SM Link

GFP News - May 8, 2015


Effective May 11: New Rules to Help Slow the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

PIERRE, S.D. -- As of May 11, 2015, boaters and anglers, residents and nonresidents, are required to comply with new rules to help slow the spread of aquatic invasive species in water bodies across the state.

These new rules require boaters and anglers to clean all vegetation and aquatic invasive species from a boat, trailer or other watercraft. The rules also require all drain plugs or similar devices to be opened or removed; except when in the boat ramp parking lot or when the boat is being launched or loaded. A boat may have these devices closed or in place while en route to a fish cleaning station immediately adjacent to where the boat was loaded, but they must be opened or removed before leaving the fish cleaning station.

Transporting bait or fish in water taken from a lake, river or stream is not allowed. Bait may only be transported in water taken from a lake, river or stream while en route to a fish cleaning station located immediately adjacent to the lake, river or stream, but must be drained prior to leaving the fish cleaning station. Anglers may still transport bait away from a lake, river or stream if bait is in well water or treated tap water.

Anglers have three options for transporting whole fish for cleaning at home or at a cleaning station not immediately adjacent to the boat ramp.

  1. In a container (not a part of the boat), that is filled with domestic water (tap water, well water, bottled water, ice).
  2. On ice - in a cooler or pull the plug on their livewell and fill it with ice (plug must remain out). 
  3. Dry - put fish in an empty bucket or pull the livewell plug before leaving the boat ramp and let it drain when traveling.

If there is not a cleaning station at the site where anglers are fishing, drain plugs must be opened and bait containers must be free of lake water before leaving the boat launch area.

"We realize these are big changes for boaters and anglers across the state," concluded Kelly Hepler, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Secretary. "And we thank those who have already started to comply with these new rules and for helping us spread the message about how others can do their part to slow the spread of aquatic invasive species in South Dakota. If each of us takes responsibility to do what we can to protect our resources today, these outdoor activities will continue to be enjoyed by future generations for years to come. Thank you again."

For more information on the newly effective aquatic invasive species rules and how to help slow their spread in South Dakota water bodies, please refer to the newly launched website at: For easy reference, rack cards outlining these rules are also available at nearby licensing agents, GFP offices and in state parks and recreational areas.



Other News and Information

One-Year Archives