Boat ramp provides new Missouri River access in KC metro

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Kansas City
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Parkville, Mo. – A partnership between the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Platte County is helping boaters and anglers enjoy better access to the Missouri River in the Kansas City area. A boat launching ramp at Parkville’s new Platte Landing Park will be dedicated and opened for use at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 21, and the public is encouraged to attend. The park is accessed off of Main Street in Parkville and is just upstream from the city’s English Landing Park.

MDC under its Community Assistance Program will reimburse up to 75 percent of the county’s documented costs, up to $450,000, to build the ramp’s entrance road, parking lot and restrooms. This program helps cities provide outdoor recreation opportunities such as fishing and boating. Funding for the boat ramp came from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant obtained by the Platte County Sheriff’s Department. The ramp provides public safety and conservation authorities with boat access to assist in emergencies, whether for recreational boaters or aviation incidents tied to the nearby Kansas City International Airport.

“This new ramp will cut response times to minutes, not hours,” said Jake Allman, an MDC fisheries biologist who has assisted the project.

But the ramp will also be a boost for fishing and boating on the river in the Kansas City metro area, Allman said. The nearest ramps on the Missouri side of the river that can easily serve large water crafts are roughly 45 minutes boat ride upstream or downstream, he said. An older, smaller ramp at English Landing Park has design and location issues that made it difficult to keep open and usable for large boats.

This ramp will also provide canoe and kayak paddlers better put-in or take-out options. MDC’s Schimmel City boat ramp on the Platte River near Farley is near that stream’s confluence with the Missouri River. Paddlers can have a convenient float path from Schimmel City downstream to Parkville.

“Parkville is a destination,” Allman said. “It’s a great place for anglers and paddlers to stop and enjoy the town.”

The Missouri River is a hotspot for catching catfish. Some anglers target the large blue or flathead catfish. Others catch the plentiful channel catfish.

“Fishing is excellent in the Missouri River right now,” Allman said. “All catfish species are good to excellent in population numbers in the river right now.”

The boat ramp is part of a larger development plan for Platte Landing Park, which will open for public use after the dedication. Platte County is a partner in acquiring the 140-acre tract and development. Parkville will maintain and manage the park.

“The city is excited to partner on this project. In addition to the boat ramp, the new park features a two-mile hiking trail and an off-leash dog park,” said Parkville Mayor Nan Johnston. Future additions are planned to include developing a wetland complex and ball fields.

Most of MDC’s contribution to the project is funded with Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program monies, which are administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These federal aid funds come from motorboat fuel taxes and excise taxes for outdoor equipment, and their apportionment is based on the state’s size and number of licensed anglers. The funds support sport fish management and recreational access.