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november 2012 Commission Meeting

November 1-2, 2012
Madison, Camp Lakodia

Rules Proposed at this Meeting

summary

Division of Administration

Action Items
Approve minutes of the October 3-4, 2012, meeting
Additional Commissioner Salary Days
License List Requests

  • SD Wildlife Federation Camo Coalition seeking 3,000 resident fishing license names to send out letter stating what they do in the Legislature and soliciting free membership in Camo Coalition; seeking reduced fee non-profit status for the list; approved
  • Alaska’s Inside Passage Resorts of Santa Barbara, CA, seeking all Nonresident Game Preserve license holders to promote their group of lodges in Alaska and British Columbia to sportsmen looking for an all-inclusive wilderness adventure; approved

Information items
License Sales Report

  • Resident and Nonresident fishing license sales will wind up 2012 well ahead of sales in 2011; initial sales of Nonresident Small Game License for 2012 (43,078) are behind same time in 2011 (50,018); resident small game licenses are 19% behind last year, but resident combination licenses are up slightly; it is noted that last year there were 5 additional days of license sales for pheasant license sales compared to this year, and at this time of year that can be significant

Public comment guidelines

  • An e-mail was received this past month regarding public testimony shared with Commission as part of rule-making process; it was pointed out that a commenter is asked to include name and complete address but sometimes in the testimony sent to the Commission that is not the case
  • The Commission was asked for direction on what level of response they want from public testimony commenters in terms of identifying themselves in their message
  • Commission considered Name-City-State as sufficient to identify who the sender is and provide accountability for who is providing the comments

Open Forum

  • Dave Bean of DeSmet brought two issues he would like the Commission to consider; has worked in gun industry and has run a small guide service for hunters; 1) NR Waterfowl licenses are lacking for all the pheasant hunters who would like to also try a waterfowl licenses, deadline in summer is too early for people who are planning hunts; as a guide it would be a great economic impact for business and communities if more licenses are available to accommodate all these hunters and allow residents the ability to provide nonresident waterfowl permits to hunters who come in; 2) the eastern SD pheasant population is poor and hunters are not seeing birds and are unhappy; poor habitat and loss of CRP; businesses are suffering for lack of hunters who are going west where the birds are; suggests a summit meeting between GFP, landowners and hunters on how all can work together, and some way through license funds or business contributions to lease birds on public grounds to give hunters a hope of getting a bird
  • Jan Nicoli, Sioux Falls, wanted to publicly thank the people of Custer State Park for their work on the beetle program, very impressed with the progress; also wanted to thank GFP for their continued support of Sportsmen Against Hunger; wanted consideration of the surcharge of $5 that is tacked on to most hunting license fees that was intended to make funds available for access and for depredation issues on private landowners, one of the problems is there is no accounting for how this money is spent and need accountability
  • Chris Hesla representing the SD Wildlife Federation wanted to speak in support of the petition to repeal the statewide portion of the mountain lion season that the Commission will be considering and asks that this part of the rule be deleted
  • Bill Donovan shared e-mails from fellow scuba divers and spear-fishers about proposal and spoke in favor of expanding spear fishing opportunities, in particular opening opportunities statewide and year-round; also asked that the $5 “tax” levied on game spear fishing licenses for purpose of survey go away
  • Dave Cross from Brandon could not get out to the river this summer to do spear fishing so his license will go unused, eastern lakes are almost impossible to spearfish after mid June because of algae blooms
  • Mike Dundee from Webster does dark house spearing; mainly go after northern pike which have overrun some of the lakes and streams in the northeast; would like ability to go to some other lakes to expand opportunities; likes the extension of the spring season
  • At the end of the day a gentleman came and addressed concern about using park system to access a boat ramps; uses boat ramps but rarely even visits and uses a state park

Public Hearing at 2 PM

Finalizations
Fishing Seasons and Limits

  • Recommended change from proposal: Keep the stipulation in place for Lake Oahe that no more than 1 walleye in the daily limit may be 20 inches or greater (proposal is to do away with this size restriction)
  • Commission amended the original proposal to return the stipulation that only 1 walleye 20 inches or over may be taken
  • Commission finalized the proposal as amended

Snagging of Paddlefish

  • No recommended change from proposal
  • Finalized with no changes from proposal

Spearing

  • No recommended change from proposal
  • Proposal to allow northern pike spearing statewide
  • Proposal to change spearing end dates for inland waters to March 15; some discussion on what an alternative beginning date might be to the current June 15;
  • Proposal to include text regarding year-round take of catfish on entire Missouri River system
  • All finalized with no changes from proposal

Hoop Nets and Setlines

  • No recommended change from proposal
  • Finalized with no changes from proposal

