News By Agency : Game, Fish and Parks

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South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks conducts Operation Dry Water to stop boating under the influence
National effort to reduce boating under the influence


Lake Alvin Re-Open for Swimming
PIERRE, S.D. - Lake Alvin, located outside of Harrisburg has re-opened for swimming.


Lake Alvin Closed to Swimming Until Further Notice
PIERRE, S.D. – The swimming beach at Lake Alvin Recreation Area near Harrisburg is currently closed following routine testing that showed unhealthy levels of bacteria in the water.


Funding Available for Outdoor Recreation
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota State Parks and Recreation Director Scott Simpson announced today that applications are being accepted for grants from the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Randall Creek Campground Reopens, Reservations Available
PIERRE, S.D. – The campground at Randall Creek Recreation Area near Pickstown is now open, following a 15-month closure to allow for bridge reconstruction.


Submissions for the Nest Predator Bounty Program are Still Being Accepted
The SD GFP would like to remind Nest Predator Bounty Program participants that tails can be submitted from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations on June 19,26, and July 1.

Now is a Great Time to Try Birding in South Dakota
PIERRE, S.D. – With the recommendation to social distance, many people are looking for activities they can do on their own. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) invites you to try birding.

Sign Up for Prairie Dog Control Programs
PIERRE, S.D.—The South Dakota departments of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and Agriculture (SDDA) want to remind South Dakota landowners to register for assistance with prairie dog encroachment. The deadline for enrollment is August 15.


Lake Mitchell Declares No Wake Zone
MITCHELL, S.D. – The city of Mitchell, in cooperation with the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department (GFP), has declared Lake Mitchell a “No Wake Zone.”


GFP Asks Public to Leave Wild Animals Alone
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is reminding the public to leave baby animals where you find them.

GFP Challenges Nature Watchers to Join BioBlitz
PIERRE, S.D. – With group activities limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) invites nature lovers to participate in a virtual BioBlitz June 13-28.

Anglers, Boaters Can Expect to See Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Stations This Year
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department (GFP) will begin operating mobile watercraft inspection and decontamination stations across the state to help combat the spread of zebra mussels.


Proposal to Remove the Lost License Fee Discussed
PIERRE, S.D. – The Game, Fish and Parks Commission continued their discussion to remove the $20 administrative fee for lost or destroyed licenses, permits or game tags. However, the license agent’s fee established by SDCL 41-6-66.1 would still be charged by license agents and the department.

Fall Turkey Season Proposal Discussed
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission discussed their proposal to slightly decrease the number of licenses available for the 2020 and 2021 fall turkey hunting seasons.

GFP Commission Continues River Otter Trapping Season Discussion
Following last month’s final action to remove the river otter from South Dakota’s threatened and endangered species list, the Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission continued the discussion on a proposal to create a limited take trapping season for river otters with the following proposed rules:

GFP Commission Proposes Local Fees Exemption for Yankton Sioux Tribal Members, Families
PIERRE, S.D. – At their June meeting, the Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission, proposed a park entrance fee exemption in collaboration with the Yankton Sioux Tribe. Under the proposal, Yankton Sioux Tribal members and their families would be able to access four park areas local to the Yankton Sioux Reservation without purchasing a park entrance license (PEL) from the state.

GFP Commission Proposes Fees for Nonresident Landowner Deer and Antelope Licenses
PIERRE, S.D. – During the 2020 South Dakota Legislative Session, the legislature created a provision to allow for nonresident landowners to be eligible for west river deer and firearm antelope licenses for their own land. In response to this action, the Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed license fees for these licenses at their June meeting.

GFP Commission Denies Petition to Change License Allocation for Elk
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission denied a petition that would have guaranteed a license or created a stand-alone drawing for a big game license to those with more than 20 years of preference in a big game lottery.

GFP Commission Denies Nonresident Walleye/Sauger Fishing Season
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission denied a petition that would have created a season for walleye/sauger, for nonresidents, for certain areas of the Missouri River. As described in the petition, nonresidents would only be able to harvest walleye from these areas when the season was open.


Roadside Mowing: Hold off until after July 10
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Departments of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and Transportation (DOT) want to remind individuals there are laws and rules governing when mowing right-of-way ditches can begin on the state highway system.


Grant Will Help Expand Public Hunting and Fishing Access Opportunities on South Dakota’s Private Lands
Public access opportunities for hunting and fishing on private lands will be expanded thanks to a grant awarded to the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP).


