GFP Commission Rejects Length Limit Petition for Lake Sharpe Smallmouth Bass

April 7, 2020

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission rejected a public petition to allow Lake Sharpe anglers to harvest only one smallmouth bass over 15 inches as part of the 5-fish daily limit. The petitioner cited declining quality of smallmouth in Lake Sharpe due to angler harvest. 

GFP Fisheries Chief John Lott provided background information to the commission on research that has shown smallmouth bass abundance and lake-wide distribution in Lake Sharpe has been increasing throughout the last three decades. Data collected during periods when length restrictions on smallmouth bass were in effect from 2003-2011 in Lake Sharpe indicated the restrictions did not affect the quality of the smallmouth bass fishery. 

Current smallmouth bass harvest levels are not detrimental to the smallmouth bass population in Lake Sharpe. In addition, the suggested length restriction would substantially reduce the ability of anglers to harvest smallmouth bass without improving population quality.


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