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GFP News - October 11, 2016



GFP Commission Does Not Establish Fishing Tournament Fees

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission did not adopt a proposal that would have established application fees for fishing tournaments.

During the recent public comment period on this proposal, it became evident that the proposed fees for smaller tournaments were considered to be excessive and staff resource expenditures were much higher for tournaments involving 100 or more boats.

The department recommended the Commission not adopt the proposal as a result of the public comments received. A number of other issues were also realized during this time, such as how fishing leagues or clubs, which host numerous small events a year, would be permitted. The accompanying rule proposal that would have made it a violation to participate in a non-permitted tournament was also not adopted by the Commission.

Historically, there has been no application fee associated with hosting fishing tournaments in South Dakota.

For more details on fishing tournaments, the application process and event regulations, please visit http://gfp.sd.gov/fishing-boating/fish-tournaments.aspx.

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GFP Commission Allows for More Game Fish Spearing Across the State

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission passed a rule to allow more opportunities to spear game fish across the state.

The Commission lengthened the spearing/archery season for game fish (except paddlefish and sturgeon) in inland waters open to game fish spearing from June 15 through March 15 to May 1 through March 31. The Commission also changed the legal spearing hours from sunrise to sunset to a half hour before sunrise to sunset.  Crossbows were also added as a legal method of take for game fish on inland and border waters.

The Commission opened all inland waters to the take of catfish and northern pike. This would include rivers and streams during open seasons. This would exclude waters managed for muskie or waters closed to spearing of gamefish elsewhere in the regulations.

Lynn Lake is now closed to the spearing of catfish and northern pike due to it being a newly-stocked muskie water; and Waubay and Bitter lakes in Day County, Swan and Dry #2 lakes in Clark County, Albert, Henry, Thompson, and Whitewood lakes in Kingsbury County are now open to spearing of all game fish except paddlefish and sturgeon during established season dates. Previously, only inland lakes were open for catfish and northern pike spearing and bowfishing and no waters in eastern South Dakota were open to spearing or bowfishing for game fish.

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GFP Commission Changes Fishing and Bait Rules

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission changed six fishing and bait rules currently in place throughout the state.

Those rules include:

  1. Allowing live baitfish to be used when fishing in the Black Hills.
  2. Allowing the non-commercial taking of bait, including crayfish, in most waters in the Black Hills.
  3. Removing "high-grading" or culling restrictions specific to South Dakota/Minnesota border waters and replacing them with South Dakota inland water "high-grading" regulations.
  4. Removing the 15 inch minimum length limit for black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) on Carthage, Dimock, Vermillion, Hanson and Staum lakes.
  5. Removing the 14 to 18 inch protected slot limit for black bass on Enemy Swim and Pickerel lakes.
Removing the 15 inch minimum length limit for walleye and the 14 to 18 inch protected slot limit for black bass from Campbell Slough.

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GFP Allows Salmon Snagging in Fall 2017

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission voted to allow Lake Oahe anglers to snag Chinook salmon next fall.

The salmon enter the shallow waters of the lake in the fall, looking for suitable spawning areas.  There is no natural reproduction of salmon in Lake Oahe and with very few other species in shallow waters that time of year, the move will allow anglers additional opportunity for these sportfish without negatively impacting other fisheries.

-GFP-

 

GFP Commission to Authorize Depredation Permits

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission will finalize authorization to the department secretary to use depredation permits to respond to property damage by game animals that cannot be resolved by any other method.

Permits would be available for the remainder of 2016 and in 2017. The authorization would make available no more than 600 permits (plus an additional 200 landowner/operator permits) per year to address deer, antelope, and turkey depredation issues and no more than 100 elk depredation permits per year. Depredation permits are issued on a case by case scenario.
 
"Depredation permits are used as a last resort but are an important tool to wildlife management," said Kelly Hepler, GFP Secretary.  "We work with landowners on fencing, food plots, hazing and other tactics first. Occasionally we have to issue these permits after we have exhausted all other options."

The Commission will decide on the authorization at their November meeting in Brandon on Nov. 3-4.

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GFP Commission Creates Rules to Facilitate Landowner Management of Impoundments

PIERRE, S.D. - A new rule created by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission last week will make it easier for landowners to manage created man-made impoundments on their own land.

Currently, state law requires authorization for landowners to stock fish, remove fish in quantities above established limits, use special netting or sampling equipment and apply chemicals to control vegetation in waters containing game fish. These authorizations are currently handled one at a time with a different application required for each activity.

