The Jerome Access on the Gasconade River in Phelps County is closed indefinitely, according to Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) engineers and fisheries management biologists.
"We are working to determine a course of action to restore public river access in this popular section of the river," said Dave Mayers, MDC's fisheries regional supervisor. "It will take some time to get repairs done and the access will be closed at least through this winter."
Nick Girondo, MDC fisheries biologist in Rolla said the recent flood created a half-acre scour hole 12-15 feet deep where the parking lot was.
Girondo reports that the August flood caused the Gasconade River to reach 31.8 feet at Jerome, topping the all-time record of 31.3 feet in 1982 and the 27.7 ft. flood level in 2010.
"We know this is a popular access with fish giggers and we want to get the word out before the Sept. 15 gigging season opener," Girondo said. "Present conditions at the Jerome Access are not safe for users and safety is our first concern."
Mayers said MDC will open the access point only after repairs can be made to provide a usable and safe river access.
"We certainly appreciate the patience shown by citizens of the area and we urge them to find other access points to use throughout gigging season," Mayers said.
MDC's Riddle Bridge Access is outside of St. Robert in Pulaski County at the end of Highway Y and is 21.3 miles upstream of the Jerome Access. MDC's Belle Chute Access, which is south of Vienna off Maries County Road 513, is 15.5 miles downstream of the Jerome Access.
The Jerome Access is 0.1-mile off Route D in Jerome.