GFP News| Portions of Three Waterways Close, Lake Vermillion Opens, No Wake on Portion of Missouri River

September 18, 2019

State Parks, Portions of Three Waterways Close with High Flood Waters

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem has closed portions of three waterways in southeast South Dakota to recreational use because of flooding. The governor’s executive order comes as Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) officials have also closed several state park areas. Recent rainfall has caused local flooding, causing problems with roads, boat docks and sanitation systems, in addition to creating unsafe water conditions in some areas.
 The governor’s executive order bans all recreational uses on the Big Sioux River, Skunk Creek, and Split Rock Creek, including their tributaries, in the counties of Lincoln, Minnehaha, Moody and Union. Noem signed the order Friday, effective immediately.
Some state park and recreation areas are also closed due to flooding: 
Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon – Closed to all recreational activity likely through Sept. 24
Lake Herman State Park near Madison – Closed to all recreational activity through at least Sept. 30
Lake Vermillion Recreation Area near Canistota – East unit closed through at least Sept. 26, including campground, boat ramp and lake access points within that unit.
Walker's Point Recreation Area near Madison is open and all facilities are accessible. However, officials warn that the park’s status could be affected by substantial rainfall. Campers will be notified if the situation changes before the weekend.
“GFP is working with city and county emergency managers in these areas to keep people safe,” said Jeremy Roe, Regional Conservation Officer Supervisor. “It’s imperative that people stay off the water at this time and allow emergency responders to do their jobs.” 
If you have camping reservations during the closure, you will be contacted about a full refund for your stay. 
For more information on park closures, contact each park directly. Contact information can be found on

Lake Vemillion Reopens to Boaters

Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) officials have reopened Lake Vermillion to boating.
Visitors should use the Lake Vermillion Recreation Area's west dock. The west campground remains open, while the east campground and boat dock will remain closed.
For more information on flooding issues and water closures or restrictions visit:

US Coast Guard, Corps Enact No Wake Zone on Parts of Missouri River in SD

PIERRE, S.D. – High water has caused the United States Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers to declare a temporary no wake zone on part of the Missouri River in South Dakota, from river mile 750, which is just below Ponca State Park through river mile 498 in Nebraska.
The no wake zone restricts all boats to operate at the slowest speed necessary for safe navigation and to avoid producing a wake within this area.. It was put in place because of high water and will remain until high water conditions subside.
For the current status of areas affected by high water, visit


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