Agency

COVID-19 Information on Hunting and Fishing

Fishing

  • Fishing remains open to individuals with a valid fishing license.
  • Recreate locally and responsibly. 
  • Fish cleaning stations are open, please follow CDC personal hygiene guidelines. 
  • Make mindful decisions about travel according to CDC guidelines.   

Boat Launches 

  • State-managed public boat launches remain open to the public, even though state offices are closed. 
  • Docks will be going in as weather conditions, water levels, and other factors allow our staff to conduct this work safely. 
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has closed six boat launches on the Missouri River near Fort Thompson. These launches include: Right Tailrace, Left Tailrace, Old Fort Thompson, Spillway Dike, Good Soldier and North Shore. Read more on closures by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Tribal land boat launches may be subject to different regulations. Contact the local tribal office for specific information. 

Fishing Tournaments 

  • Applications are still being accepted.
  • Previously scheduled fishing tournaments will be at the discretion of the event organizer.
    • If you are planning to attend a tournament, please contact the event organizer for specific information regarding that event.

Spawning and other Fisheries Activities

  • GFP will not be conducting walleye spawning operations this spring.
  • Walleye populations in South Dakota are currently in excellent shape and GFP does not anticipate a negative impact on fisheries. 
  • Most fish stocking activities are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Limited stockings of trout are occurring to reduce fish densities at specific hatcheries.
  • Read more about GFP’s spring fisheries activities.

Current Seasons 

Spring Turkey Season

  • Spring turkey season opened as planned and will conclude May 31.
  • If you choose not to travel during COVID-19, tags may be refunded. 
    • Mail the tags to the return address on the envelope you received them in, “Attn: Shon.” 
    • Enclose a note asking for a refund due to the COVID-19 virus.

Nest Predator Bounty Program

  • The Nest Predator Bounty Program began on April 1 and will conclude July 1, or when the $250,000 cap is reached. 
  • Tails should be kept frozen until they can be submitted, submission instructions can be found on the Nest Predator Bounty Program page
  • Freeze tails in such a way that they can be counted without opening the package. 
  • Read more on the 2020 Nest Predator Bounty Program.

Lake Francis Case Paddlefish Season

  • If you have a paddlefish tag for Lake Francis Case, you are able to fish from shore at Big Bend Dam
  • Tribal councils of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe ask that you plan ahead to avoid stops in their communities. Please observe responsible practices by purchasing snacks, bait and other items at your home location. If you do need to stop, send in only one person, minimize your time in the store and use hand sanitizer.
  • If you choose not to travel during COVID-19, tags may be refunded. 
    • Mail the tags to the return address on the envelope you received them in, “Attn: Shon.” 
    • Enclose a note asking for a refund due to the COVID-19 virus.
  • More information on paddlefish season can be found here. 

More Information on COVID-19

COVID-19 Information on Access 

COVID-19 Information related to Educational Activities

COVID-19 Information related to Habitat

COVID-19 Information for Parks and Camping

Contact South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks 

Recommendations from Governor Noem and the CDC:

  • Recreate locally and responsibly. 
  • Practice social distancing and avoid crowds.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Stay home if you have any symptoms and contact your doctor.

Additional Information on COVID-19:

The most recent GFP Podcast and Blast episodes have discussed everything you need to know regarding outdoor recreation in South Dakota as we address COVID-19. You can find these episodes here:

Please make mindful decisions as you care for yourself and your loved ones. For more information on COVID-19 in South Dakota, https://covid.sd.gov/.