Western Fisheries Surveys

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks conducts a variety of surveys to assess adult fish populations, young fish production, fishing pressure, and harvest. Angler creel and fish population surveys help fisheries managers and biologists evaluate the benefits of management activities such as stocking, harvest restrictions and habitat improvement. Future management strategies are often based on survey findings. Creel and netting survey reports for our more popular lakes can be viewed using the links shown below. Reports will be added to this site as they are completed. Fisheries management questions can be directed to Gene Galinat. (SDGFP - Rapid City, 605.394.2391).

Stocking Records
2011 2010 2009 2008
Lake Survey Catches


Lake Fishery Surveys
Stream Fishery Surveys

Angostora (2012)

Bear Butte Lake (2012)

Belle Fourche Reseroir (2012)

Buffalo Gap Grasslands (2012)

Curlew (2012)

Deerfield (2012)

Durkee (2012)

Edgemont Ponds (2012)

Flat Creek (2012)

Grand River Grasslands (2012)

Kroetch (2012)

Newell (2012)

New Wall (2012)

Owens Dam (2012)

Pactola (2012)

Pactola Basin (2012)

Shadehill (2012)

Sheridan (2012)

Sorum (2012)

Tennyson (2012)

Tisdale (2012)

Vobedja (2012)

Waggoner (2012)

Wicksville (2012)

Yates Pond (2012)

Box Elder Creek (2012)

Rapid Creek (2012)

Spearfish Creek (2012)

Lake and Stream surveys provide information on fish communities. Some waters are surveyed annually; others less frequently. A variety of fish collection gears may be used during a survey, including gill nets, trap nets, and electrofishing. In general, gill nets are used to sample walleyes and yellow perch. Northern pike, bluegills, crappies, bullheads and catfish are sampled with trap nets. Boat electrofishing is used to sample largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and juvenile walleyes. Technical terminology mentioned in the survey reports.
Angler Creel Surveys
Angostura (2001) Belle Fourche (2002) Sheridan (2003) Stockade (2003)
Center Lake (2009) Deerfield Lake (2010) Spearfish Creek (2010) Stockade Lake (2011)
Coldbrook Reservoir, Sylvan Lake, Center Lake, Horsethief Lake, Canyon Lake, Iron Creek Lake (2007)    
Creel surveys provide information on fishing pressure, catch and harvest of fish species, and angler demographics and preferences. Fishing pressure is calculated from counts of boat and shore anglers. In the winter, occupied ice houses and open-ice anglers are counted. Harvest rates (number of fish harvested per hour of fishing) and catch rates (harvest + release rates) are calculated from angler interviews. An interview consists of questions about the length of time fished, the number and species of fish harvested and released, fishing methods, targeted species, and angler residence and preferences. Total catch and harvest are calculated by multiplying the average catch or harvest rate by the total fishing pressure.

Boating Safety and Regulations

Please follow these rules for a safe and enjoyable time on the water.

Protect our Waters

Aquatic nuisance species threaten threaten our lakes and steams, and can spoil everyone's enjoyment of the water.

Public Fishing Waters

Want to know where to fish, and how to get on the water? Check out this guide.