Agency

October Commission Finalizations and Proposals

October 10, 2018

GFP October Commission Press Release Package

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2018

  • Deer License Allocation Proposal Approved Unanimously by GFP Commission
  • GFP Commission Removes Domicile Fish Possession Limits and Liberalized Fishing Regulations
  • GFP Commission Changes Fish Limits
  • GFP Commission Finalizes Modifications to Nebraska Border Waters and Fish Spearing and Archery Rules
  • GFP Commission Modifies AIS Rules
  • GFP Commission Proposes 2019 Duck Hunting Season
  • GFP Commission Finalizes Several Goose and Other Waterfowl Hunting Seasons
  • Goose, Sandhill Crane, Spring Light Goose Seasons Proposed
  • Spring Turkey Hunting Season Proposed; Custer State Park Turkey Hunting Season Set
  • GFP Commission Proposes Changes to Camping Fees

Deer License Allocation Proposal Approved Unanimously by GFP Commission

PIERRE, S.D. – Last week, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission voted to approve the deer license allocation proposal with no changes.

The most significant change from how the drawings are structured today is that drawings for East River, West River, Black Hills and Muzzleloader deer seasons will be combined in the first and second drawings. In the first draw, applicants will have to choose between one of the four seasons. Special buck, Custer State Park and Refuge deer hunting seasons will remain unchanged from the current draw structure.

"This was not an easy decision to make. The tough topics and conversations don’t come without discomfort or change,” stated Russell Olson, GFP Commissioner from Wentworth. “Good policy leaders seek change and look for ways to make South Dakota better. South Dakota has, and will continue to have more deer hunting opportunity than just about any other state in the Midwest. We will be watching this closely and if the new system isn't doing what it's designed to do, we will make changes."

Changes that will be effective for the 2019 deer hunting seasons include:

1.  Remove Special Buck, Custer State Park and Refuge Deer from the combined deer drawing.

  • These seasons will remain separate drawings.
  • Hunters still have to choose among licenses available for East River, West River Black Hills and Muzzleloader in the first draw, both first and second choices.

2.  In the second draw, an applicant may only apply for a license if the applicant did not draw a license in the first draw.

3.  In the third draw, the four seasons will no longer be drawn together and a resident will submit one application for each season they do not have a license for. 

  • The maximum number of licenses a resident could have through the third draw is four; one for each of the East River, West River, Black Hills and Muzzleloader seasons.
  • Non-residents without a license will be able to apply for a license remaining in pools originally designated for non-residents in the Black Hills and West River deer hunting seasons.

4.  In the fourth draw, remaining resident and non-resident licenses will be pooled within each season.

  • Residents can submit up to five applications in any of the four seasons.
  • Non-residents who do not have a license can submit one application for any remaining license.

5.  After the fourth draw, all licenses will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

6. While first draw applicants must continue to use accrued preference points for their first choice, applicants can use preference points for any other choice in the first three drawings. An applicant who uses preference to acquire a license in a season is not allowed to purchase a preference point for that season. The advantage of this new system is that hunters can accrue preference points for multiple seasons and then elect to switch to a different “preferred” license in a different season in a future year.

"The department did an unprecedented amount of outreach on this topic and continues to receive questions and feedback regarding the decision made and what happens next,” concluded Kevin Robling, GFP special projects coordinator. "Ultimately this is about increasing deer hunters’ chances of getting their preferred license more often and getting more people out deer hunting every year."

For additional frequently asked questions and answers, please click here.

GFP Commission Removes Domicile Fish Possession Limits and

Liberalized Fishing Regulations

PIERRE, S.D. - Last week, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission removed fish possession limits at an angler’s permanent residence. While possession at a permanent residence will be unlimited, possession limits would remain in place for transporting fish and for storing fish at all locations outside of a person’s domicile; which is their established, fixed and permanent home.

The Commission also repealed liberalized fishing regulations. The Department has not used liberalized fishing rules for some time as they were not effective in accomplishing intended management goals.

Additionally, the Commission removed the closed fishing seasons for game fish on Minnesota/South Dakota border waters. This removal reduces regulation complexity and increases recreational opportunities for anglers. The Commission also removed spring stream closures in eastern South Dakota, in association with opening spearing for northern pike and catfish year-round on all waters except those managed for muskies.

GFP Commission Changes Fish Limits

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission made several changes to fish limits.

