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Another tragic and deadly reminder that tubes, canoes, kayaks, or any other kind of boat are no match for low head dams. A local teen who was part of a group floating down the Big Sioux River in inner tubes went over the dam at Baltic, South Dakota and has not been seen since. These killers look harmless, maybe even fun to the novice floater or paddler, but contain deadly hydraulics that pull its victims under—for good.  If you know anyone who is not familiar with these structures and are planning a trip on the river, please educate them.  Learn where low head dams are, how to spot them on the river, and where to portage them.

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The 2009 Canoe and Kayak Regatta is being held tomorrow, April 24th, on the Big Sioux River. The weather will be less than perfect with rain and wind in the forecast, but the water level is high so the river will be fast. I’ll be glad for my rain gear and chances are good that the pics I bring back won’t depict a bright shiny day like last year (below).

This is me, in my 12ft Dagger Delta, shortly after we launched

The 2008 Canoe and Kayak Regatta was held on Saturday, April 19th, on the Big Sioux River. The weather was perfect, and the water level was high, so the river was fast. We put in one mile north of Flandreau, on highway 13, and took out in the Flandreau City Park. It was a great trip!

This is me, in my 12ft Dagger Delta, shortly after we launched

More pictures available here.

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