Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 16

South Dakota Glacial Lakes Report Proposed Fisheries Changes by Brian Blackwell Fisheries Biologist Webster, South Dakota T he South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks Commission proposed several changes to current fisheries rules at their August meeting in Pierre. A few of these changes could have a direct impact on anglers in northeast South Dakota, while others apply to other parts of South Dakota. One proposal involves removing the 14- to 18-inch protected slot limit on black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) at Enemy Swim and Pickerel lakes. The slot limit was established to encourage harvest of bass less than 14 inches to reduce competition to improve growth, while protecting higher quality fish between 14 and 18 inches. The anticipated harvest of small bass has not occurred and growth rates have not improved. Creel surveys suggest that few people currently harvest black bass from these waters. Thus, allowing harvest of all bass sizes should have little impact on anglers or bass populations. minimum length limit for walleye and the 14- to 18-inch protected slot limit on black bass at Campbell Slough be removed. Campbell Slough is connected to Lake Enemy Swim through a narrow channel but access to the lake is difficult. Because of poor access, it’s been decided that intensive management of the fishery is not necessary. South Dakota/Minnesota border waters currently do not allow for high-grading (often referred to as “culling”) of any fish species. It was proposed that the high-grading restriction on all fish be removed and replaced with the South Dakota statewide high-grading restriction for walleyes only. If passed, anglers fishing South Dakota/Minnesota border waters who are licensed in South Dakota will b e allowed to high-grade all species except walleyes. An application fee structure was proposed for fishing tournaments held on South Dakota waters. This would apply to both open water and ice fishing tournaments. Currently there is no application fee for groups or individuals wanting to host fishing tournaments in South Dakota. The new fees are intended to offset the administrative costs and expenses associated with field staff when and where tournaments occur. Because the amount of work increases with tournament size, the fee structure increases as tournament size increases. The proposed fee structure It was also proposed the 15-inch Page 16, Dakota Country, October 2016 www.dakotacountrymagazine.com