A dredging project at Canyon Lake has been postponed again, this time to the fall.
The project was planned to begin this spring. John Carreiro, of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks, said city officials requested a postponement to avoid conflicts with city water-quality testing at the lake and with weddings and other spring and summer events at Canyon Lake Resort.
The dredging has now been delayed several years after it was originally planned to occur while Canyon Lake was drained in late 2014 and early 2015, during a spillway reconstruction project.
That plan included driving heavy equipment onto the lake bed to scrape out the built-up sediment. But higher-than-expected inflows overwhelmed a diversion pipe, and the lake bed remained too wet for the dredging work.
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The GF&P has since purchased a floating dredge, which is now scheduled to make its maiden voyage on Canyon Lake this fall.
The total cost to acquire the dredge and its associated equipment and supplies was $273,740. Of that amount, $100,000 was supplied by a grant from the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, $150,000 was contributed by the West Dakota Water Development District, $13,740 came from the city of Rapid City, and $10,000 was provided by Black Hills Fly Fishers.
The dredge is predicted to shave anywhere from a foot to several feet of sediment from various areas of the lake bottom, and the anticipated total harvest of sediment is 15,000 cubic yards. That’s the equivalent of up to 1,500 dump-truck loads.