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SD Least Wanted.comSD Invasive Species Laws and Regulations

General A.I.S. Regulations

SDCL 41:10:04:01. List of Aquatic Nuisance Species. Species classified as aquatic nuisance species in the state are as follows:

  • black carp, Mylopharyngodon piceus
  • common carp, Cyprinus carpio
  • grass carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella
  • bighead carp, Hypopthalmichthys nobilis
  • silver carp, Hypopthalmichthys molitrix
  • European rudd, Scardinius erythrophthalmus
  • giant snakehead, Channa micropeltes
  • Northern snakehead, Channa argus
  • bullseye snakehead, Channa marulius
  • blotched snakehead, Channa maculate


  • brittle naiad, Najas minor
  • curly pondweed, Potamogeton crispus
  • didymo, Didymosphenia geminata
  • Eurasian water-milfoil, Myriophyllum spicatum
  • Invertebrates
  • New Zealand mudsnail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum
  • rusty crayfish, Orconectes rusticus
  • zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha
  • quagga mussel, Dreissena rostriformis burgensis
  • Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea

SDCL 41:10:04:02. Aquatic nuisance species restrictions. A person may not posses, transport, sell, purchase or propagate an aquatic nuisance species except for the following:

  • A person possessing a valid scientific collectors permit issued by the department
  • A person authorized by the department to stock triploid grass carp for pond management purposes
  • A person contracted by the department to conduct commercial fishing operations as authorized in SDCL 41:13:07
  • A person in the process of removing an aquatic nuisance species from a boat, motorboat, or equipment and returning it to the water from which it came
  • In the case of fish and crayfish species, only dead specimens may be transported or possessed

SDCL 41:10:04:03. Watercraft restrictions - Aquatic nuisance species inspection. A person may not launch or attempt to launch a boat, motorboat, or boat trailer of any kind into the waters of the state with an aquatic nuisance species attached or onboard. Any boat, motorboat, or boat trailer is subject to inspection by a department representative. Should an aquatic nuisance species be found during inspection, decontamination will be required prior to launching.

SDCL 41:07:01:11. Introduction of nonnative fish into state waters prohibited - Possession and transportation of snakehead fish prohibited. No person may release a fish, mollusk, reptile, crustacean, or amphibian not native to South Dakota in any water in the state, other than aquaria, without written authorization from the commission.

Bait and Importation Regulations

SDCL 41:09:04:03 Waters open to taking of bait. The James, Big Sioux, and Vermillion Rivers as well as the Missouri River below Gavin's Point Dam are closed to both the commercial and non-commercial taking of bait year round.

SDCL 41:09:04:07. Game fish and endangered species to be returned to waters - Rough fish may be destroyed. Game fish or threatened and endangered species defined in SDCL 41:10:02:05 and 41:10:02:06 taken in any bait trap, net, or seine shall be returned to the waters from which taken as soon as possible to prevent visible stress and death and shall not be transported away from the water in which it was taken for any reason. Rough fish may be destroyed provided the fish is buried or disposed of in a manner conforming with SDCL 34A-7-6.

SDCL 41:09:04:12.Transportation of other fish by bait dealer. A bait dealer may not transport other fish while transporting baitfish.

SDCL 41:09:04:13. Transportation of sucker spawn prohibited. A person may not transport or ship sucker spawn and frogs from the state unless authorized by the secretary.

SDCL 41:09:08:01.01. Fish importation prohibited - Exceptions. A person may not import live fish or any fish reproductive product into the state except for the following:

  • A person possessing a valid fish importation permit issued by the department;
  • An angler fishing on any boundary water as defined in SDCL 41:07:01:01; or
  • A person importing fish designated for aquaria use.

SDCL 41:09:08:07. In-transit shipments exempt - Exceptions. Any in-transit shipment through South Dakota substantiated by an invoice or shipping document is not subject to the provisions of this chapter. However, such a shipment shall be considered an importation if any repackaging or exchange of containers or water in containers is attempted within the borders of the state.

Private Hatchery Regulations

SDCL 41:09:07:03.01. Application for license. A person shall apply for a private fish hatchery license on forms provided by the department. Any existing license renewal or request to add a new facility or water to an existing license shall be submitted to the department before January 1 of the year the license is requested. All information requested on the application form shall be complete for the application to be considered.

SDCL 41:09:07:03.02. License approval criteria. The department shall require compliance with the following criteria before issuing a new private fish hatchery license or adding any new facility or water to an existing license:
That any fish escaping from the proposed facility or water will not be detrimental to existing fish populations or waters;

  • That no fish, exclusive of those propagated or held by the hatchery, may access the proposed facility or water;
  • That no game fish exists within the proposed facility or water unless the applicant provides proof of purchase verifying the game fish were obtained from a legal source;
  • That the proposed facility or water does not interfere or limit access and use of public waters;
  • That the applicant possesses a discharge permit issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources if applicable;
  • That the applicant possesses a water right issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources if the operation of a hatchery requires a water right;
  • That access to the proposed facility or water is entirely under the applicant's control by ownership, lease, easement, or permission. If the proposed facility or water is not entirely owned by the applicant, then the applicant shall provide with the application a true and correct copy of the written lease or easement, or written permission, which establishes applicant's right to access the proposed facility and water; and
  • That the proposed facility or water do not contain any aquatic nuisance species determined by the department to be a threat to South Dakota waters.

This section does not apply to any private fish hatchery licensee who submits a license renewal application for the next successive year if the hatchery facility and the waters contained therein as described on the application for private fish hatchery license remain unchanged from the application approved in the preceding year.