Bait Fish

  • No recommended change from proposal
  • Considered ramifications of changes to bait dealers and waters that would be closed vs. waters that would still be available
  • Finalized with no changes from proposal

Turtles

  • No recommended change from proposal
  • Finalized with no changes from proposal

Special Management Categories

  • No recommended change from proposal
  • Finalized with no changes from proposal

Administrative Rules Reduction

  • No recommended change from proposal
  • Finalized with no changes from proposal

Nonresident Hunting License Fees

  • No recommended change from proposal
  • Considered possibility of exploring more long-term needs and raising both nonresident and resident license fees at the same time to cover budget
  • Finalized with no changes from proposal on a 7-1 vote

Park Entrance License Fee

  • No recommended change from proposal
  • Finalized with no changes from proposal

Camping and Lodge Fees

  • No recommended change from proposal
  • Finalized with no changes from proposal

Camper Unit Definition

  • No recommended change from proposal
  • Finalized with no changes from proposal

Hunting Season Proposals
Spring Turkey Hunting Season

  • Staff recommended changes from 2012: Offer residents 105 less one-tag “male turkey” licenses and 200 less two-tag “any turkey” licenses for the Prairie Units than 2012 for an overall decrease of 505 tags; offer nonresidents 16 less two-tag “any turkey” licenses for the Prairie Units than 2012 for an overall decrease of 32 tags; allow 10 resident archery licensees to hunt at Blood Run Nature Area and 10 resident archery licensees to hunt at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve through the issuance of “access permits” issued via lottery drawing and access permits valid from April 6 – April 30; modify spring unit boundaries for Black Hills and 49A to be consistent with fall turkey unit boundaries
  • Season dates: Archery Apr. 6-May 19; Black Hills and Prairie Apr. 13-May 19; Split Season Prairie Early Units Apr. 13-Apr. 30; and Split Season Prairie Late Units and Black Hills Late Season May 1-19
  • Commission adopted proposal with recommended changes from 2011

CSP Spring Turkey Hunting Season

  • No changes so season finalized with same season structure as 2012
  • Season dates Apr. 13-May 19; 135 licenses available; restricted to shotguns using shotshells, muzzleloading shotguns, and archery equipment

Season history information:
Spring Light Goose Hunting Season

  • No changes so season finalized with same season structure as 2012
  • Season dates Feb. 16-May 5; open statewide; Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp not required; use of electronic calls is allowed; shotguns may be capable of holding more than 3 shells; shooting hours ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset
Division of Parks and Recreation

Information items
Angostura Concession RFP Update

  • Current operator has submitted a proposal meeting all the conditions of the proposal; further calls for updates and improvements to infrastructure
  • Discussion with ownership details for the final lease
  • Plan to be back in December with final lease for approval

Angostura Sewer System Update

  • Have been working with consultants to do preliminary engineer work and develop cost estimates to help develop legislation for bonding
  • Looked at all the options and the best option to put a central and expanded lagoon system; estimates now with this shared system that repayment will be around $800/year
  • Will require earnest money as part of moving project forward

Angostura and Shadehill Seasonal Cabin/Trailer Annual Fee

  • Rate is based on Consumer Price Index; with CPI of 2% the Angostura cabin rental rate would raise from $795 to $810 and the Shadehill cabin and trailer rental rate would raise from $410 to $420
  • Commission approved the rate increase for 2013

Campground Reservation System

  • Working with new provider and system that will result in better service for public
  • Website has changed to Leisure Interactive’s site and will be much easier to do as an online system
  • Staying Same: Campsites and cabins available on a 90 day window beginning at 7 a.m.
  • Changing: Beginning May 1 campsites and camping cabins will be reservable year-round from the call center
  • Lawrence & Schiller out of Sioux Falls is the subcontractor for the reservation system and provide 24/7 phone service

Visitation and Revenue Report

  • Revenue increase of 12.1% over same time period in 2011 with 2012 total at $11,456,407
  • Visitation increase of 11.6% over same time period in 2011 with 2012 total at 6,583,694
  • Camping Unit increase 13.7% with 2012 total at 269,773 units
Division of Wildlife

Action items
Written Concise Statement for Mountain Lion Season

  • Public request was made to provide a “Concise Written Statement” on the Commission action to create the 2013 mountain lion hunting season
  • Commission approved a resolution with the requested statement

Mountain Lion Petition for rule change

  • Public presented an official request for rule change that would repeal amendments establishing a statewide mountain lion season for Commission consideration
  • Commission received letters of support for the resolution and had oral testimony from SD Wildlife Federation at Open Forum
  • Discussed history of where mountain lions are to be managed for in South Dakota
  • Commission approved denial of the resolution

Trapping Petition for rule change

  • Commission received 26 petitions from the Public all asking that the Commission do away with nonresident restrictions in regards to furbearer trapping seasons
  • Commission approved denial of the resolution

