GFP Commission proposes fishing regulation changes

PIERRE –  Last week, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission proposed to eliminate fish possession limits at an angler’s permanent residence.

Possession limits do not have a biological impact on fish populations.

While possession at a permanent residence will be unlimited, possession limits would remain in place for transporting fish and for storing fish at other locations.

This change would provide flexibility in how and when anglers keep and store fish.

The commission also proposed to repeal liberalized fishing regulations.

“Whenever a fish kill on a lake is anticipated, historically, the department utilized liberalized regulations to allow people to take more fish prior to them dying,” said Geno Adams, GFP fisheries program administrator. “When these regulations were instituted, fish were already dying and not susceptible to angling. The department has not used liberalized fishing rules for some time and they were not effective in accomplishing intended goals.”

In addition, the commission also proposed to remove the closed fishing seasons for game fish on Minnesota/South Dakota border waters. This removal would reduce regulation complexity and increase recreational opportunities for anglers.

The commission also proposed to remove 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.

The GFP Commission will finalize these fishing proposals in October. The public hearing will be held Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. MDT at Cadillac Jacks in Deadwood.

Individuals can also provide written comments on proposals by sending them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, or online at

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.

AP file photo


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