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GFP News - June 21, 2013

Tagged Lake Oahe Salmon: From Silver to Gold

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department is asking anglers to assist in an investigation evaluating how varying stocking salmon at different locations might improve survival and catche of Chinook salmon on Lake Oahe, and anglers could earn cash in the process.

GFP is encouraging anglers to turn in heads of tagged Chinook salmon caught on Lake Oahe and the Oahe Tailwaters. Anglers who return salmon heads from tagged salmon will be entered into a drawing in which ten, $100 rewards will be issued each calendar year, with a maximum of three rewards per person per year. The annual drawing for winners of the $100 prizes will occur by January 1.

"Research projects are underway evaluating salmon return to anglers. Reporting of tagged salmon by anglers is a crucial part of the research," GFP fisheries biologist Robert Hanten said.

According to Hanten, thousands of specially-tagged Chinook salmon have been stocked in Lake Oahe. A small, coded-wire tag, only a millimeter long and the diameter of human hair, was implanted in these fish. Although tags cannot be seen by anglers, tagged fish can be identified by the absence of a tiny fin on their back.

"Salmon have a small fleshy-lobed adipose fin directly in front of their tail, but this fin is removed as part of the tagging process," Hanten said. "If anglers catch a salmon missing the adipose fin, we would like them to turn in the fresh or frozen head of that salmon at the GFP Fort Pierre District Office, Oahe Marina, Spring Creek Resort and Deep Water Marina, Carl's Bait Shop, or West Whitlock Recreation Area."

Information on where and when a salmon was caught along with the angler's address and phone number must be included when submitting salmon heads. In addition, a coded-wire tag must be found in the head of the fish by GFP staff to result in entry into the contest.

"Even though every salmon missing an adipose fin was implanted with a coded-wire tag, some fish lose their tags over time, meaning not all fish caught by anglers without an adipose fin will contain a tag," Hanten said.

For more information, visit: gfp.sd.gov/fishing-boating/salmon-tags.aspx, or contact the Fort Pierre District Office, 20641 SD Hwy 1806, Fort Pierre, SD 57532, or call 605.223.7681.

Prairie Dog Control Programs Available

PIERRE, S.D. - Officials with the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and Agriculture Departments are reminding ranchers and producers to contact either agency if they have unwanted prairie dogs.

The state's prairie dog control program is cooperatively funded by GFP and SDDA. GFP manages encroachment issues on private lands which have been encroached from adjacent public lands, while SDDA manages complaints between private landowners.

"GFP will control prairie dogs that have encroached onto? private land from adjacent public land," GFP Wildlife Damage Program Administrator Keith Fisk said. "Landowners who have encroachment problems on their property from adjacent public land must be within one mile of the public land and have at least 20 acres of actual prairie dog colonies to be eligible for assistance."

Additionally, landowners must contact GFP and report that they have unwanted prairie dogs before August 15, 2013. "GFP provides assistance to many landowners across western South Dakota," Fisk said. "This deadline allows GFP sufficient time to coordinate the logistics of our control program."

If a landowner has a complaint regarding prairie dogs that are encroaching from public land, GFP must be contacted at 605.773.5913 to request control. Once eligibility has been verified, GFP field staff or a department representative will control the invading colony on the private land later this fall. All complaints must be received by the August 15, 2013 deadline.

Landowners that are experiencing encroachment from adjoining private land need to contact SDDA or their local county weed and pest board. If the colony is encroaching from private land, a signed written complaint must be made.

There are two methods to file a complaint.

The first option is for the effected landowner to sign a letter of complaint and mail it to the local County Weed and Pest Board. The second method requires a formal complaint (available by calling 800.228.5254 or through the SDDA website at sdda.sd.gov/Ag_Services/Plant-Protection/Weed%20and%20Pest. One copy must be sent to SDDA and another copy to the landowner with the invading colony. The mailing address for the Department of Agriculture is 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. Notices of encroachment may be sent in throughout the year.

The South Dakota Prairie Dog Management Plan may be seen by visiting gfp.sd.gov/wildlife/docs/prairiedog-management-plan.pdf or by calling GFP at 605.773.3387.

GFP Opens Application Process for Deer Hunting Seasons

PIERRE, S.D. - The Game, Fish and Parks License Office has announced that the application process for all South Dakota deer hunting seasons is now open.

Applications may be submitted online through the GFP website at www.gfp.sd.gov. A paper form containing application and information for all deer seasons will be available in late June. Hunters will have the option to apply online or fill out the paper application and mail it to the License Office.

"We are now accepting online applications for all deer hunting seasons. Deadline dates for submitting applications will vary from season to season," GFP Licensing Supervisor Shon Eide said.

Season deadline dates include:

In addition to deer seasons, the application process is also open for Fall Turkey and Archery Antelope. The deadline is July 22.

For more information or assistance with the application process, call 605.223.7660 or email wildinfo@state.sd.gov.

-GFP-

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