(COUNCIL BLUFFS) The Missouri River and Big Sioux River have been reopened to boat traffic after being closed for most of the recreation season.
With fall fishing picking up and the second duck season a few weeks away, many outdoor enthusiasts are ready to get back on the river. But while the rivers are now open, the Iowa DNR is urging caution while on the water because the river level is still high and many of the logs, sandbars and other obstacles under the surface will be in different locations now than before the flood.
River access areas were either damaged by the flood or need to be cleaned after spending a few months at the bottom of the river. Most of public accesses remain closed but the Iowa DNR is working to clean silt and inspecting boat ramps and parking areas and will reopen them as the conditions allow.
In Woodbury County, the Winnebago boat ramp is open but the Sioux City owned and operated ramp is closed. The Weedland Access has been cleared.
In Monona County, the County Conservation Board Huff Access is closed and the Tieville Upper Decatur Ramp (Sunset Island) is closed until the Hwy. 175/Decatur bridge is fixed.
In Harrison County, the Deer Island and Tyson Bend boat ramps are inaccessible, and the Rand Access boat ramp is closed. The Little Sioux Delta is buried in sand. The Remington Access is open and the county road passable. The DNR is working to provide a primitive boat ramp to the Tyson Bend Chute.
In Pottawattamie County, the Lake Manawa ramp is in accessible. For an update on the condition of the Narrows, call 712-328-5638end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
In Fremont County, the Bartlett Access and the Hamburg-Mitchell Access boat ramps are inaccessible.
The U.S. Coast Guard has been encouraging boaters to operate their vessels in a manner that is mindful of their wake and does not cause further damage to levee systems or privately-owned properties.