Emergency Boating Rule Established on Missouri River
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department, after consulting with officials from Burleigh and Morton county commissions, has established an idle-speed-only restriction within 200 feet of the shoreline for boaters on the Missouri and Heart rivers in the Bismarck-Mandan area.
Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand approved the official proclamation Tuesday morning, putting the restriction in effect immediately. Because of the high flows expected for an extended time, the 200-foot idle-speed zone will be in place until further notice, according to Game and Fish enforcement chief Robert Timian.
On the Missouri River, the north boundary of the emergency rule is the power lines approximately 1,000 feet south of Steckel (Wilton) boat ramp, about 23 river miles north of Bismarck. The southern boundary is MacLean Bottoms Wildlife Management Area boat ramp, about 19 miles south of Bismarck.
The emergency rule on the Heart River starts at the confluence of the Heart and Missouri south of Mandan, and extends upstream to ND Highway 6 bridge.
Idle-speed-only is defined as operating a boat or other watercraft at the slowest possible speed necessary to maintain steerage.
River users are advised to use extra caution because of the safety hazards that accompany high water, including a fast current and debris such as floating logs.
Complete text of the Emergency Special Boating Rule is noted below:
Under the authority of North Dakota Century Code 20:1-13-12(3) the undersigned Director of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, makes the following emergency rule as follows: Idle speed only within 200 feet of the shoreline to be effective immediately and until rescinded for all vessels operating on the Missouri River between a point north of Bismarck where power lines cross the Missouri River approximately 1000 feet south of Steckel boat ramp north of Bismarck at latitude -100.939813 longitude 47.126875 then south to the MacLean Bottoms Wildlife Management Area boat ramp at latitude -100.635125 longitude 46.673215; and for all vessels operating on the Heart River from the mouth of the Heart River south of Mandan, ND at latitude -100.842332 longitude 46.767616 then north and west to the Highway 6 bridge west of Mandan, ND at latitude -100.904960 longitude 46.814404. Idle speed is defined as the slowest possible speed necessary to maintain steerage. Law Enforcement is exempt from this rule in the performance of their duties. Violations of this rule shall be non-criminal with a fee of $200.