PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) The 2011 flood impacted area waterways and boat ramps; and as a result the state Game, Fish and Parks Department will be making some changes this year along the river. Doug Hofer, Director of the G F & P’s Parks and Recreation Division says the rushing water being let out of Oahe Dam deepened some channels near places like Down’s Marina-and in other areas-dropped significant sediment deposits. Hofer says the only issue impacting boaters using the boat ramp near Down’s Marina’s is parking. G F & P officials are said to be working with the city to try to come up with a solution for boaters who launch their watercraft there and find that parking space is short on busy days.
In other areas near Pierre, Hofer says people wanting to access the main channel of the river from the Farm Island ramp near Hipple Lake are not able to now; because of a massive sandbar.
Because boaters can’t get into the main waterway from that boat ramp, Hofer says the G F & P will make improvements at a nearby boat ramp-close to Farm Island’s polo field.
Hofer says the polo field ramp will be expanded from a single lane to two lane ramp, it will be extended into deeper water and the parking lot will be enlarged to provide space for about 40 units. He believes the changes at the polo field ramp will be a big improvement over what is there now-for those wanting to access the main channel. He says the usage of the ramp leading into Hipple Lake could be addressed in the future.
Hofer says about a million dollars was spent to dredge the channel near Farm Island’s Hipple Lake ramp about 20 years ago; along with the LaFramboise Island channel.
In Fort Pierre, the Bad River boat ramp was almost totally inundated by sediment and debris that came down river during the flood. Fort Pierre has worked on clearing the ramp and a dock is in place. Fort Pierre’s Public Works Director Brad Lawrence says the 5th Avenue ramp will have to be shut down sometime in the future for repairs as the west lane is not useable. Lawrence says the city has intentions to pave both ramps, this year if possible.
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