Hundreds of fish stuck in James River Dam

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 7:27 PM CST
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HURON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Community members in Huron gathered over the weekend and into Monday at the James River Dam to either witness or catch the large number of fish stuck in the area.

With people still taking part in the action Monday and many others driving by to watch, many in the community are wondering what caused this rare event.

Huron mayor, Greg Harrington, says it could in part be due to drought conditions mixed with the heavy snowfall.

“The drought in South Dakota and that our river is slow and it’s not flowing over the dam—something that hasn’t happened in as long as I can remember,” said Mayor Harrington.

Jim Wold has been a resident in Huron for sixty years and says he’s never seen anything quite like this.

He believes the large number of fish stuck could be due to changes made to the river.

“I think if the rocks hadn’t been put in there, you’d be seeing the same thing happen. The difference is the fish would be able to go over,” said Wold.

He shared just how many people have come to take part in the excitement.

“This was completely full of people on both sides walking up and down the rocks,” said Wold.

Game, Fish, and Parks is monitoring the area and assisting people.

The mayor says it will be important to continue addressing the situation.

“We’re digging for resources now and knowledgeable people that can put us in the right direction in this situation,” said Harrington.

The city will continue working with Game, Fish, and Parks as the situation progresses over the coming weeks.