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Attendance Increases At Lewis & Clark Rec. Area

July 1, 2012, 5:40 PM by Hailey Higgins

Attendance Increases At Lewis & Clark Rec. Area

South Dakota recreational areas are bouncing back one year after historic flooding along the Missouri River.

The flooding below Gavins Point Dam drowned campgrounds and attendance numbers last year at the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area. But this year's attendance numbers are on track to beat 2010's record year.

Vehicles line up to enter the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area this weekend, celebrating Independence Day early. Among the visitors are Greg and Mary Trease.

"There is a lot of people anyway, but lots of people for the fourth," camper Greg Trease said.

"We make reservations 90 days in advance so we plan ahead," camper Don Borgmann said.

Park attendance this season is up 30 percent over last year according to District Park Supervisor Shane Bertch.

"This year we've had really good day use. A lot of people using the beaches and going out on the water," Bertch said.

As you remember, Gavin's Point Dam released record outflows last year, covering many campgrounds and scaring away fishermen. But if current trends continue, they could top 2010's record numbers.

Because the fourth of July falls on a Wednesday, the park is busy both weekends as people celebrate Independence Day.

"It's been very busy. We've been almost full for a couple days now so we are looking for ten days straight of near capacity here at the park," Bertch said.

That's good news for a park with a very loyal following.

"We love it here," Trease said. "It's hard to keep us away."

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