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laws and regulations

The GFP Commission made significant changes to the AIS regulations in early 2017. These regulations work together as a package not only to protect South Dakota lakes and rivers from new AIS introductions, but also to make compliance faster and easier for boaters, anglers and other sportsmen and women.

  1. Red-swamp cray fish were added to the AIS list in South Dakota. These crayfish are prized as table fare, but can have significant impacts to invaded ecosystems.

  2. Removed the term “immediately adjacent” from the AIS rules pertaining to plug removal and live bait and fish transport. This term was very confusing for boaters, anglers and GFP staff and it became difficult to understand when and where plugs should be removed. In order to make this easier for everyone to understand, the new regulation states that all plugs need to be removed before leaving the boat ramp parking area.

  3. Similarly live bait and fish may not be transported in lake or river water beyond the boat ramp parking area.

These changes should help everyone to easily do their part to ensure that they aren’t moving water from one lake to another. Human mvoement of water is the primary vector of AIS spreading.

  1. The first new rule will create a list of waterbodies classified as Containment Waters. These are waterbodies that have an AIS of concern in them and require special designation to facilitate management efforts.

  2. The next new rule builds off of the containment water list and allows GFP to create Local Boat Registries at Containment Waters. The Local Boat Registry program will give boaters that participate the freedom to more easily transport and store boats locally in areas with Zebra mussel infestations, while restricting their movement to other waterbodies unless they are decontaminated.

  3. Also related to the Containment Water list, boats are required to be decontaminated if they are used on a containment water and either have a ballast tank with undrained water (like a wakeboard boat) or are moored in the containment water for more than three days.

The purpose of these rules is to ensure that water that may hold mussel veligers and boats with very small mussels attached to the hull are properly cleaned before they are used in a different waterbody.

SD ADMINISTRATIVE RULES
41:10:04:01.  List of aquatic invasive species. Species classified as aquatic invasive species in the state are as follows;

Black carp, Bighead carp, Blotched snakehead, Bullseye snakehead, Common carp, European rudd, Giant snakehead, Grass carp, Northern snakehead, Silver carp, and Western mosquitofish.

Brittle naiad, Common reed, Curly pondweed, Didymo, Eurasian water-milfoil, Flowering rush, and Purple loosestrife.

Asian clam, New Zealand mudsnail, Quagga mussel, Red rimmed melania, Red swamp crayfish, Rusty crayfish, and Zebra mussel.

41:10:04:02.  Aquatic invasive species restrictions. No person may possess, transport, sell, purchase, or propagate an aquatic invasive species except for the following:

          In the case of fish and crayfish species, only dead specimens may be transported or possessed.

41:10:04:03.  Watercraft restrictions (Drain Plug Rule). No person may launch or attempt to launch a boat or boat trailer into the waters of the state with an aquatic invasive species attached or onboard other than boats registered in a local boat registry launching in accordance with the provisions of the registry. Except for emergency response boats, all trailered boats shall have all drain plugs, bailers, valves or other devices used to control the drainage of water opened or removed except while in a boat ramp parking area or while being launched or loaded.

41:10:04:04.  Watercraft inspections. Any boat or boat trailer may be inspected by a department representative. A department representative may require the removal of aquatic vegetation and aquatic invasive species from any boat, motor, trailer, and associated equipment. If an aquatic invasive species is found during inspection, a department-approved decontamination process, specific to the aquatic invasive species present, is required before launching or transport of the boat to another water of the state.

41:10:04:05.  Fish and bait transportation restrictions. Except as authorized by the Secretary, a person may not transport fish or aquatic bait in water obtained from a lake, river, or stream except when in a boat ramp parking area.

41:10:04:06.  Containment waters. Waters designated as containment waters for purposes of controlling the spread of aquatic invasive species include:

41:10:04:07.  Local boat registries. The department may create registries of local boats for each containment water that includes specific requirements for registration, documentation, possession and display of special permits issued, use, transportation, storage, and decontamination of registered boats.

41:10:04:08.  Decontamination required -- residual water present. A watercraft that has been loaded on a trailer or otherwise removed from a containment water listed in § 41:10:04:06 that retains one gallon or more of water after all drain plugs, bailers, valves, or other devices used to control the drainage of water have been opened or removed must be decontaminated by a department-approved decontamination procedure prior to a subsequent launch unless the watercraft is registered in a local boat registry and the boat owner or operator abides by the provisions of the registry.

41:10:04:09.  Decontamination required -- moored boats. Watercraft that are moored or have any part continuously in the water for three or more consecutive days on a containment water listed in § 41:10:04:06 must be decontaminated by a department-approved decontamination procedure prior to the subsequent launch of the watercraft except for:

Always remember the following:

    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 area 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 a cleaning station only if itis located within the boat ramp parking area.

    1. Transporting Bait or Fish: Bait and fish may not be transported in water taken from a lake, river or stream except while in route to a fish cleaning station located within the parking area. All lake, river and stream sourced water 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 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 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 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 area 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, river or stream water must be drained before leaving the boat ramp parking area.

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.