Wichita reopens Arkansas River for recreation

Arkansas River

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WICHITA, Kansas – Officials say recreation is again permitted on the Arkansas River through downtown Wichita.

Recreation was prohibited for the last two weeks because the water was too high. The city’s recreation director, Doug Kupper, said Friday the water level had dropped enough to allow canoes and kayaks back on the river.

“The flow rate is still fairly high as always, use the river at your own risk.”

The city asks that enthusiasts avoid the Lincoln Street Dam for now, and instead, use the river from the 21st Street bridge down to the downtown area and back up. They don’t want you to go south of Kellogg.

Kupper warns the water flow rate is still 2,000 cubic feet per minute – far above the ususal 300 feet per minute – and warned the public to be careful on the water.

Last week, two men found themselves not only clinging for their lives underneath the 21st Street bridge, their canoe swept down the river.

The two faced misdemeanor charges for violating a city ordinance that forbids any kind of water craft in the water while it was at its peak.

“It’s still coming through the flumes up under I-235 at a pretty good clip of course, that’s where the really good white water kayakers want to put in. It’s not very often our world-class kayakers that we have that live in this town have an opportunity to practice their skills within the city limits of Wichita.”

 

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