We can use your help guys. Anyone that buys a $100 raffle ticket will also get a support sticker to display on your rig or boat. That will go a long way with the locals. If you hunt the area, you know the basin is in desperate need.
Guys, if any of you want to help. It's appreciated, we need to raise some money to get this completed. This really is the only decent ramp on the whole river. Our cabin is one mile down from this picture. We're trying to mobilize DU and other groups. At last count, we've raised about 20-25k in the past week. Donors that purchase at least $100 raffle ticket will get a support sticker for their vehicle/boat
The State of SD Parks Dept. is doing a great job, but it doesn't get the job quite down to get the basin back to full use.
This is one of the better known waterfowl spots in the midwest and this will help restore the best access there is.
http://www.yankton.net/community/articl ... 963f4.html
Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013 10:15 pm
BY RANDY DOCKENDORF firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRINGFIELD — For Bon Homme Bass League members, the clock is ticking.
The members, who come from Tyndall, Scotland and Springfield bass clubs, are seeking to raise between $50,000 and $100,000 this month. They want the additional money to expand a state Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GF&P) dredging operation under way at the Springfield boat basin and marina.
The dredging work desperately needs to be done, said Springfield Bass Club president Tim Peterson.
“The marina used to be 10 feet deep. Now, there’s a foot of water in there, and you can’t get a boat in and out,” he said. “This is a separate problem than the sedimentation issue (with the Niobrara River). This is coming in from the upper drainage to the Springfield area. This dredging project is addressing part of the issue.”
Bon Homme Bass League members are excited to see the GF&P dredging, Peterson said. However, the area sportsmen don’t think the state’s project will make the basin and marina as functional as needed.
“We are so grateful to get as much done as we are with Game, Fish and Parks. (Regional Park Supervisor) Jeff VanMeeteren has been great to work with,” Peterson said. “Now, we are trying to take this one step further.”
Even with the GF&P dredging, some of the Springfield boat basin and marina facilities may remain unusable, Peterson said.
“Without the extra dredging (that we seek), it’s doubtful that we could use the handicapped boat ramp,” he said. “There just isn’t enough water.”
The GF&P has secured $159,000 for its dredging project, according to Shane Bertsch, district park supervisor for the Lewis and Clark Lake Area.
“The contractor, Dakota Dredging, plans to start mobilizing equipment this Saturday and will start dredging sometime next week,” he said. “They expect the project to take three to four weeks.”
Bertsch outlined the extent of the dredging operations.
“The area to be dredged will extend from the boat ramp inside the Springfield boat basin to outside of the mouth of the river channel,” he said. “The dredging area measures 125 feet wide, from the boat ramp through the mouth of Springfield Bay.”
Plans have been made for relocating the deposits, Bertsch said.
“The material to be dredged — the spoils — will be pumped to an island southeast of the mouth of the bay,” he said. “There will be a barge located outside of the mouth of the bay which will hold the pipe underwater so boats can pass above the pipe.”
Area sportsmen want to take advantage of the Dakota Dredging crew already in place for the GF&P project, Peterson said. The crew has agreed to work with the area sportsmen as much as possible, he said.
“We couldn’t afford to get (the dredging crew) back on our own. You would have the cost of set-up and tear down, plus all the permits and red tape,” he said.
“We think it would take another week or 10 days to finish what we are asking (for dredging). If they could do it, that would be fantastic.”
To fund the additional dredging, the groups need to raise $50,000 to $100,000 within the next month, Peterson said.
“We already have gotten donations in the $15,000 to $20,000 range, so $50,000 isn’t out of reach,” he said. “If we have to borrow money to get it done, we can raise funds later.”
The GF&P asked the outside groups to wait with fundraising, Peterson said. “We were asked to hold out until the bid letting, and we completely understood,” he said.
Unfortunately, the GF&P process took longer than expected, Peterson said.
“As far as the time frame (for fundraising), we knew it was going to be tough,” he said. “It was short, but we didn’t realize how short.”
The Bon Homme Bass League’s fundraising efforts have taken on a sense of urgency, he said. Members have sent out fundraising letters and are conducting a raffle. They are also seeking the assistance of local, regional and state conservation groups and other organizations.
The current GF&P dredging operation, and the local effort to extend the contract, may provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Peterson said.
“Nothing has been done for over 40 years to the marina,” he said. “It was a matter of (the ravages of) time, and with the river conditions and the flooding considerations (from 2011), it all just took its toll. The issue has just gotten worse and worse. It has gotten to the point where we aren’t using facilities anymore.”
As president of the Bon Homme Tourism Association, Peterson sees the Springfield boat basin and marina as crucial for regional tourism and economic development. He noted the region’s outstanding reputation for fishing and hunting.
“We’re not just promoting Springfield or even Bon Homme County,” he said. “We get people who come from all over to use our facility. This brings in people, and people come with money.”
The lack of available facilities has already cost Springfield a state event, Peterson said.
“Springfield has always hosted the state bass tournament at Lewis and Clark Lake, but not anymore,” he said. “With our ramp conditions, they moved (the tournament) to Yankton.”
Peterson pointed to nearby sites that still attracted large crowds during Labor Day weekend. “People like to come here for fishing. They come to Springfield because we have got largemouth bass habitat,” he said.
The area sportsmen are providing more than monetary support for the dredging project, Peterson said.
“We started doing preliminary stuff, like removing cattails to help with the dredging issue,” he said. “We will try to do as much as we can for (the dredging crew). We’ll volunteer some equipment, or we’ll unload equipment. There might be some (donated) meals and lodging — anything we can do to help them out.”
In conducting the preliminary work, area sportsmen were excited to see the rapid progress, Peterson said. They hope the rest of the dredging project goes as smoothly.
“We were taking cattails out of the lake like it was with a butter scoop,” he said. “We hope (the mud) comes out like peanut butter.”
The dredging project provides a crucial — and hopefully just the first — step in revitalizing the Springfield boat basin and marina, Peterson said.
“Right now, we are working on getting the dredging done,” he said. “It’s part of our long-term project.”
But first, Bon Homme Bass League members are focusing on the fundraising goal, Peterson said. The deadline may be arriving much sooner than expected, but he predicted the members’ unified effort will prove successful.
“We all work together. It’s always been that way,” he said.
Donations can be sent to the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Box 329, Springfield SD 57062.
For more information, contact Peterson at (605) 661-7247 or Bon Homme Bass Club president Tom Logue at Tyndall Motors, (605) 589-3441.