SM Link

GFP News - march 3, 2017


 

good Earth State Park Fees Proposed


PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed facility use fees for special events occurring in Good Earth State Park earlier this week.

The fees, which range from picnic shelter rentals to wedding events, take into consideration facility expenses, staff time and clean-up costs and are comparable with similar facility rentals in the Sioux Falls area. Other state parks have similar rules and fees in place to allow for special events.

"We anticipate Good Earth State Park will be a popular place for special events," said regional supervisor, Jeff VanMeeteren. "We are happy to provide accommodations and to balance these special events with the park’s primary mission of interpretation and education, in addition to offering outdoor opportunities that happen on a day to day basis."

A grand opening for the state park’s new visitor center will be held May 19, 2017. This event coincides with the department’s annual open house weekend May 19-21, 2017, which offers free entrance to all state parks and recreation areas during that time. The park entrance license requirement will go into effect for Good Earth State Park beginning May 22, 2017.

The Commission will finalize this fee proposal April 6-7 at the Ramkota Convention Center in Watertown. Written comments can be sent to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be part of the public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. CST on April 6. Please include a full name along with the city and state of residence. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 6, at 2 p.m. CST at the Ramkota Convention Center in Watertown.

-GFP-

gFP Commission Proposes 2017 Elk and Mountain Goat Seasons


PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to allocate 443 any elk and 1,150 antlerless elk licenses for the 2017 Black Hills elk hunting season at their March meeting. The proposal would result in a decrease of 105 antlerless elk licenses compared to 2016. The 2017 season will follow the same season date structure as the 2016 season.

The Commission proposed the 2017 archery elk hunting season with season dates of Sept. 1-30 and 147 any elk and 130 antlerless elk licenses.  This proposal would result in a decrease of 10 antlerless elk licenses compared to 2016.

The 2017 prairie elk hunting season was proposed with a total of 149 licenses in the four prairie hunting units and would follow the same season date structure as 2016. The Commission proposed to keep the prairie unit 30A (Gregory County) closed. The Commission also proposed to expand the geographic area of Unit 11 to include that portion of Todd County west and north of the Little White River.

The Commission proposed two licenses for the 2017 and 2018 mountain goat hunting seasons.  The seasons would run Sept. 1-Dec. 31, 2017, and Sept. 1 - Dec. 31, 2018, respectively.  The mountain goat hunting unit is those portions of Pennington and Custer counties west of Highway 79 except Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Jewel Cave National Monument, and the fenced portion of Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park.

The Commission will finalize this proposal April 6-7 at the Ramkota Convention Center in Watertown. Written comments can be sent to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be part of the public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. CST on April 6. Please include a full name along with the city and state of residence. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 6, at 2 p.m. CST at the Ramkota Convention Center in Watertown.

-GFP-

Proposal to Change the Rules for Terminally Ill Hunters


PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to expand a rule that allows for the allocation of a deer, antelope or turkey license to terminally ill South Dakota residents.

This allowance is available to a resident who has been diagnosed to have a terminal illness that is expected to substantially shorten their life expectancy; or to a resident under the age of 26 who has been diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening illness. Authorizations allow the resident to hunt and take no more than one deer, antelope or turkey. Authorizations are issued as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for each species.

Current rule only allows the resident to use the authorization during established season dates. The proposal would allow the GFP department secretary to authorize a terminally ill resident to hunt a deer, antelope or turkey outside established season dates if circumstances justify such an allowance.

The Commission will finalize this proposal April 6-7 at the Ramkota Convention Center in Watertown. Written comments can be sent to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be part of the public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. CST on April 6. Please include a full name along with the city and state of residence. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 6, at 2 p.m. CST at the Ramkota Convention Center in Watertown.

-GFP-

waterfowl seasons set


PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized several waterfowl seasons at their March meeting in Pierre.

The Commission decreased the daily bag limit of pintail ducks from two to one for the 2017 South Dakota duck hunting season.  Season dates for the High Plains Zone is open Oct. 14, 2017, through Jan. 18, 2018; the Low Plains North and Low Plains Middle Zone is open Sept. 30 through Dec. 12, 2017, and the Low Plains South Zone is open Oct. 14 through Dec. 26, 2017.

The daily duck limit may be comprised of no more than five mallards (which may include no more than two hens), three wood ducks, three scaup, two redheads, two canvasbacks and one pintail.  A bonus blue-winged teal season, allowing for two more blue-winged teal, would be held the first 16 days of the duck hunting season.

The Commission also proposed to lengthen the upcoming light goose season to the maximum days allowed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The season for light geese will run from Sept. 30, 2017, through Jan. 12, 2018.