These changes or removals include:

  • Removed the daily and possession limits for white bass and rock bass.
  • Eliminated the regulation allowing for one trout over 14 inches from Black Hills lakes.
  • Established a minimum length limit of 24 inches and a daily limit of one for lake trout or splake in the Black Hills Fish Management Area.
  • Removed the 15-inch minimum size restriction on walleye for Richmond and Elm Lakes in Brown County, Enemy Swim and Pickerel Lakes in Day County, Clear and Roy Lakes in Marshall County and Lake Mitchell in Davison County.
  • Removed black bass (largemouth and smallmouth) size restrictions from all waters with the exception of Burke Lake, New Wall Lake and Lake Yankton.
  • Added a 28-inch minimum length and a daily limit of one walleye on Horseshoe Lake in Day County.
  • Modified the Lake Francis Case paddlefish season to allow license holders to take a paddlefish with snagging gear or bow and arrow.

GFP Commission Finalizes Modifications to Nebraska Border Waters and Fish Spearing and Archery Rules

PIERRE, S.D.  - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission opened up the spearing of rough fish year-round on South Dakota/Nebraska border waters and added crossbows and legal spearguns to the list of legal methods of take for rough fish.

The Commission also made the following changes to spearfishing regulations:

  • Opened up the entirety of Lake Sharpe and Lake Francis Case to gamefish spearing and archery during established season dates.
  • Removed the requirement to purchase a game fish spearing and archery permit.
  • Changed spearing season dates for northern pike and catfish on inland waters, except those managed for muskie, to year-round.
  • Changed gamefish spearing and archery season dates on the South Dakota/Nebraska border waters to July 1-Dec. 1 to match Nebraska’s season.
  • Allowed for the take of gamefish below Gavins Point Dam during established season dates.
  • Prohibited spearing and archery fishing in Angostura and Lewis and Clark Lake marinas.

GFP Commission Modifies AIS Rules

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission made several modifications to the aquatic invasive species (AIS) rules.

These modifications include:

  • Added Starry Stonewort to the list of aquatic invasive species.
  • Allowed exemptions for commercial plant harvesters and lakeshore property owners from the prohibitions of possessing aquatic invasive species if authorized to do so by the department.
  • Allowed the GFP Department secretary to authorize certain boats to keep plugs in while being trailered.
  • Added Lake Yankton to the list of containment waters.

GFP Commission Proposes 2019 Duck Hunting Season

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed the 2019 duck hunting season last week at their October meeting in Deadwood.

Season Dates and Open Areas:                   

High Plains Zone: October 12, 2019 – January 16, 2020

Low Plains North & Low Plains Middle Zone: September 28 – December 10, 2019

Low Plains South Zone: October 26, 2019 – January 7, 2020

Proposed daily limits would be six ducks; comprised of no more than five mallards (which may include no more than two hens), three wood ducks, three scaup, two redheads, two canvasbacks and one pintail.

Two bonus blue-winged teal would be available for the first sixteen days of the season.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting the proposal at their Nov. 1-2 meeting at Good Earth State Park near Sioux Falls. The public hearing will be held Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. CDT. Individuals can also provide written comments on proposals by sending them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, or online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/. To be included in the public record and to be considered by the Commission, comments must include a full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of 72 hours before the public hearing.

GFP Commission Finalizes Several Goose and

Other Waterfowl Hunting Seasons

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission set the 2019 early fall Canada goose, Special Canada goose, August Management Take, youth waterfowl and tundra swan hunting seasons with no proposed changes from 2018. 

The early fall Canada goose season will run from Sept. 7-30, have a daily limit of eight Canada geese and a possession limit of 24. The early fall Canada goose hunting season is for Unit 1 only.

The special Canada goose season will run from Oct. 19 – Dec. 22 in Bennett County. For 2019, 800 three-tag licenses will be available for residents and 25 two-tag permits are available to nonresidents.

The August Management Take will be open for Pennington County, west of the Cheyenne River from Aug. 17 – 31. This season is open to residents only and has a 15 Canada goose daily limit and no possession limit.

The 2019 youth waterfowl hunting season will be Sept. 21-22. This season is open state-wide to residents and nonresidents who have not reached the age of 16 by the first day of the season. Daily and possession limits apply.

The tundra swan hunting season will run from Sept. 28 through the end of the light goose hunting season. There will be 1,425 resident and 250 nonresident single-tag licenses.

Goose, Sandhill Crane, Spring Light Goose Seasons Proposed

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed the 2019 goose, Sandhill crane and spring light goose seasons.

Dates for these proposed seasons include:

Canada Geese (and Brant)

Unit 1: October 1 – December 22, 2019

Unit 2: November 5, 2019 – February 16, 2020

Unit 3: January 11-19, 2020

Light Geese                                                             

Statewide: September 28, 2019 – January 10, 2020    

White-fronted Geese                                                              

Statewide: September 28 – December 10, 2019.

