GFP News - July 6, 2012
- GFP Urges Public to Limit Travel on Agency Lands Due to Fire Danger
- Boat Ramp Near Vermillion Now Open
- Watertown Man Dies in Boating Accident
- Game, Fish and Parks Studies New Fish Tagging Technique
GFP Urges Public to Limit Travel on Agency Lands Due to Fire Danger
PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department is cautioning the public to keep fire danger in mind when accessing lands owned and managed by the agency.
In western South Dakota, where several forest and prairie fires have occurred, GFP has closed several vehicle-access trails in Game Production Areas. Closure signs are being posted at those trails, and some vehicle-access trails will even be gated to indicate closure.
"We really feel this is a prudent action to take in light of the extreme fire danger and burn bans that are being put in place across most of western South Dakota," said Mike Kintigh, GFP regional supervisor in Rapid City. "Closing public-use areas is a last resort, but given the time of year when there is limited public use of these areas anyway, our focus and concern is to ensure protection for the important wildlife habitats on these Game Production Areas."
Access trails on other Game Production Areas in the state will remain open to public use for the time being, but extreme caution is advised for people who use those lands.
"We are currently allowing vehicle access on the trails of our other Game Production Aeas," said Emmett Keyser, assistant director of the GFP Wildlife Division. "But we urge you to park your vehicle at the entrance and access those lands on foot only."
Keyser also reminds the public that state law prohibits people from discharging fireworks on any lands owned or leased by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks. In addition, it is illegal to have an open fire on any public lands except in established fireplaces.
Finally, Keyser encourages people who use public lands to limit any activities with the potential to accidentally start fires. It also is suggested that people who use those public areas carry firefighting equipment, such as water and shovels, so any fires that start can be quickly extinguished.
Boat Ramp Near Vermillion Now Open
PIERRE, S.D. - The Game, Fish and Parks Department has announced the re-opening of the Myron Grove boat ramp, located on the Missouri River approximately eight miles west of Vermillion.
The boat ramp had been closed since last summer's flood. After the flood the ramp did not reach the water. Improvements have been made and the dock has been installed at the ramp.
Watertown Man Dies in Boating Accident
WATERTOWN, S.D. - A 41-year-old Watertown man has died of injuries sustained in a boating accident at Lake Kampeska on July 4.
Harvey Seidell suffered fatal injuries after apparently diving into shallow water on the north end of Lake Kampeska near Lunker's. CPR was attempted at the scene and Seidell was transferred to Prairie Lakes Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The accident is under investigation by the SD Game, Fish and Parks Department.
Watertown Police, Watertown Fire and Rescue, and GFP all responded to the initial 9-1-1 emergency call.
Game, Fish and Parks Studies New Fish Tagging Technique
Jake Davis, a fisheries biologist with Game, Fish and Parks in Rapid City, is working with staff at McNenny State Fish Hatchery in Spearfish to evaluate a new trout tagging technique using a special fish tag.
Visible Implant Tags are individually numbered tags placed under the clear "skin" areas of fish. This study is comparing how long the tags remain in fish after they are placed in different locations on the fish.
According to Davis, tagging fish is necessary to collect data so that biologists can effectively manage South Dakota fisheries. Visible Implant Tags are less expensive, less stressful on the fish, and less time-consuming to use compared to other methods which require tag placement in the muscle or bone of the fish.
Specific to this project, Davis and the hatchery staff are evaluating tag placement in either the anal fin or the fatty tissue surrounding the eyes. The study started on June 18, and tag retention will be evaluated every two weeks until the end of August. Rainbow trout from 7-11 inches were implanted with visible implant tags and are being held in the raceways at McNenny.
The data will be used to determine the ideal location for tagging and tag efficiency in relation to fish size. "Determining the best location to obtain the highest tag retention rates is critical when applying these tags to fisheries studies in and around the Black Hills" Davis stated. If visible implant tags prove to be an efficient method of marking fish with individual identification numbers, anglers might be catching fish marked this way in the near future, but they will only see the tags if they carefully examine their catch.
Contacts: Raesha Ray or Michael Barns (firstname.lastname@example.org), McNenny State Fish Hatchery, 19169 Trout Loop, Spearfish (605-642-6920).