The new rule streamlines the application process by creating a one-time application and allows all activities (stated above) to occur on all waters included in the authorization.

Lastly, this rule also allows private contractors to provide fisheries management services to landowners.

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GFP Commission Proposal Would Allow For Shed Hunting on State-Owned Lands

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to allow shed antler hunting on state owned lands at their October meeting.

The proposal would only apply to lands owned by the department, including state parks, recreation areas and Game Production Areas. The rule change would not apply to Walk-In Areas or lands owned by other state or federal agencies.

The Commission will finalize this proposal Nov. 3-4, 2016, at the Brandon Holiday Inn Express.  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. on Nov. 3. Please include a full name along with the city and state of residence. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held Nov. 3, at 2 p.m. CDT at the Holiday Inn Express in Brandon.

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GFP Commission Proposes to Decrease Spring Turkey Hunting Licenses

PIERRE, S.D. - A proposal by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission would decrease the number of licenses available for the 2017 spring turkey hunting season.

The proposal offers 52 fewer resident one-tag male turkey licenses and 600 fewer resident two-tag male turkey licenses for prairie units.  Nonresidents would see six more one-tag male turkey and 42 fewer two-tag male turkey licenses for the same unit.

The Commission also proposed to make adjustments to the Black Hills and Unit 49A (Meade County) unit boundaries and offer 10 more archery turkey access permits for the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve.

The Commission made no proposed changes for the Custer State Park spring turkey hunting season.  By rule, this season will follow its current structure with 100 resident one-tag male turkey licenses available with the season beginning April 8 and ending May 21, 2017.

The proposed dates for all other spring turkey hunting seasons would be:
Archery                                                                   April 1 - May 21, 2017
Black Hills Regular and Single-Season Prairie Units           April 8 - May 21, 2017
Split-Season Early Prairie Units                                    April 8 - April 30, 2017
Split-Season Late Prairie Units; Black Hills Late Season    May 1 - May 21, 2017

The Commission will finalize this proposal Nov. 3-4, 2016, at the Brandon Holiday Inn Express. 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. on Nov. 3. Please include a full name along with the city and state of residence. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held Nov. 3, at 2 p.m. CDT at the Holiday Inn Express in Brandon.

-GFP-

GFP Prevents Zebra Mussels from Infesting the Belle Fourche Reservoir

PIERRE, S.D. - Last month, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks' (GFP) staff were on site at the Belle Fourche Reservoir to inspect equipment brought into South Dakota to dredge parts of the water body. Zebra mussels were discovered on the dredging equipment of the private contractor hired by the Belle Fourche Irrigation District to perform maintenance dredging of sediments.

During the initial inspection, GFP law enforcement and fisheries staff found adult zebra mussels attached to the barge sections and associated equipment. The tender boat for the operation also had the drain plug in place and there was water in the bilge of the boat.  A citation was issued for violation of state aquatic invasive species (AIS) regulations. After the initial inspection, the contractor made every effort to have the equipment properly decontaminated. The equipment and boat passed a post decontamination inspection prior to being launched into the reservoir to complete the dredging operation.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation requested to have GFP on site to inspect the equipment for AIS prior to deployment into the reservoir. The dredging equipment had been used in Lake Superior, a waterbody known to be infested with zebra mussels.

Anglers, boaters and contractors are reminded that no person may launch or attempt to launch a boat or equipment into South Dakota waters with AIS attached or onboard. All plugs, bailers, valves or other devices must be opened or removed except when the boat is in the boat ramp parking area and when being launched or loaded.

For more information on AIS and to help prevent the spread, please visit sdleastwanted.com.

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GFP to Host Habitat Pays Workshops

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department (GFP) will host Habitat Pays Workshops on Oct. 13, from 3-9 p.m. in Martin and in Philip on Dec. 6 from 6-9 p.m.

GFP, Pheasant Forever, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Conservation District staff will be available to answer questions and discuss programs to improve wildlife habitat.  

For more information view the workshop flyer online at habitat.sd.gov/workshops/docs/Martin-Philip.pdf.

About Habitat Pays: Habitat Pays is a joint effort between the South Dakota Departments of Game, Fish and Parks and Agriculture to connect farmers and ranchers to the appropriate habitat resources and help them implement wildlife habitat where it makes the most sense.

Habitat Pays is designed to provide more information and education to assist landowners in designing, developing and funding habitat on their land; working directly with habitat advisors who possess the knowledge of federal, state and local programs.

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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.