Floating dredger will remove unwanted sediment from Canyon Lake this fall

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Traditionally, trucks and excavators are needed to clear out the bottom of lakes but this fall, crews at Canyon Lake will be using a floating dredger.

When the lake was last drained in 2014, crews had intended to clear it of unwanted sand, dirt, and debris but high water levels prevented that from happening. With the new floating dredge, debris can be removed without having to drain the lake of water. Removing the sediment takes a few months, as long as nothing goes wrong. Once it's all collected in bags, and left to dry for a few months, crews can haul it away.

"Over time storm, rain events, erosion, a number of things can add sediments to the lakes. I mean they're basically, with flowing streams It's going to put materials into the lakes where it's going to settle out. Pretty much we have a lot of lakes in the hills that are you know, built in the 30s and 40s which are going to be worked on as well," says John Carreiro, wildlife biologist with Game Fish and Parks.

After trying out this new dredging method on Canyon Lake, plans are in place to use it on other lakes in the area.