GFP News|No Wake on Blue Dog Lake, Mountain Lion Plan, Commission Holds Emergency Meeting

July 25, 2019
No Wake Zone Declared on Blue Dog Lake
GFP, State Legislators to Hold Open House in Edgemont
GFP Seeking Comments on Mountain Lion Plan
Commission Adopts Emergency Rules Regarding Lake Sharpe and Francis Case
High Water Causes GFP to Declare No Wake Zone on Blue Dog Lake
PIERRE, S.D. – High lake levels have caused South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Secretary, Kelly Hepler, to declare a temporary "no wake zone" on Blue Dog Lake in Day County.
The request for the no wake zone came from the mayor of Waubay, Kevin Jens.
In an executive order from earlier this year, Governor Kristi Noem named Helper a temporary designee, giving him the ability to create such restrictions.
The no wake zone will be within 300 feet of the shoreline for the entire lake.
The no wake zone will be in place until high water conditions subside.
GFP, State Legislators to Hold Open House in Edgemont
EDGEMONT, S.D. - The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) will hold an open house at Edgemont's Victory Steakhouse and Lounge on Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“Meetings like this are vital,” said Kelly Hepler, Secretary of South Dakota GFP. Local legislators Senator Lance Russell and Representative Tim Goodwin will join Secretary Hepler for the event. 
“We have passionate, interested outdoorsmen and women in all corners of the state,” Hepler said. “I am glad we can have open discussions with legislators, landowners, hunters and anglers. It is so important that everyone comes to the table to talk about the issues facing GFP and our state’s outdoor resources.”
For more information on the event, contact the GFP regional office in Rapid City at 605.394.2391.  
GFP Seeking Comments on Mountain Lion Management, Open House Invite
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is seeking comments on a draft revision of the mountain lion management plan.
All individuals interested in the management of mountain lions in South Dakota have from now through August 26, 2019, to provide suggestions and comments on the draft plan. A final draft of the revised plan is scheduled to be presented to the GFP Commission in September for their consideration.
An open house also is scheduled for August 15, 2019, from 7:00-8:30 pm MDT at the Outdoor Campus West in Rapid City. This event will begin with a formal presentation followed by breakout stations for the public to interact and provide feedback to Department staff.
A draft of the revised mountain lion management plan can be found online at under “Plans Up for Revision”. Written comments on the plan can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501, or emailed to Comments must be received by August 26, 2019, and include your full name and city of residence. To request a printed copy of the draft plan, please call 605.773.3387
GFP Commission Adopts Emergency Rules Regarding Zebra Mussels in Lake Sharpe and Lake Francis Case
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission held a teleconference meeting on July 24 to adopt an emergency rule pertaining to the discovery of adult zebra mussels in Lake Sharpe.
The emergency rule designates Lakes Sharpe and Francis Case as containment waters, thus requiring certain boaters to follow decontamination rules. Francis Case and Sharpe will now be included with Lewis and Clark Lake, the Missouri River from Gavins Point Dam downstream to the Big Sioux River confluence, McCook Lake, and Lake Yankton as containment waters.
Decontamination rules for containment waters infested with zebra mussels are as follows:
1. If a vessel retains one gallon or more of water after all drain plugs, bailers, valves, or other devices used to control the drainage of water have been opened or removed, it must be decontaminated by a department-approved decontamination procedure prior to a subsequent launch unless the watercraft is registered in a local boat registry and the boat owner or operator abides by the provisions of the registry.
2. Watercraft that are moored or have any part continuously in the water for three or more consecutive days on a containment water must be decontaminated by a department-approved decontamination procedure prior to the subsequent launch of the watercraft.
Emergency rules are valid for 90 days, providing the Commission time to take formal action. The emergency rules process applies when there is a threat to public welfare and is used to secure or protect the best interests of the state.
To listen to the audio recording of the meeting, visit
Zebra mussels have the potential to harm aquatic ecosystems and impact hydropower as well as municipal and agricultural water systems. The species is a filter feeder that consumes plankton in water. Each individual is capable of filtering up to one liter of water per day, removing food for native mussels and fish. The presence of zebra mussels may foul the smell and taste of drinking water and lead to increased toxic blue-green algae blooms. Zebra mussels also become troublesome for recreational users and water users when they attach to the insides of engine cooling systems and water intake structures and restrict the movement of water. The shells are extremely sharp which could potentially limit the use of swimming beaches. In some areas of the country, they have been found in densities of over 700,000 individuals per square meter.
For more information on aquatic invasive species in South Dakota, visit


View All News