GFP Commission to look at several proposals


PIERRE – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission held its July meeting at the Watertown Event Center on July 8-9. At their meeting they finalized proposals from their May and June meetings as well as passed several other proposals, which will now be up for public comment.

Aquatic invasive species

The commission proposed three changes to the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) rules:

1. Allow exemptions for shoreline property owners to possess and dispose of invasive species to help minimize their introduction to other waters. This means that individuals who own homes or cabins on a waterbody can dispose of AIS species on docks, boats, shorelines, or other similar structures.

2. Provide an exemption to allow boats, docks or boat lifts that are removed from an infested water to be launched directly back into that waterbody without having mussels removed.

3. Remove current rules requiring decontamination of boats that have been in infested waters for more than three days before their next launch.

Bait hatcheries and fishing tournaments

The commission proposed to remove the requirements for monthly and annual reporting by licensed retail bait dealers. They also proposed to eliminate annual fish health and AIS inspection requirements for private hatcheries while also proposing to remove restrictions on trap entrance size and mesh size for noncommercial bait seines, nets, and traps.

Finally, the commission proposed to change the definition of fishing tournaments so that youth events with participants under the age of 18 (currently 17) would not be considered a tournament.

Blowguns

The commission proposed to allow the use of blowguns as a legal method to take fish. This proposal came from the public petition process.

Hoop nets and set lines

The proposal includes allowing use of float lines as an alternative method of take for individuals possessing a valid setline license on inland waters currently open to use of setlines. The proposal also adds hoop nets and traps as legal methods of taking catfish and rough fish on the inland waters of the Missouri River, western tributaries and Angostura, Belle Fourche, and Shadehill reservoirs.

Fish limits

The commission proposed to change daily catfish regulations on the Iowa/SD border to allow 10 channel catfish, 1 blue catfish and 5 flathead catfish per day, with one flathead catfish 30 inches or longer per day.

For more information on any of the fisheries proposals, visit gfp.sd.gov/commission/information or contact [email protected]

Spring turkey

The commission proposed to eliminate the second Black Hills turkey license for the 2022 spring turkey hunting season. This proposal is following the guidance of the South Dakota wild turkey management plan, where reduced hunter success for the past two seasons suggests a management response which adjusts the season structure to one license per year for the Black Hills season.

For more information on this proposal, visit gfp.sd.gov/commission/information/ or contact [email protected]

Mountain lion

The commission proposal includes a simple clean-up to correct a portion of administrative rule pertaining to the season end date for the Black Hills that was inadvertently missed when the season was extended through the end of April back in 2019.

For more information on this proposal, visit gfp.sd.gov/commission/information/ or contact [email protected]

Public comments currently being accepted 

If you would like to comment on any of these proposals, visit gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions. Comments can also be mailed to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD.

To hear the discussion on these proposals, audio from the meeting is available through South Dakota Public Broadcasting and will soon be available on the GFP website as part of the meeting archive. To see the proposal in its entirety, visit gfp.sd.gov/commission/information.

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 be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on August 29.

The next GFP Commission meeting will be held Sept. 1-2.

The commission also finalized several proposals from their May and June meetings.

Antelope hunting season

The commission finalized the antelope hunting season (proposed in May), and the 2021 season will occur from Oct. 2-17, with a total of 4,957 licenses. In addition to the Antelope Hunting Season, a new opportunity (Special Antelope) was created. The Special Antelope opportunity will allocate 50 resident and 50 nonresident any antelope licenses that will be valid on private property only. Individuals who apply for a Special Antelope license may not apply for an antelope license in the initial or second drawing or apply for a leftover special antelope license.

The 2021 archery antelope season was finalized at the May meeting and will run from Aug. 21-Oct. 31. The archery antelope season is closed from Oct. 2-17 for the firearms season.

Trapping seasons

The commission finalized the beaver trapping and hunting season (proposed in June). The beaver season will now be open year-round, statewide, with the exception of a portion of the Black Hills Fire Protection District.

Their finalization also expanded the use of body-grip traps to be used year-round, east of the Missouri River, which will now be aligned with the current regulations for western South Dakota.

The commission finalized this year’s river otter season to run from Nov. 1-Dec. 31 with a harvest limit of 20 river otters.

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