October.

The high outflows will cause turbulent and unpredictable water conditions on the river below Gavins Point. All anglers, both in vessels and on the shore line, are encouraged to use extreme caution. Life jackets should be worn by everyone in vessels and on the shoreline. People fishing from the banks should pay attention to their footing as the high river flows can cause slippery condition and rip-rap (rocks) along the banks to shift. Boaters should NOT anchor their boats. Even anchoring from the bow can be dangerous in turbulent water.

In addition, all vessels must remain downstream of the restricted area signs located on the north and south banks of the Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam. Conservation officers and park rangers will be closely monitoring the area and violators will be subject to citations and/or removal from the river. For everyone’s safety, there will be zero tolerance on vessels going upstream of the signs.

Your safety is OUR concern, but YOUR responsibility. Play it safe on the river during this paddlefish season and remember, it’s never worth risking your life for a fish!

Karla Zeutenhorst

Release no. 19-110