GFP News - June 29, 2016
Reminder to Practice Safe Boating during the Fourth of July Weekend
Pierre, S.D. - With the peak boating season well underway and the Fourth of July holiday weekend upon us, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) again wants to inform boaters on the importance of boating safety and responsible use of alcohol while boating.
"Overall boating safety compliance by the boating | public is good," stated Brandon Gust, GFP boating law administrator. "Boating under the influence does however continue to be an issue. It is our hope that by participating in the Operation Dry Water national effort, that we bring awareness to the dangers of drinking and boating, especially going into the holiday weekend."
Operation Dry Water took place last weekend, June 24-26, 2016, and over that three day period 64 officers took part in 11 different boating safety operations across the state with 1,348 boaters contacted and 449 boats inspected. As a result of those boating safety inspections, 16 written citations were issued along with 52 written warnings. Six individuals were arrested for BUI (boating under influence) and one individual was arrested for DUI (driving under influence).
GFP reminds all boaters to take precautions while operating watercrafts. Here are some tips and reminders as boaters celebrate the red, white, and blue.
- Reduce speed while other boaters are near, and take notice of buoys and ‘no wake zones.’
- Watch for swimmers and those participating in water recreation that may be in the open water or being towed behind a boat.
- Ensure boats have the required number of properly fitted life jackets for each person on board.
- Drain plugs, valves or similar devices must be removed or open before leaving an adjacent fish cleaning station and all plugs must be removed and valves must be open when a boat is in transit or storage.
- Check that navigation lights are in working order and turned on prior to sunset.
- Be courteous and timely while docking.
- Limit your alcohol consumption and always designate a safe and sober operator.
"Boating is all about having fun. Our boating safety patrols have a secondary role of law enforcement," Gust said. "Our primary goal is to share the message with the boating public that safety is the most important factor to a fun outing. We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable boating season."
Outdoor Campus-West Hosts 5th Annual Outdoor University
Pierre, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks' (GFP) Outdoor Campus-West in Rapid City will host its fifth annual Outdoor University on Saturday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. MDT.
"Outdoor University provides something for everyone," said Chad Tussing, director of the Outdoor Campus-West in Rapid City. "Individuals and families can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities no matter if they are an avid outdoors person or just getting started. Spend an hour or the whole day here."
Individuals and families can try canoeing, archery, air rifles, fishing and kayaking. Attendees can also learn about how GFP manages the natural resources of western South Dakota at hands-on stations.
A kids' area will feature soft target shooting and other fun outdoor games and crafts, including a giant yard mural. Several other organizations, such as National Grasslands Visitor Center, Rapid City Arts Council, and Rapid City Izaak Walton League will have booths with activities as well.
For more information, call 605.394.2310 or visit outdoorcampus.org.
GFP Looking for Help from Salmon Anglers
Pierre, S.D. -The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is encouraging anglers to turn in heads of tagged Chinook salmon caught on Lake Oahe and the Oahe tail waters.
"Research projects are underway evaluating salmon return to anglers," said GFP fisheries biologist Robert Hanten. "Having anglers report tagged salmon is a crucial part of the research."
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, Hanten asks that they turn in the fresh or frozen head of that salmon at the GFP Fort Pierre 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 to be entered in the cash drawing.
"Even though every salmon missing an adipose fin was implanted with a coded-wire tag, some fish lose their tags during hatchery rearing, meaning not all fish without the fin will contain a tag," explained Hanten.
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 Jan. 1.
For more information, visit http://gfp.sd.gov/fishing-boating/salmon-tags.aspx, stop in to the GFP Fort Pierre Office, 20641 SD Hwy 1806, Fort Pierre, SD 57532 or call 605.223.7681.