Rules for Marking Nonmeandered Waters Now Finalized

November 7, 2017
Photo copyright Sam Stukel
Photo copyright Sam Stukel

PIERRE, S.D. - 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.

House Bill 1001 requires the department to establish specific standards for markers used to indicate closure of nonmeandered waters to recreational use. The Commission passed the following rules:

  1. Nonmeandered water closures shall be marked with buoys or department-supplied signs.
  2. Signs and buoys must be placed no further apart than 660 feet.
  3. Signs and buoys shall be installed so they are conspicuous.
  4. Buoys shall be of polyform design.
  5. Buoys shall be red with contrasting 3 inch minimum letters stating: “Closed.”
  6. Buoy size shall be a diameter of not less than 14.5 inches and a length of not less than 19.5 inches.
  7. Signs and buoys are to be installed, removed 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.

View an image of these markers.

Any landowner who wishes to close the water overlying their flooded land on a nonmeandered water body must mark the water as closed to recreational use and notify the Department within a reasonable time of doing so. Any landowner who wishes to restrict access on a Section 8 nonmeandered lake must petition the GFP Commission to request such closure.

To learn more about the petition process, please visit To view a list of Section 8 nonmeandered lakes please visit


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.


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