The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission held their 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.
At the meeting, 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.
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.
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.