Public tours back on, despite uncertain future for St. Anthony Falls lock and dam

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The St. Anthony Falls Lock sits empty.
The St. Anthony Falls Lock sits empty on Thursday, June 8, 2017 in Minneapolis. Starting on Sunday, visitors will be able to take ranger guided tours on to the lock wall, offering a closer view of the the falls and the currently out-of-use lock.
Evan Frost | MPR News

This summer public tours are once again offered along the upper lock and dam at St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis.

The lock and dam, along with its visitor center, closed to boat traffic in 2015 over fears of spreading the invasive Asian carp. Last summer, the tours resumed through a partnership between a number of agencies and groups.

National Park Service Ranger Dan Dressler said tours are free and run through Labor Day.

"You can just come up to this space, anytime between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., take in the beautiful view of the falls, talk to park rangers, learn about the history of the lock and dam here," said Dressler.

The site is currently owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A recommendation for additional studies on what to do with the site is expected in the coming months.

Michael DeRusha is a lockmaster with the Coprs. He said it could involve more recreation.

"They're hoping to go ahead and expand the hours that they had last year, and acutally bring in a couple of other different projects throughout the year," DeRusha said.

In addition to public tours, the lock and dam is still allowed to be used for flood control.