Photo © Jim Thompson

Marking Requirements for Signs

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized a set of standards for landowners to follow when marking nonmeandered water over private property.

Nonmeandered water closure signs are provided by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. These signs can be found at the Watertown regional office or by contacting Rhet Russell at 605.882.5200. Contact Game, Fish and Parks with any questions about requirements or how to obtain proper markings. 

Marking requirements include the following:

  1. Nonmeandered water closures must be marked with buoys and/or department-supplied signs.
  2. Signs and buoys must be placed no further apart than 660 feet.
  3. Signs and buoys must be installed so they are conspicuous.
  4. Buoys must be made of polyform design.
  5. Buoys must be red with contrasting 3 inch minimum letters stating: “Closed.”
  6. Buoy size must be a diameter of not less than 14.5 inches and a length of not less than 19.5 inches.
  7. Signs and buoys must be installed and maintained by the owner, or their designee, of the private property.
  8. Property corner boundaries located in the water must be marked by signs or buoys.

Buoy Preparation Information

Use permanent marker or black spray paint using a stencil to mark "CLOSED" on buoys. Then attach two pieces of reflective adhesive tape as seen in the images below.


Anchoring Recommendations

Standard 8” or 10” construction (cinder) blocks

  • 8” block weighs approximately 36 lbs
  • 10” block weighs approximately 46 lbs

Chain or anchor line rope both work well for connecting buoys to anchors.

  • 3/16” chain will result in increased longevity and is easily fastened with bolts.
  • 3/8” anchor line rope is a good alternative but can fray over time.
  • To ensure buoy placement, keep slack in anchoring chain/line.
  • Example: Placing an anchor in 8’ of water should have approximately 10’ of chain/line.

Ice Marking Recommendations

  • Ice conditions can vary greatly, please use caution. 
  • Drill hole in ice and leave slush in hole.
  • Attach Department provided sign to a 6-7’- 1”x3” furring strip board.
    1. Recommend the bottom of the sign be placed at 48” above the ice for visibility.
    2. Recommend using 2”x 4” and 2”x 2” boards for wooden support stand construction.