PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission voted to change several daily and length limits for the upcoming 2016 fishing season. Changes include:
Decreasing white bass limits to 15 daily and 30 in possession on Nebraska border waters and from Fort Randall Dam down to the South Dakota-Nebraska state line on the Missouri River, to match those of Nebraska.
Removing the restriction allowing only largemouth and smallmouth bass less than 14 inches in length or 18 inches or greater in length to be harvested from Lake Cochrane in Deuel County and Waubay Lake in Day County.
Removing the 15 inch minimum length restriction exemption in July and August for walleye from Ft. