SPEARFISH, S.D. - The Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed increases to a number of hunting and fishing license fees to help the agency keep pace with increased costs.
Aside from a $1 increase mandated a year ago by legislation that authorized an increase in certain license fees for animal damage control programs, broad changes have not been made to hunting and fishing license fees since 2005. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, inflation in that time has risen 20 percent.
Along with inflationary reasons, the Commission cited the rising costs of state-provided health care for GFP employees as driving the need for an increase.
An additional proposal by the Commission would expand the current $5 fee for preference points.
Currently, a $5 fee is assessed to big game license applicants who do not wish to draw a license but wish to add a preference point from the first lottery drawing for deer, antelope, turkey, waterfowl and paddlefish licenses. The proposal would provide for a $5 resident and $10 nonresident fee for any unsuccessful applicant wishing to add a preference point in a future first lottery drawing for licenses in these hunting seasons. Applicants would have the option of declining the preference point and therefore not pay the preference point fee.
The proposed rule changes for license fees will be finalized at the Nov. 7 â€“ 8 GFP Commission meeting, which will be held in Pierre at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel. To view the full proposals on those seasons, visit:www.gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/default.aspx and look under the "Rule Proposals" heading.
To comment on any of the proposals, send a letter to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501; or email email@example.com . Comments on proposal will be taken until 5 p.m. CST on Nov. 6. To be included in the public record, please include your full name and city of residence.For those who would like to comment in person on these proposed rule changes, the GFP Commission will host a public hearing beginning at 2 p.m. CST as part of their meeting on Thursday, Nov. 7.Resident Proposed Fee Changes
- Fishing: Annual $25-$28; Senior $10-$12; One-Day $7-$8; Paddlefish Tag $20-$25
- Small Game: Annual $30-$33; One-Day $10-$12
- Combination: Standard $50-$55; Senior $35-$40; Junior $25-$27
- Tundra Swan: $11-$18
- Turkey: Spring 1-Tag $21-$25; Spring 2-Tag $26-$35; Fall 1-Tag $11-$15; Fall 2-Tag $16-$20
- Deer: 1-Tag Any $36-$40; Any + Antlerless $46-$50; 1-Tag Antlerless $16-$20; 2-Tag Antlerless $26-$30; Special Buck $156-$175
- Antelope: 1-Tag Any $36-$40; Any + Doe/Fawn $46-$50; 1-Tag Doe/Fawn $16-$20; 2-Tag Doe/Fawn $26-$30
- Elk: Any Elk $156-$175; Antlerless $106-$116
- Mountain Goat and Bighorn Sheep: $256-$280
- Mountain Lion: $26-$28
- Furbearer: $25-$30
- Fishing: Annual $60-$67; Family $60-$67; One-Day $14-$16; Three-Day $32-$37; Paddlefish Tag $20-$40; Game, Fish Spearing $5-$10
- Waterfowl: Spring Light Goose $46-$50; Early Fall Canada Goose $46-$50; Tundra Swan $16-$25
- Turkey: Spring 1-Tag $86-$100; Spring 2-Tag $101-$125; Fall 1-Tag $76-$90; Fall 2-Tag $86-$100
- Deer: 1-Tag Antlerless $56-$80; 2-Tag Antlerless $81-$120; Special Buck $506-$560
- Antelope: 1-Tag Doe/Fawn $56-$80; 2-Tag Doe/Fawn $81-$120
- Furbearer: $250-$275
- Predator/Varmint: $35-$40
SPEARFISH, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed several rule changes for 2014 centering on fishing, spearing fish and the taking of bait.
Rule changes for consideration include:
- A proposal to prohibit felt-soled waders in any South Dakota waters. These waders can trap sediment and organic material and may transport aquatic invasive plants and animals, disease spores and unwanted insect larvae from one water to another. South Dakota would join a number of states that have banned the use of felt-soled waders.
- A proposal to increase the possession limit in inland waters for all fish species from two times the daily limit to three times the daily limit. Interested parties petitioned the Commission to increase the statewide possession limit for walleye in inland waters, stressing the economic benefits of such a change to the state. In an effort to keep possession limits consistent among all species, Wildlife Division staff recommended that the proposed increase in possession limits for inland waters apply to all species, not just walleye. The change is expected to have little to no impact on the resource.
