• An explosion of light as the sun strikes the waters of the Missouri National Recreational River


    National Recreational River SD,NE

Laws & Policies

Need to Know!
Listed below are the applicable laws pertaining to Personal Watercraft and Firearms. These two laws are among the most important that govern operations at the Missouri National Recreational River (MNRR). For any other questions regarding laws please see the link below to the Code of Federal Regulations.

Personal Watercraft Prohibited
36 CFR §3.9(a) states that persons may operate a personal watercraft (PWC) only in areas where authorized by special regulation. Under this regulation, all waters of the Missouri National Recreational river are closed to the use of Personal Watercraft (Jet-Ski®, WaveRunner®, etc).

This includes the following areas:

  • Missouri River between Gavins Point Dam & Ponca State Park
  • Missouri River Between Fort Randall Dam & Running Water, SD
  • Niobrara River in Knox County

PWC are permitted onthe following:

  • Lewis & Clark Lake
  • Lake Francis Case
  • The Missouri River downstream of Ponca State Park.

Firearms Policy
As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms on lands owned by the National Park Service in this park unit. It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit the states' websites.

  • Nebraska Links to firearms regulations.
  • South Dakota Codified Laws (enter "firearms" in search box).

Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park; those places are marked with signs at all public entrances.

State parks within the river corridor may have their own firearms and hunting regulations. Please contact the individual park for details.

Private Property Bordering The MNRR
The Missouri National Recreational River has a complex pattern of land ownership with most of the land bordering the river being privately owned.

Take note: Please respect private property rights in your river use. The Karl E. Mundt National Wildlife Refuge is closed to the public for the protection of bald eagles and their habitat.

Code of Federal Regulations
Title 36 Regulations covering all National Park Service units.

Did You Know?

Missouri River by Ponca State Park

At 2,320.7 miles the Missouri is America's longest river. It is 2.5 miles longer than the Mississippi River.