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nonmeandered waters marking requirements

In November, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized a set of standards for landowners to follow when marking nonmeandered water over private property.

Nonmeandered water closure signs must be supplied by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. These signs can be found at the Watertown, Aberdeen, Webster or Sioux Falls regional offices or by contacting Rhet Russell at 605.882.5200.

Marking requirements include the following:

  1. Nonmeandered water closures shall be marked with buoys and/or department-supplied signs.
  2. Signs and buoys must be placed no further apart than 660 feet.
  3. Signs and buoys shall be installed so they are conspicuous.
  4. Buoys shall be of polyform design. Below are only examples of vendors who sell and ship red A-2 Polyform Buoys like the ones seen on this page. | | | |

  5. Buoys shall be red with contrasting 3 inch minimum letters stating: “Closed.”
  6. Buoy size shall be a diameter of not less than 14.5 inches and a length of not less than 19.5 inches.
  7. Signs and buoys are to be installed and maintained by the owner or their designee of the private property.
  8. Property corner boundaries located in the water must be marked by signs or buoys.
Buoy Preparation Recommendations

Use permanent marker or black spray paint using a stencil to mark "CLOSED" on buoys. Then attach two pieces of reflective adhesive tape as seen in the images below.


Standard 8” or 10” construction (cinder) blocks

      1. Chain or anchor line rope both work well for connecting buoys to anchors.
      2. 3/16” chain will result in increased longevity and is easily fastened with bolts.
      3. 3/8” anchor line rope is a good alternative but can fray over time.
    • To ensure buoy placement, keep slack in anchoring chain/line.
    • Example: Placing an anchor in 8’ of water should have approximately 10’ of chain/line.
Ice Marking
      1. Recommend the bottom of the sign be placed at 48” above the ice for visibility.
      2. Recommend using 2”x 4” and 2”x 2” boards for wooden support stand construction.

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Many areas of South Dakota are true hunting and fishing treasures, but gaining access to them will take an investment of time and an honest, respectful approach. Ask before you access.