- A proposal to change the possession limit on yellow perch from 15 to 30 fish on the South Dakota/Minnesota boundary waters. A recent survey of South Dakota anglers in counties bordering Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska determined that anglers in waters bordering these states were interested in having regulations similar to inland waters. Inland waters currently have a possession limit of 30 yellow perch. This change would also align South Dakota and Minnesota boundary water yellow perch possession limits.
- A proposal for special management waters to remove the current walleye limits in effect on Lake Oahe and revert to standard statewide harvest restrictions for walleye. This change would add East and West Heritage Game Production Area ponds to the list of waters with a 15-inch minimum length limit for largemouth and smallmouth bass.
- A proposal to allow rough fish spearing in South Dakota-Minnesota boundary waters year-round, anytime of day or night. This change would increase angler opportunity and make the stateâ€™s regulation similar to Minnesotaâ€™s boundary water regulations.
- A proposal to modify areas open to spearing of game fish by removing a subsection allowing game fish spearing in a limited number of waters in eastern South Dakota (spearing for northern pike has been allowed statewide since December 2012 and that will not change). Under this proposal, South Island Lake would be added to the list of lakes in which northern pike spearing is not allowed due to the presence of muskies. This change would remove wording that allows the director of the Division of Wildlife to temporarily open areas to game fish spearing for special events and instead give that authority to the GFP Commission through resolution (allowing more opportunity for public input).
- A proposal to allow emerald shiners and spottail shiners to be taken and sold by any licensed resident bait dealer or sold by any licensed nonresident bait dealer.
- A proposal to allow golden shiners, emerald shiners, spottail shiners and dead gizzard shad to be transported away from the water from which they are taken to be used as bait.
- A proposal to allow the non-commercial taking of bait for that portion of Lewis and Clark Lake and the Missouri River above Gavins Point Dam in Yankton and Bon Homme counties (these areas are closed to the commercial taking of bait).
- A proposal to add Lake Yankton in Yankton County, and Mud Lake and Lake Byron in Beadle County to the list of waters closed year-round to the commercial and non-commercial taking of bait (Asian carp have been found in these waters).
The proposed rule changes will be finalized at the Nov. 7-8 GFP Commission meeting, which will be held in Pierre at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel. To view the full proposals on those seasons, visit:www.gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/default.aspx and look under the "Rule Proposals" heading.
To comment on any of the proposals, send a letter to: South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501; or email firstname.lastname@example.org . Comments on proposal will be taken until 5 p.m. CST on Nov. 6. To be included in the public record, please include your full name and city of residence.For those who would like to comment in person on these proposed rule changes, the GFP Commission will host a public hearing beginning at 2 p.m. CST as part of their meeting on Thursday, Nov. 7.SALMON STATION OPEN FOR EGG COLLECTION
PIERRE, S.D. - Fisheries staff with the Game, Fish and Parks Department have opened the Whitlock Bay Salmon Spawning Station for the 2013 season.
Anglers experienced low catches of salmon in 2013 and GFP personnel expect the annual fall collection of salmon eggs to be challenging due to the effects of the 2011 flood.
"We are still in the rebuilding stages of the salmon population following the 2011 flood. The majority of our adult and juvenile salmon were lost through Oahe Dam." Robert Hanten, fisheries biologist for the GFP said. "Currently there is a low number of 3-year-old female salmon in the lake which are the bulk of the egg producing stock. This will make egg collection efforts difficult."
Fisheries crews will be electrofishing on Lake Oahe in an attempt to capture additional adult salmon for egg collection.
Chinook salmon do not naturally reproduce in Lake Oahe and would not exist there without the efforts of GFP staff who collect eggs, raise young salmon in state hatcheries and stock them back into the lake for anglers to enjoy.
Each year juvenile Chinook salmon are stocked in middle and lower Lake Oahe. They then disperse throughout the reservoir until they become sexually mature. The flowing water down the fish ladder attracts mature fish to the station where GFP personnel collect, sort and spawn the salmon.
The Oahe salmon fishery has become very popular with anglers. Surveys show many anglers travel over 200 miles one-way for the chance to catch a hard fighting Chinook salmon.
Whitlock Bay Salmon Station is located 18 miles northwest of Gettysburg by West Whitlock Recreation Area. The station is open for tours from 9 - 11 a.m., Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during October. Tours will not be held Tuesday, Oct. 15, but on Wednesday, Oct. 16, instead. The fish ladder observation deck is open to the public at any time. Group tours can also be arranged by calling 605.223.7681.