Below is a letter that went out today addressing Recreational Boat Access issues on the Mo. River during the ACE low River management regime during the Fall & Winter Months. This has been a problem for as long as I can remember and happens every Fall when the ACE starts holding back water up stream for next years Navigational season needs. Please contact your state senator in DC and advise that you would like to see ACE partner with states be it IA & NE to redesign All boat ramps on the Mo. River that not only provide access under high water management but also Low River Management. 1 of the ACE Congressional Authorized Purposes is Recreation.
Others who obtain a Copy of this letter:
Senators, Representatives State & DC both Iowa & Nebraska, IDNR,NE F&G,NRC,SIMRA,ACE,Outdoor Writers
Hello everyone it has been a long time since we have spoke, the last
time was on channel degradation and recreational economic impact
associated with the Mo. River. I have a few questions as it
pertains to 1 of the Army Corps of Engineers Authorized Purposes. (
Recreation ) and the present and past problems with Fall & Winter Boat
Ramp Access ( Design Problems ) that continue to hurt recreational
Economic activity with in the Iowa & Nebraska Mo. River basin reach
below Sioux City to Hamburg Iowa & Ne City! We need your Help & Support
to resolve this serious Problem!
1: How Many Boat Ramps does the ACE maintain on the Mo. River from
Sioux City to Hamburg Iowa?
2: How many on the Nebraska Side in the same reach of River?
3: How many on the Iowa Side in the same reach of River?
4: What has been the ACE expenditures over the last 5 years on Boat
Ramp maintenance / Repairs / Access for the section of River from Sioux
City to Hamburg Iowa and could, would you please itemize those costs
associated with each Boat Ramp and said category
( Maintenance, Repair, Access ) ?
5: What Fund or Revenue stream does the ACE have or utilize to address
Boat Ramp Access, Repairs, Maintenance in the section of River listed
above ( Sioux City to Hamburg Iowa ) ?
I am requesting the same information from the Iowa IDNR as it pertains
to their expenditures associated with Boat Ramp Access, Repairs,
Maintenance over the last 5 years.
As President of Mo. Valley Waterfowlers Association, representing the
Waterfowlers in the Mo. Valley Basin from Sioux City to Hamburg Iowa,
from South Sioux City NE to NE City, I have found that present & past
Boat Ramp Access points to be un-accessible and in very bad shape.
All Boat Ramps are designed for high water management. The condition of
these ramps are masked
by high water flows, which doesn't serve Recreational USERS very well
FALL & WINTER months when ACE reduces river flows for water storage for
next springs Navigational season DOWN RIVER. Overall our review of
these ramps and access points revealed that access to the Mo. River in
the reach listed is extremely difficult during the second half of the
recreational season, if not near impossible.
1. One of the major issues we see with nearly all Boat Ramps is they
are designed for High Water Management of the Mo. River. This would
work if the River was managed at peak flows throughout the entire Mo.
River ACE management season but that's Not how the river is managed.
2. It is our suggestion that Ramp design is picture perfect if the
ramps where access points to a docile Lake where you had zero energy
generated by the water. Nearly all Boat ramps jet strait back into the
teeth of the rivers energy, which year after year after year is a
serious maintenance problem and judging from the past and present
conditions of these Boat ramps it seems financially un-sustainable to
design these ramps as they are.
3. Even if the ramp is set behind a revetment you still end up with
deep water energy working overtime undermining the ramp structure and
under low river management regimes the end of the boat ramp ends up out
of the river as current cuts it and with that said, you end up right in
the main river channel itself, like trying to launch a boat off a cliff
where the rivers energy at the end of the ramp has cut. 3 Things happen
here. 1, Your ramp structure is No longer accessible, 2 , it is
severely being damaged by fall & winter river flows. 3rd Fall and
Winter recreational users such as Fishermen & Waterfowlers and other
sportsmen cannot use or access the river during that period.
We here at Mo. River Valley Waterfowlers Association understand how
difficult it has been with the flood and we have Defended ACE in
public hearings and before Senators & Representatives of the states and
in Washington. That is why we are taking this time and putting forward
our best effort to communicate with those who ultimately have the
responsibility and congressional Authorization of Mo. River Management.
We request that ACE consider these recommendations to fix past and
present structural issues related to Mo. River Boat Ramps.
1. Change the design of the Boat ramp so that it does not jet strait
out into the main river channel.
2. Change the design of all Boat ramps so that they run almost Parallel
with the river which in turn reduces the amount of damage & energy of
the river on said structure. Running a paralleled boat ramp, on the
current side or up river side can be protected by river rock. Running a
parallel boat ramp along the bank of the river also would allow ACE to
engineer a boat ramp that is accessible during high water management
and low water management, where the potential maintenance issue is just
pushing sand off the boat access deposited by high river flows ,under
low river management. Still you end up with a Boat ramp that is
accessible under high water regimes and low water regimes with a
benefit of reduced maintenance and repair costs. Boat ramps would Not
be so steep as they are which makes them all virtually un accessible
during low river management regimes.
3. To maximize ACE expenditures / revenues associated with 1 of its
congressional authorized responsibilities, ( Recreational USE )
ACE should be a cost share partner with Iowa Department of Natural
Resources, NE Fish & Game and Tribal communities in the management and
maintenance of All Boat Ramp access points on the Mo. River in this
Noted reach. Let it be said that a strong partnership with said
Help ACE maximize it's limited resources. States and tribes have the
capability of using multiple resources
to fund these types of projects and in fact even help ACE save money by
strengthen these partnerships.
4. The number 1 problem with virtually all Boat Ramps on the Mo. River
in this reach is they are designed for high water river management.
5. A paralleled boat ramp that runs with the
river current is what is seriously needed to provide consistent access
to the Mo. River in the channelized reach of Iowa & Nebraska at a much
lower, less steep grade.
We at Mo. Valley Waterfowlers Association, look forward to your answers
to each of the questions and suggestions listed in this letter as soon
as possible. We wish to inform ACE that recreational Activity on the
Mo. River in the reach listed, just doesn't revolve around Spring &
Summer flows. Fall & Winter recreational activities ,such as Fishing &
Waterfowling is a multi Million dollar industry in this region that for
years has suffered greatly due to the present design and high water
function of all these boat ramps during Fall & Winter Low water
management regimes that happen every year! The Sportsmen of the basin
( Fishermen & Waterfowlers ) request that ACE redesign Boat Ramp access
points so that those facilities not only accommodate high water access,
but low water access. We request this , not only as part of ACE
responsibility to the users in this basin , but as one of the ACE's
congressional Authorized purposes ( Recreation.) We need your
leadership, your partnership and certainly your engineering expertise
to solve a problem that negatively impacts recreational economics with
in the basin.
Congressmen: Latham, King, Harkin,Grassley,Johanns, We request that
each visit with IDNR & NE Fish & Game Wildlife Division Bureau Chiefs &
Directors to investigate potential Partnerships in these developmental
projects that would and could help ACE save Millions that it otherwise
would simply spend by not optimizing potential partnerships with states
and their said ability to get projects like this done cheaper!
William J. Smith
Mo. Valley Waterfowlers Association IA/NE
Sioux City Iowa
5309 hwy 75n lot 44