South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission issues decisions on multiple topics
PIERRE — The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission held its September meeting at Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Watertown on Sept. 7-8.
Antelope and turkey drawings
The commission restricted the number of applications a person may submit during the third draw from up to five applications to one application for Prairie Spring Turkey, Fall Turkey, and Prairie Antelope. This creates consistency among turkey and antelope draws, creates more opportunity for more unique hunters, and reduces the amount of returned licenses.
The board cleaned up language to clarify what can be taken for use as bait, using traps, seines, dip nets, lift nets, and cast nets, and associated limits.
Lake sturgeon catch and release season
The commission opened a catch-and-release Lake Sturgeon season on Big Stone Lake. The season will run from June 16 through April 14.
Hoop net, trap, setline, and floatline licenses
The commission approved to list the cost of resident hoop net, trap, and setline licenses with other fishing license fees. The board also clarified that floatline fishing is allowed with a setline/floatline license.
Landowner fisheries management
The commission clarified that a resident is not in violation of any fish season, daily, or possession limit in a man-made water body on land owned by the resident, provided that the resident owns the entire bed of the water body.
Dip nets for invasive carp and rough fish
The commission voted to allow invasive carp and rough fish be taken with dip nets.
Lake Francis Case Paddlefish
The commission increased the number of resident paddlefish tags for the Lake Francis Case snagging/archery season from 350 to 500.
The board denied a proposal to allow rainbow trout be harvested by legal spearing methods from reservoirs within the Black Hills Fish Management Area. The commission cited concerns to rainbow trout populations for the reason of denial.
Mountain lion season — expanded use of hounds
The commission denied a proposal to expand the use of hounds for the mountain lion season. The proposal would have allowed the use of dogs within the Black Hills Fire Protection District for residents only with a harvest limit of 12 cats: six males and six females. The Department will reassess the mountain lion management plan and bring recommendations next fall for the 2024/2025 season.
The 2023-24 mountain lion season will proceed with no change.
Nonresident one-day fishing license
The commission proposed to remove the one-day nonresident fishing license option. Since 2020, there has been a spike in one-day nonresident fishing licenses, as individuals are utilizing this license to remain exempt from the habitat stamp requirement. The three-day and annual fishing licenses would both remain available for nonresidents.
Hunt for Habitat
The board proposed to modify the licenses offered through the Hunt for Habitat raffle package. Proposed licenses available through the raffle would include:
- Custer State Park trophy bison
- Any deer
- Any deer and any elk package
The any antelope licenses would be removed from the previous three license packages and two any deer licenses would be added to provide an opportunity for two additional license options, with a total of nine licenses issued.
Free park entrance and fishing
The commission proposed to remove Mother’s Day and Father’s Day from the park entrance license and fishing license exemption. Usage on both of these days, by those seeking free entrance, has been minimal. Mother’s Day weather can be challenging and many individuals have purchased their park entrance licenses and/or fishing licenses by Father’s Day.
The traditional Open House Weekend, the weekend prior to Memorial Day, would remain open for both free park entrance and free fishing.
Public comments being accepted
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 these proposals in their 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. CDT on Oct. 1.
The next GFP Commission meeting will be in Deadwood on Oct. 5-6.