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GFP Works on Reopening Public Access after Open Waters Compromise Passes





PIERRE, S.D. - With passage of House Bill 1001 by the SD Legislature, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is now in the process of removing the cables that have blocked boat ramps on nonmeandered waters; primarily in the eastern half of the state.

By the end of today, GFP staff will have removed all cables that previously restricted access to nearly 30 nonmeandered lakes. Full services will be restored by the end of the week; which includes having docks back in the water. 

“I want to thank the Legislature for taking quick action yesterday,” said Kelly Hepler, GFP secretary. “I encourage everyone to join together for implementation of the Open Waters Compromise.”

Going forward, the department will work closely with the GFP Commission to engage the public in setting rules to implement sections of the bill; including the ability for landowners to mark water above private land closed. In the interim, landowners can still post the waters with conspicuous markers after notifying the department. GFP will work with landowners to maintain our state’s recreational opportunities for the public.   

Injunctions from previous court actions (Duerre v. Hepler and Parks v. Cooper) remain in effect.

As these waters are reopened GFP encourages all to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

-GFP-

GFP Mission: The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks provides sustainable outdoor recreational opportunities through responsible management of our state’s parks, fisheries and wildlife by fostering partnerships, cultivating stewardship and safely connecting people with the outdoors.