GFP News: High Water Impacts | Lake Alvin Swim Beach Closure

May 24, 2019

  • Lake Alvin Closed to Swimming
  • Lake Mitchell Declared a No Wake Zone
  • Rising Water on Lake Francis Case Impacts GFP Areas
  • Use Caution at Lake Oahe's Bush's Landing Road

Lake Alvin Closed to Swimming Until Further Notice

PIERRE, S.D. – The swimming beach at Lake Alvin Recreation Area near Harrisburg is currently closed following routine testing that showed unhealthy levels of bacteria in the water.

According to District Park Supervisor Jason Baumann, “Following heavy rains, we see an increase in the amount of runoff into our lakes and streams. That runoff picks up contaminants along the way, and deposits them into the water,” Baumann said. “Higher levels of contaminants are seen initially, but it usually dissipates pretty quickly thanks to the natural filtration provided by the lake.”

Baumann adds that the lake is still safe for fishing; and that the concern is ingesting or submerging in the water.

Testing will continue, and the beach will reopen when the water again reaches appropriate levels.

For more information, please contact Jason Bauman, district park supervisor, at 605.987.2263.


Lake Mitchell Declared a No Wake Zone

MITCHELL, S.D. – The city of Mitchell, in cooperation with the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department, has declared Lake Mitchell a “No Wake Zone”.

The “No Wake Zone” declaration means boaters will have to abide to a 5 mile per hour maximum speed limit.

Mitchell mayor, Bob Everson, contacted GFP officials requesting the declaration due to high water conditions on the lake. In accordance to GFP rule, the waters of Lake Mitchell become "no wake zone" during any time at which the water level in Lake Mitchell reaches the height of 12 inches or more over the level of the top of the spillway. City officials confirmed that lake height on Thursday., and the "no wake zone" shall remain in effect until such time as the water level of the lake drops to the level of six inches over the level of the top of the spillway.

The “No Wake Zone” will be lifted when water levels recede.


Rising Water on Lake Francis Case Impacts GFP Areas

PIERRE, S.D. – The Corps of Engineers’ new predictions for the water level on Lake Francis Case will affect several Game, Fish and Parks facilities on the reservoir.

Buryanek Recreation Area

  • Boat ramps are expected to be useable through Monday, May 27.
  • All three group camping areas are closed.

Dude Ranch

  • Boat ramp is closed.

Elm Creek

  • Boat ramp is closed.

North Point Recreation Area

  • The campground will be closed beginning May 28 through at least June 9. Campers with reservations have been notified. Future reservations will be kept informed as more information becomes available.
  • Both beaches will be closed.
  • The North Point Bay and St. Francis boat ramps are out of service. The Prairie Dog Bay boat ramp will remain open.
  • Open day use facilities include the archery range, rifle range, dump station, fish cleaning station, sand volleyball court, and portions of the bike trail.

 North Wheeler Recreation Area

  • Campsites 18 – 25 are unavailable.
  • Boat ramp will remain open.

Pease Creek Recreation Area

  • Boat ramp is expected to be useable through Monday, May 27.

Platte Creek Recreation Area

  • Boat ramp should remain functional. Courtesy dock is closed.
  • Swimming beach and playground are closed.

Snake Creek Recreation Area

  • Main boat ramp is closed. The high water ramp is open.
  • Swimming beach is closed.

South Scalp Lakeside Use Area

  • Boat ramp will be usable through the Memorial Day weekend, but will likely close afterwards.
  • Camping area may be slightly affected.

South Shore Lakeside Use Area

  • Beach area is closed.
  • Boat ramp will remain open.


  • Area should not be impacted

Whetstone Bay Lakeside Use Area

  • Main boat ramp is out of service.
  • High water ramp will be available.
  • Campsites will not be affected.

White Swan Lakeside Use Area

  • Boat ramp is out of service.

West Bridge

  • Boat ramp expected to be usable through Monday, May 27.
  • Officials will monitor the water levels over the next several weeks and change facility statuses as warranted.

Closures related to the flood conditions across South Dakota can be found at


Caution Urged on Bush’s Landing Road

PIERRE, S.D. – Game, Fish and Parks officials are urging caution for travelers using the access road to Bush’s Landing Lakeside Use Area north of Pierre.

The access road is open but high moisture this spring has left the road in an unreliable condition, including ruts and minor slides. Travel is advised only at your own risk.









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