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

    Missouri

    National Recreational River SD,NE

Rules and Regulations

The following rules and regulations have been sorted by subject for your convenience. This section does not attempt to duplicate the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) so it should not be regarded as a comprehensive list of regulations. It will, however, answer many of the most common questions regarding park rules. The Superintendent's Orders (Compendium) is a listing of local regulations that is more technical and comprehensive concerning local issues.

Airboats prohibited
36 CFR §3.8 (a)(1) prohibits launching or operating an airboat.
This includes the following areas:

  • Missouri River between Ponca State Park and Gavins Point Dam
  • Missouri River Between Running Water, SD, and Fort Randall Dam
  • Niobrara River in Knox County
  • Verdigre Creek from the town of Verdigre to its confluence with the Niobrara.

Business Operations
36 CFR § 5.3 prohibits engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas. This includes the designated waters and park owned lands.

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.

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

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

National Park Service Boating Regulations
36 CFR §3

National Park Service Regulations
Code of Federal Regulations: TITLE 36--Parks, Forests, and Public Property
Chapter I--National Park Service, Department of the Interior

Personal Watercraft Prohibited
Code of Federal Regulations:
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 Ponca State Park and Gavins Point Dam
  • Missouri River Between Running Water, SD, and Fort Randall Dam
  • Niobrara River in Knox County
  • Verdigre Creek from the town of Verdigre to its confluence with the Niobrara.

PWC are permitted on Lewis & Clark Lake, Lake Francis Case, and on the Missouri River downstream of Ponca State Park.

Special Fishing Regulations
36 CFR §2.3 (d)(1) and (3) state that fishing may be done only with an attended hook and line and that chumming is prohibited.

Did You Know?