High releases at Gavins Point Dam causes safety concerns for paddlefish season

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YANKTON, S.D. (KCAU) – With paddlefish season just around the corner, fishermen are cautioned about hazardous conditions that exist on the Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam due to the high releases.

Paddlefish snagging season is projected to start on October 1, but outflows from Gavins Point Dam will be at or above 80,000 cubic feet per second for the entire month of October. This will help evacuate the 9 million acre-feet of water from the reservoir system before the start of next year’s runoff season.

This will be the highest outflow at Gavins Point Dam for the month of October.

The high releases will cause turbulent and unpredictable water conditions on the river below Gavins Point Dam.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that life jackets should be worn by everyone in vessels and on the shoreline. People fishing from the banks along the shoreline should pay attention to their footing as the high water flows, as it can cause slippery conditions. It can also cause the rocks along the banks to shift.

They urge boaters to NOT anchor their boats, not even from the bow, as it can be dangerous to do so in turbulent waters.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would like to remind everyone that all vessels must remain downstream of the restricted area signs that are located on the north and south banks of the Missouri River below the dam.

Conservation officers and park rangers will be monitoring the area closely. Violators will be issued citations and/ or be removed from the river.

For the safety of the public, there will be zero tolerance on vessels going upstream of the posted signs.

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