Game and Fish puts idle-speed rule on the Missouri River

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BISMARCK, N.D. - UPDATE: The Game and Fish Department announced this morning that an emergency "idle-only" boating rule is in place until further notice.

The idle-speed-only restriction is for boats within 200 feet of the shoreline in the Bismarck-Mandan area.

The affected area on the Missouri is from the power lines south of the Wilton boat ramp to the MacLean Bottoms Wildlife Management Area boat ramp.

On the Heart River it starts at the confluence of the Heart and Missouri south of Mandan, and extends upstream to the N.D. Highway 6 bridge.

The Game and Fish Department came to the decision to put idle-only into effect after consulting with officials from Burleigh and Morton County.

If you violate the rule, you're facing a 200 dollar fine.

Burleigh County emergency management says the restriction will be removed when the Missouri River gauge is at 10 and a half feet.

β€œIt's just while they're within that 200 feet that they have slow down to idle speed which is the slowest speed necessary to maintain steerage. If they need or want to go faster, they just have to go outside of that 200 foot zone and their rules are the same as always,” said NDGF Chief Game Warden Robert Timian.

Right here on the river it is about 1,000 feet across - so you'd have about 600 feet where you are free to create wake.

Timian says to look for logs, debris and even full trees floating in the river that could cause severe damage to your watercraft.


ORIGINAL STORY: The Game and Fish Department announced Tuesday morning that an emergency boating rule is in place until further notice.

The idle-speed only restriction is for boats within 200 feet of the shoreline on the Missouri and Heart rivers in the Bismarck-Mandan area.

The affected area on the Missouri is from the power lines south of the Wilton boat ramp to the MacLean Bottoms Wildlife Management Area boat ramp.

The emergency rule on the Heart River starts at the confluence of the Heart and Missouri south of Mandan, and extends upstream to the ND Highway 6 bridge.

Burleigh County Emergency Manager Mary Senger added in an email Tuesday:

- The Hogue Island Boat Ramp has been closed.

- The Tavis Flood Control Structures has drawn down 3’ with another anticipated one-half foot remaining.

- Sandbag sites continue to be maintained.