Hunters will also find an increase in the number of resident and nonresident tundra swan licenses available to 1,425 and 250, respectively.  The tundra swan season will run from Sept. 30, 2017, through the end of the light goose hunting season and would be open in all counties east of the Missouri River except Charles Mix, Bon Homme, Yankton, Clay, Union, Lincoln, Turner, Hutchinson and Douglas counties.

The Canada and Brant goose hunting season dates for Unit 1 are Oct. 1 through Dec. 17, 2017; Unit 2 are Nov. 6, 2017, through Feb. 18, 2018, and Unit 3 are Jan. 13 through 21, 2018.

South Dakota’s white-fronted goose season will run from Sept. 30 through Dec 24, 2017.

-GFP-

New and Modified Aquatic Invasive Species Rules Finalized


PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission recently finalized new aquatic invasive species (AIS) rules and modifications to the existing rules in an effort to target the most likely ways that these species are moved from water body to water body.

These rules are not effective until 20 days after they are filed with the Secretary of State’s Office. GFP will continue to keep anglers and boaters informed as the rules move through the process and what the final date of implementation will be later this spring.

NEW RULES

Containment Waters
The Commission classified Lewis and Clark Lake, McCook Lake, the Missouri River from Gavins Point Dam to the Big Sioux River, and waters in other states that contain zebra or quagga mussels as "Containment Waters."  This designation allows for subsequent regulations to refer specifically to these waters.

Local Boat Registries
The Commission authorized the Department to create "Local Boat Registries" at containment waters. Initial plans for Local Boat Registries include a free-transportation zone where boats may be transported without being decontaminated as well as provisions for allowing over-winter boat storage with AIS attached to the vessel.  Boats included in the registry may not launch into any other water body or be transported outside the transportation zone without being decontaminated.

Residual Water Decontamination
One of the top ways that zebra mussels spread is through the transport of water infested with zebra mussel larvae (veligers). Many types of recreational boats, such as wakeboard boats, are equipped with one or more ballast tanks that hold water to create a larger wake for stunts and tricks. Due to their design, most of these tanks cannot be fully drained of water. If a wakeboard boat is used on a containment water the ballast tanks can hold veligers that could then make their way into the next waterbody visited. In an effort to limit the movement of water, the Commission created a new rule that requires boat owners whose boats have been removed from a containment water and are holding one or more gallons of water to decontaminate those boats before they can be launched again.

Moored Boats
Boats that are moored or stored in a containment water have a very high likelihood of becoming infested with zebra mussels.  Zebra mussels can reproduce from May through mid-November in South Dakota. This time period encompasses nearly the entire boating season, so anytime that a boat sits in an infested water for more than a few days it is possible that mussels will attach to it. The Commission created a new rule that will require decontamination of boats stored in a containment water for three or more days. This decontamination must be completed before the boat is launched on the next trip.

MODIFICATIONS TO CURRENT RULES

AIS Restrictions
The Commission created two additional exceptions to the AIS possession and transportation restrictions.  Participants in a local boat registry and Department-approved businesses will be permitted to possess and transport boats with AIS attached or on board.
Watercraft Restrictions
The Commission added additional language to this rule that would allow participants in a local boat registry to launch their boats into the water listed in the registry with AIS attached.  This means that a boater registered in the Lewis and Clark Lake Boat Registry could launch back into Lewis and Clark Lake without removing mussels that may be attached to the boat.

-GFP-

National Wild Turkey Federation Awards Altman "Officer of the Year"


PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation has awarded South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) conservation officer Dan Altman their prestigious "Officer of the Year" award.

Altman, who has been stationed in Yankton since 2013 was given the award for his willingness to assist others, his passion for recruiting youth to outdoor activities, his dedication to teamwork and his vast knowledge of the Yankton area and the Missouri River.

Altman was the driving force in the GFP’s partnership with the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in conducting a research study on the effectiveness of field sobriety tests.

Altman also organizes and hosts several outdoor events every year designed to get kids outdoors by working with partner organizations to host Step Outside events. He also works hard with the staff at Lewis and Clark Recreation Area to provide programs for families who are camping so they can try shooting bow and arrow and BB guns during their stay. 

Altman has been recognized previously for his outstanding work and is a past recipient of the South Dakota Conservation Officers Association Patton Torch Award, an award given to a young officer who demonstrates the qualities of an experienced officer. Altman was also awarded the Wildlife Division’s Outstanding Performance Award for his region.

-GFP-

GFP Mission: The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks provides sustainable outdoor recreational opportunities through responsible management of our state’s parks, fisheries and wildlife by fostering partnerships, cultivating stewardship and safely connecting people with the outdoors.

Other News and Information

One-Year Archives