Aquatic invasive Species
new laws and information
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized several rules at their March 6, 2015, meeting to prevent the introduction and slow the spread of existing aquatic invasive species in the state. These new rules are not effective until 20 days after filed with the Secretary of State's Office.
We will continue to keep customers informed as the rules move through the process.
We will also be launching a new website with updated information as well as an educational awareness campaign as we move into April.
- Boaters and anglers are required to open or remove all drain plugs or similar devices; 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 in route to a fish cleaning station that is immediately adjacent to where the boat was loaded, but they must be opened or removed before leaving the fish cleaning station.
- What this means: Plugs have to be pulled when a boat is not on the water. Boaters and anglers may keep fish or bait in a livewell while transporting the boat from the water body to the cleaning station, but have to pull the plugs before they leave the cleaning station. The cleaning station has to be immediately associated with the boat ramp (they cannot load at one ramp and drive 10 miles to get to a cleaning station). If there is no cleaning station immediately adjacent, then the plugs need to be pulled when leaving the boat ramp parking lot.
- Bait and fish may not be transported in water taken from a lake, river or stream. Bait may be transported in water taken from a lake, river or stream only while in route to a fish cleaning station that is located immediately adjacent to the lake, river or stream, but must be drained prior to leaving the fish cleaning station.
- What this means: If anglers wish to transport their aquatic bait and fish in water, they can only be transported in domestic water (tap water, well water, bottled water, ice). However, when leaving a water body, boaters and shore anglers can wait until they reach an immediately adjacent fish cleaning station to put their bait in domestic water.
- Example: They can dump out the lake water and fill their bait bucket with water from the cleaning station or with domestic water they brought with them. If there is no cleaning station immediately adjacent then the water needs to be changed to domestic water at the water body. They can bring water from a hydrant to the shore and then change the water, however, they cannot take bait in lake water to a hydrant and then change the water.
Anglers have three options for transporting whole fish for cleaning at home or at a cleaning station that is not immediately adjacent to the boat ramp.
- In a container (not a part of the boat), that is filled with domestic water (tap water, well water, bottled water, ice).
- On ice - in a cooler or pull the plug on their livewell and fill it with ice (plug must remain out).
- Dry - put fish in an empty bucket or pull the livewell plug before leaving the boat ramp and let it drain when traveling.
MINNOW USAGE AND TRANSPORT
Bait can only be transported away from a water body in domestic water (tap water, well water, bottled water, ice). Boat anglers can wait until they reach an immediately adjacent fish cleaning station to put their bait in domestic water. They can dump out the lake water and fill their bait bucket up with water from the cleaning station or water they brought with them.
A shore angler can do the same if they are able to access the domestic water source at a fish cleaning station that is immediately adjacent or if they bring domestic water with them.
Minnows may be used in multiple lakes as long as they are transported between lakes in domestic water. Lake water must be drained before leaving each lake.
DISPOSING UNUSED MINNOWS
Unused minnows should be poured into the fish grinder at a cleaning station or drained and disposed of in the trash containers at the boat launch or cleaning areas. It is a violation of state statute to dump unused minnows into a water body.
NO CLEANING STATION AVAILABLE
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.
All bait containers must be free of lake water before leaving the water body where they are fishing or the immediately adjacent fish cleaning station.