The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed several rule changes for 2014 centering on fishing, spearing fish and the taking of bait.

Rule changes for consideration include:

  • A proposal to prohibit felt-soled waders in any South Dakota waters. These waders can trap sediment and organic material and may transport aquatic invasive plants and animals, disease spores and unwanted insect larvae from one water to another. South Dakota would join a number of states that have banned the use of felt-soled waders.
  • A proposal to increase the possession limit in inland waters for all fish species from two times the daily limit to three times the daily limit. Interested parties petitioned the Commission to increase the statewide possession limit for walleye in inland waters, stressing the economic benefits of such a change to the state. In an effort to keep possession limits consistent among all species, Wildlife Division staff recommended that the proposed increase in possession limits for inland waters apply to all species, not just walleye. The change is expected to have little to no impact on the resource.
  • A proposal to change the possession limit on yellow perch from 15 to 30 fish on the South Dakota/Minnesota boundary waters. A recent survey of South Dakota anglers in counties bordering Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska determined that anglers in waters bordering these states were interested in having regulations similar to inland waters. Inland waters currently have a possession limit of 30 yellow perch. This change would also align South Dakota and Minnesota boundary water yellow perch possession limits.
  • A proposal for special management waters to remove the current walleye limits in effect on Lake Oahe and revert to standard statewide harvest restrictions for walleye. This change would add East and West Heritage Game Production Area ponds to the list of waters with a 15-inch minimum length limit for largemouth and smallmouth bass.
  • A proposal to allow rough fish spearing in South Dakota-Minnesota boundary waters year-round, anytime of day or night. This change would increase angler opportunity and make the state’s regulation similar to Minnesota’s boundary water regulations.
  • A proposal to modify areas open to spearing of game fish by removing a subsection allowing game fish spearing in a limited number of waters in eastern South Dakota (spearing for northern pike has been allowed statewide since December 2012 and that will not change). Under this proposal, South Island Lake would be added to the list of lakes in which northern pike spearing is not allowed due to the presence of muskies. This change would remove wording that allows the director of the Division of Wildlife to temporarily open areas to game fish spearing for special events and instead give that authority to the GFP Commission through resolution (allowing more opportunity for public input).
  • A proposal to allow emerald shiners and spottail shiners to be taken and sold by any licensed resident bait dealer or sold by any licensed nonresident bait dealer.
  • A proposal to allow golden shiners, emerald shiners, spottail shiners and dead gizzard shad to be transported away from the water from which they are taken to be used as bait.
  • A proposal to allow the non-commercial taking of bait for that portion of Lewis and Clark Lake and the Missouri River above Gavins Point Dam in Yankton and Bon Homme counties (these areas are closed to the commercial taking of bait).
  • A proposal to add Lake Yankton in Yankton County, and Mud Lake and Lake Byron in Beadle County to the list of waters closed year-round to the commercial and non-commercial taking of bait (Asian carp have been found in these waters).

The proposed rule changes will be finalized at the Nov. 7-8 GFP Commission meeting, which will be held in Pierre at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel. To view the full proposals on those seasons, visit: www.gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/default.aspx and look under the “Rule Proposals” heading.

To comment on any of the proposals, send a letter to: South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501; or email wildinfo@state.sd.us . Comments on proposal will be taken until 5 p.m. CST on Nov. 6. To be included in the public record, please include your full name and city of residence.

For those who would like to comment in person on these proposed rule changes, the GFP Commission will host a public hearing beginning at 2 p.m. CST as part of their meeting on Thursday, Nov. 7.

Logo courtesy South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission

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