Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River was completed in 1957 as part of the Pick-Sloan Plan, and is one of six main stem dams on the Missouri River. The operation of Gavins Point is vital to the management of the river. It is the last dam on the Missouri before it joins into the Mississippi.
Gavins Point is essential for flood control, hydroelectric power, navigation, recreation, irrigation and fish and wildlife enhancement not only in the Yankton area but to the whole Missouri River. The dam and power plant are operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
You and your family can tour the huge power plant and learn how it operates. You’ll be amazed when you see the generators in action! It’s also entertaining to watch the fishermen in boats below the Dam, trying their luck for the day. There is a unique Paddlefish season during the month of October that brings hundreds of fishermen east of the Dam to try and snag one of these prehistoric fish.
The Dam is open for tours from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Friday through Sunday and holidays. They are held on a regular basis throughout the day. Tours are also available to groups’ off-season by appointment. There is no fee for tours of the power plant. Gavins Point Dam is located a short 5-minute drive west of Yankton’s city limits. Follow the signs to find it!