Daily limits would be eight Canada geese for Unit 1 and four Canada geese for Units 2 and 3. Limits for light geese would be 50 statewide.

The Commission proposed an increase in the daily limit of white-fronted geese from two to three, but the proposal also included a shortening of the season from 86 to 74 days.

The Commission also proposed to expand the area where hunters can hunt Sandhill cranes. The proposal would modify the open unit from that portion of the state lying west of U.S. Highway 281 to that portion of the state lying west of a line beginning at the South Dakota-North Dakota border and State Highway 25, south on State Highway 25 to its junction with State Highway 34, east on State Highway 34 to its junction with U.S. Highway 81, then south on U.S. Highway 81 to the South Dakota-Nebraska border.

The proposed Sandhill crane season would run from Sept. 28 – Nov. 24, 2018, have a daily limit of three and a possession limit of nine.

A slight change to the season dates for the 2019 light goose hunting season were proposed for the Spring Light Goose Conservation Order from 79 days beginning the day after the Unit 2 dark goose season to the day after the Unit 2 dark goose season to May 15.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting the proposal at their Nov. 1-2 meeting at Good Earth State Park near Sioux Falls. The public hearing will be held Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. CDT. Individuals can also provide written comments on proposals by sending them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, or online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/. To be included in the public record and to be considered by the Commission, comments must include a full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of 72 hours before the public hearing.

Spring Turkey Hunting Season Proposed;

Custer State Park Turkey Hunting Season Set

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to remove the use of rifles to hunt spring turkeys starting in 2019. This decision was proposed as a safety concern due to the increased use of life-like decoys used by spring turkey hunters.

The Commission also proposed to:

1. Offer residents 55 more one-tag male turkey licenses and 150 less two-tag male turkey licenses for the prairie units than 2018 for an overall decrease of 245 tags. 

2. Offer nonresidents two more one-tag male turkey licenses and 12 less two-tag male turkey licenses for the prairie units than 2018 for an overall decrease of 78 tags.

3. Modify the season end date for turkey hunting on the prairies, in the Black Hills and during the archery season from the eighth day prior to Memorial Day weekend to May 31.

4. Adjust the hunting season end date for Sica Hollow in unit 48A to end on May 31.

Season dates for 2019 would be:

Archery: April 6 – May 31

Black Hills regular and single-season prairie units: April 13 – May 31

Split-season early prairie units: April 13 – April 30

Split-season late Prairie units; Black Hills late season: May 1 – May 31     

The Commission proposed the number of tags available for the spring turkey season as:                

Black Hills:  Unlimited resident and nonresident one-tag male turkey licenses

Prairie: 5,657 resident and 246 nonresident one-tag male turkey licenses

            600 resident and 48 nonresident two-tag male turkey licenses

Archery: Unlimited resident and nonresident one-tag male turkey licenses

Access permits would be required to turkey hunt Good Earth State (five archery permits

available) and Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve (20 archery permits available).

The Commission also finalized the Custer State Park spring turkey hunting season for 2019 and 2020 with no changes from 2018 with season dates being April 13 – May 19, 2019 and April 11 – May 17, 2020. There will be 100 resident one-tag male turkey licenses available.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting the proposal at their Nov. 1-2 meeting at Good Earth State Park near Sioux Falls. The public hearing will be held Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. CDT. Individuals can also provide written comments on proposals by sending them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, or online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/. To be included in the public record and to be considered by the Commission, comments must include a full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of 72 hours before the public hearing.

GFP Commission Proposes Changes to Camping Fees

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed three changes to camping fees.

The Commission proposed to define the new service of a modern cabin being a structure with beds, electricity, sewer and water and establish a fee of $150/night.

The Commission also proposed to increase the per night fee for the lodge at Shadehill Recreation area from $205 to $280 due to expansion of the lodge.

Finally, the Commission proposed to establish fees for the use of the Good Earth State Park amphitheater of $300 for four hours and $600 for all day (6 a.m. – 11 p.m. from May 1 – Sept. 30 and 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. from Oct. 1 – April 30).

The GFP Commission will consider adopting the proposal at their Nov. 1-2 meeting at Good Earth State Park near Sioux Falls. The public hearing will be held Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. CDT. Individuals can also provide written comments on proposals by sending them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, or online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/. To be included in the public record and to be considered by the Commission, comments must include a full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of 72 hours before the public hearing.

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