GFP Commission Changes East River Antlerless Deer Tags
PIERRE, S.D. – In an effort to reduce mule deer doe harvest during the east river deer hunting season, the Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission passed an administrative action converting all “any antlerless deer” licenses to “antlerless whitetail deer” licenses.


Bush’s Landing Access Road to Open Late Friday
The Bush’s Landing access road and boat ramp is planned to be open for use by the end of the working day Friday, May 15.


GFP Commission Extends Youth Pheasant Season
PIERRE, S.D. – At their May meeting, the Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized their proposal to extend the youth pheasant season.

GFP Commission Creates Length Limit for Flathead Catfish on Border Waters
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Park (GFP) Commission finalized a regulation change proposal creating a length limit for flathead catfish on waters shared by Nebraska and South Dakota.

GFP Commission Denies Petition on Livetrap Removal
At their May meeting, the Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission received a public petition to amend the date of livetrap removal from September 1 to July 1.

GFP Commission Modifies Archery Deer Season, Adds Units in some Municipalities
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized the 2020 archery deer season at their May meeting.

GFP Commission Changes Age Restrictions for Youth Waterfowl Season
PIERRE, S.D. – The Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission modified the eligibility for participation in the youth waterfowl season to those who have not reached the age of 16 to youth who have not reached the age of 18.

GFP Commission Votes to Keep Sage Grouse Season Closed
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission agreed to keep the sage grouse hunting season closed at their May meeting based on the data collected supporting the department’s recommendation to retain the season closure.

GFP Commission Finalizes Removal of River Otter from State Threatened List, Proposes Conservative Otter Trapping Season
PIERRE, S.D. – The Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized the action to remove the river otter from South Dakota’s list of threatened species at their May teleconference meeting.

Lost License Proposal Discussed
PIERRE, S.D. – At their May meeting, the Game, Fish and Parks Commission discussed their proposal to remove the $20 administrative fee for lost or destroyed licenses, permits or game tags. However, the license agent’s fee established by SDCL 41-6-66.1 would still be charged by license agents and the department.

Fall Turkey Season Proposal Discussed
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission discussed their proposal to slightly decrease the number of licenses available for the 2020 and 2021 fall turkey hunting seasons.


Geigle Named Brook Brown Boating Officer of the Year
PIERRE, S.D. – The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators has named Adam Geigle the 2020 Brook Brown Boating Officer of the Year. Geigle is a conservation officer for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and is stationed in Rapid City.

GFP Seeking Comments on River Otter Plan
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is seeking comments on a draft revision of the river otter management plan, which was first established in 2012.


Northern Fort Playhouse Cancels 2020 Summer Season
ABERDEEN, S.D. – Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 virus, the 2020 summer theater season for Northern Fort Playhouse has been canceled.

Spend Mother’s Day Outside!
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is offering free fishing and park entrance Sunday, May 10, to celebrate Mother’s Day.


GFP Announces Dates for Tail Submissions
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) has scheduled three tail submission opportunities for the Nest Predator Bounty Program. Tails can be submitted until July 1 or until the $250,000 cap is reached. Due to COVID-19, special guidelines and submission dates are in place for the safety of participants and GFP staff.


GFP Commission to Be Held Via Teleconference May 7-8
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission will hold their monthly meeting via teleconference May 7-8.


Deadline to Comment on Sylvan Lake Master Plan is Friday
CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. – The deadline to comment on South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department’s Sylvan Lake Master Plan is Friday, April 24.

Bush’s Landing Road Closed Until Further Notice
PIERRE, S.D. – Bush’s Landing Lakeside Use Area north of Pierre is temporarily inaccessible to users, as the access road leading to the area has been closed.


GFP Walleye Spawning Operations Cancelled Due to Pandemic
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) will not be conducting walleye spawning operations this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

GFP Asks Public to Leave Wild Animals Alone
PIERRE, S.D. – Spring is here. This is the time when many species of wildlife become more active, whether they are waking up from a long-winter’s slumber, migrating northward, or building a nest.

2020 Historical Festival Cancelled at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park
FORT SISSETON HISTORIC STATE PARK, S.D. - Since the coronavirus pandemic first began impacting our daily lives, the staff at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park and the Fort Sisseton Commission have been monitoring the situation closely.