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GFP Commission Proposes Several Changes to State Refuges and Boating Restrictions





PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed several changes to refuges and seasonal no boating areas to focus on increasing recreational opportunities and simplifying regulations to make it easier for sportsmen and women to participate in the outdoors in these areas.

A list of proposed changes include:

  • Remove the East Oakwood Lake Waterfowl Refuge and the “no boating zone” from Oct. 1 – Dec. 31 in Brookings county.
  • Remove the Sand Lake Game Bird Refuge in Campbell county.
  • Reclassify the Waubay State Game Refuge to Waubay State Game Bird Refuge and remove the “no boating zone” in the Windgate Arm in Day county.
  • Remove the state game refuge status in the Windgate Arm area for Waubay Lake in Day county and the lands adjacent to the national wildlife refuge below the ordinary high water mark.
  • Modify the pheasant hunting start date from the second Monday in Dec. to Dec. 1 for Renzienhausen State Game Bird Refuge in Brown County, (including shooting and retrieval zones), Gerkin State Game Bird Refuge in Faulk County and White Lake State Game Bird Refuge in Marshall county.
  • Remove the Whitewood Lake State Waterfowl Refuge and the “no boating zone” from Oct. 20 – Dec. 31 in Kingsbury county.
  • Change the Cottonwood Lake State Refuge “no boating zone” during the open migratory waterfowl hunting season to “electric motors only” from Oct. 20 – Dec.31 in Roberts county.
  • Remove the State Waterfowl Refuge status on the Game Production Area located on the south side of Cottonwood Lake in Spink county.
  • Modify the Putney Slough “no boating zone” to “electric motors only” and change the date from Oct. 15-Dec.31 to Oct. 20 – Dec.31 in Brown county.
  • Modify the Long Lake “no boating zone” to “electric motors only” from Oct. 20 – Dec. 31 in Codington county.
  • Modify the McKilligan Lake “no boating zone” during open migratory waterfowl hunting seasons to an “electric motors only” from Oct. 20 – Dec. 31 in Codington county.
  • Modify the Horseshoe Lake “no motor zone” during open migratory waterfowl hunting seasons to an “electric motors only” from Oct. 20-Dec. 31 in Codington county.
  • Remove the Silver Lake “no boating zone” during the spring conservation order (spring take of light geese) as well as during regular open migratory waterfowl hunting seasons in Hutchinson county.
  • Remove the Crow Lake “no motorized boating zone” from Oct. 20 – Dec. 31 in Jerauld county.
  • Remove the Spirit Lake “no boating zone” to an “electric motors only” zone from Oct. 20 – Dec. 31 in Kingsbury county.
  • Remove the Milwaukee Lake “no motors zone” from Oct. 20 to Dec. 31 in Lake county.
  • Remove the Island Lake “no boating zone” from Oct. 20 – Dec. 31 in McCook and Minnehaha counties.
  • Modify the Lehrman Game Production Area “no boating zone” to an “electric motors only” zone from Oct. 20 – Dec. 31 in McCook county.
  • Modify the Bear Butte Lake “no motors over 25 horse power zone” to a “no wake zone” in Meade county.
  • Modify the Clear Lake “no boating zone” to an “electric motors only” from Oct. 20 – Dec. 31 in Minnehaha county.
  • Add electric motors only from Oct. 20-Dec. 31 on Swan Lake in Clark county.

The GFP Commission will consider the adoption of these proposals on July 11 in Pierre. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held July 11 Pierre at 2 p.m. CDT at the Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center. Individuals can also provide written comments on proposals by sending them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, or online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/. 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 (not including the day of the public hearing).

-GFP-