The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department (GFP) is asking people to avoid the Big Sioux River near Dell Rapids.

South Dakota DOT is currently working on the bridge over the Big Sioux River just south of Dell Rapids on highway 115. Kayakers, canoeists, swimmers and boaters are encouraged to avoid the area until construction is complete. There are dangerous river conditions in the construction area. Work should take the rest of the summer and into the fall.

“We have had a couple of incidents that would have been very serious if the boaters wouldn’t have had life jackets on,” said GFP regional supervisor, Emmett Keyser. “At this time, the area is pretty treacherous and we are asking people to avoid it.”

Travel on the Big Sioux River is not recommended farther south than the Dell Rapids city park boat ramp. The next safest location south of Dell Rapids for river travel would be Baltic.

“South Dakota has miles of beautiful rivers and lakes to recreate and safety should always be on a boaters mind. Wearing life jackets while canoeing and kayaking can help prevent a tragedy in most instances,” Keyser said.

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