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laws and regulations

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission recently proposed several new rules at their January 12, 2017 meeting to help slow the spread of existing aquatic invasive species in our state. Learn more about how these rules started as a recommendation and how they moved through the decision making and finalization process.

Proposed New Rules :: January Proposal, March Finalization

  1. Containment Waters: The Commission proposed classifying selected waterbodies with AIS as “Containment Waters.” This designation will allow for subsequent regulations to refer specifically to these waters. The proposed waters are:

    a. Lewis and Clark Lake and the Missouri River upstream of the lake to Fort Randall dam.

    b. The Missouri River from Gavins Point Dam downstream to the confluence with the Big Sioux River

    c. McCook Lake in Union County

    d. Waters in other states that are infested with Zebra or Quagga Mussels

  2. Local Boat Registries: The Commission proposed authorizing the Department to create “Local Boat Registries” at containment waters. Initial plans for Local Boat Registries include a free-transportation zone where boats may be transported without being decontaminated as well as provisions for allowing over-winter boat storage with AIS attached to the vessel. Boats included in the registry may not launch into any other waterbody or be transported outside the transportation zone without being decontaminated.
  3. Residual Water Decontamination: The Commission proposed a new rule that requires boat owners whose boats have been removed from a containment water and are holding one or more gallons of water to decontaminate those boats before they can be launched again.
  4. Moored Boats: The Commission proposed a new rule that would require decontamination of boats stored in a containment water for three or more days. This decontamination must be completed before the boat is launched on the next trip.

Modifications to Current Rules

AIS Restrictions: The Commission proposed including two additional exceptions to the AIS possession and transportation restrictions. Participants in a local boat registry and Department-approved businesses would be permitted to possess and transport boats with AIS attached or on board.

Watercraft Restrictions: The Commission proposed additional language to this rule that would allow participants in a local boat registry to launch their boats into the water listed in the registry with AIS attached.

Effective :: January 1, 2017

    1. Drain Plugs: Boaters and anglers are required to open or remove all drain plugs or similar devices; except when in the boat ramp parking lot or when the boat is being launched or loaded.

      1. What this means: Plugs have to be pulled when a boat is not on the water. Boaters and anglers may keep fish or bait in a livewell while transporting the boat from the water body to the cleaning station if the cleaning station is located within the boat ramp parking lots area. If there is no cleaning station located within the boat ramp parking area, then the plugs need to be pulled before leaving the boat ramp parking lot.
    1. Transporting Bait or Fish: Bait and fish may not be transported in water taken from a lake, river or stream. Bait may be transported in water taken from a lake, river or stream while in route to a fish cleaning station only if the cleaning station is lcoated within the parking lot area and must be drained prior to leaving the fish cleaning station.

      1. What this means: If anglers wish to transport their aquatic bait and fish in water, they can only be transported in domestic water (tap water, well water, bottled water, ice). Most domestic water must be treated to remove chlorine prior to putting fish in it. However, when leaving a water body, boaters and shore anglers can wait until they reach a fish cleaning station to put their bait in domestic water if that fishing cleaning station is located within the boat ramp parking lots area.

TRANSPORTING FISH

Anglers have three options for transporting whole fish for cleaning at home or at a cleaning station that is not within the boat ramp parking lot area.

    1. In a container (not a part of the boat), that is filled with domestic water (tap water, well water, bottled water, ice).

    2. On ice - in a cooler or pull the plug on their livewell and fill it with ice (plug must remain out).

    3. Dry - put fish in an empty bucket or pull the livewell plug before leaving the boat ramp and let it drain when traveling.

MINNOW USAGE AND TRANSPORT

Bait can only be transported away from a water body in domestic water (tap water, well water, bottled water, ice). Most domestic water must be treated to remove chlorine prior to putting fish in it.

Boat anglers can wait until they reach a fish cleaning station to put their bait in domestic water only if that fish cleaning station is located within the boat ramp parking lot area. They can dump out the lake water and fill their bait bucket up with water from the cleaning station or water they brought with them.

A shore angler can do the same if they are able to access the domestic water source at a fish cleaning station that is a part of a boat ramp parking lot or if they bring domestic water with them.

RE-USING MINNOWS

Minnows may be used in multiple lakes as long as they are transported between lakes in domestic water. Lake water must be drained before leaving each lake.

DISPOSING UNUSED MINNOWS

Unused minnows should be poured into the fish grinder at a cleaning station or drained and disposed of in the trash containers at the boat launch or cleaning areas. It is a violation of state statute to dump unused minnows into a water body.

NO CLEANING STATION AVAILABLE

If there is not a cleaning station located within the boat ramp parking area, drain plugs must be opened and bait containers must be free of lake water before leaving the boat ramp parking area.