Information items
Boating Officer of the Year award

  • This annual award is being presented posthumously to Brook Brown who passed away this past summer after a battle with cancer; Brook’s wife and parents appeared to accept the award on behalf of Brook
  • The award will now be renamed the “Brook Brown Boating Officer of the Year Award”
  • Director Leif presented Brook’s wife and each of his children a Division of Wildlife Lifetime of Achievement Award to commemorate Brook

Shikar Safari Wildlife Conservation Officer award

  • Each state agency honors on conservation officer sponsored by the Shikar Safari Club
  • This year the award winner for South Dakota is Brian Humphrey in Hutchinson & Turner counties
  • Served as a field training officer and mentor for new conservation officers, past recipient of boating officer of the year, specializes in work within community and county to build relationships and treats the people he serves with respect

Outdoor Campus East activities report

  • Thea Ryan brought Pat Klotzbach to meet the Commission; Pat has been added to staff in an outreach position to lead Step Outside Programs and reach out to provide programming in area schools
  • New exhibits at TOC-East have brought new learning opportunities and interactive opportunities for visitors
  • Outdoor University in August had over 2,600 people attend and covered most of the outdoor acreage at TOC-East; provide a taste of almost everything that is presented there; archery classes have increased tremendously and especially so among girls; will be looking for more business partnerships for next year to make an even bigger and better event
  • Commission shared their appreciation for the opportunities that The Outdoor Campus facilities bring on behalf of GFP

August/September Canada Goose season reports

  • August Take has been in place for 3 years and this year’s harvest nearly 37,000
  • Sportsmen Against Hunger donated around 2,000 geese 2 years ago and this year both August & September Early Goose Season had 13 processors assisting and just under 8,200 geese were donated this year
  • Worked to advertise the opportunity to donate geese through e-mails and flyers to goose hunters so they were aware that they could donate geese, when they could, and where
  • Also used the opportunity to encourage people to take out first time goose hunters and provided donated prizes as part of incentive, including full lay-out blinds donated by Cabela’s

Fish spearing survey report

  • Cindy Longmire summarized the results of the 2011 spearing/archery angler survey
  • 2,061 who had game fish spearing license received the survey and had 1,276 responses
  • 31% said they did not participate; 39% did underwater spearing and 38% did darkhouse spearing; 71% used Missouri River inland waters; Missouri waters used more by underwater spearers and NE waters more by darkhouse spearers
  • bowfishermen fish primarily from shore; most underwater spearers used scuba equipment
  • asked opinions about acceptance of a lower walleye limit if size restrictions were removed
  • perceived conflict that hook and line anglers felt underwater spearers had an unfair advantage
  • Most felt that spearing and bowfishing regulations were not very complex; most were satisfied to very satisfied with spearing and bowfishing experience
  • Followup survey to hook and line anglers who did not also hold a game fish spearing license
  • Majority do not support limit of 3, 2 or 1 walleye; most did not see any conflict with spearers or bowfishermen
  • Very few though there were issues with current safety regulations or spearing activities

Fishing access development projects

  • Steve LaBay presented information on projects in the northeast
  • Primitive access projects that work with high water levels of past few years; much of infrastructure getting to these fisheries has been flooded; may have a muddy slope into lake that anglers use for boats with no base, but as solution provide a rock foundation to keep trailers from sinking into the ground and causing ruts, then firm the area up with packed gravel
  • Projects at Cottonwood Lake in Clark County; Bitter West in Day County; East Krause in Day County among others
  • Road Right-of-Way development done in cooperation with county highway and township supervisors; Dry Lake #1 in Clark County had access issues but working with local authorities were able to gravel in an access in a couple of days
  • Lake Traverse on Reservation Dam installed a 100% ADA accessible trail with a flat fishing pad at the base of the trail; also provided walking trails to the shore in some other locations and provided a flat surface for anglers at the shoreline
  • Upcoming projects planned for Stink Lake in Codington Co.; Goose Lake and North Rush Lake

Gavins Point Dam boating closure

  • Just after last Commission meeting received word that something was happening with boat access below Gavins Point Dam; Corps of Engineers closed the most popular spot for paddlefish anglers without public input and without consulting with GFP
  • Presented Corps with official request to reconsider the closure; U.S. Coast Guard has much of the oversight on the river, but COE does have some authority as well
  • Request was declined, so next step was to pass request along to COE head with Nebraska joining in request; will continue to push the issue if a favorable response is not provided

Commissioner Resigns

  • Commissioner Bill Cerny is moving from Burke to Yankton and will resign his post on the Commission
Cerny began in 2012 and served as a West River Landowner/Democrat for the Commission; Gov. Daugaard will seek a replacement to fill those qualifications for the remainder of Cerny’s term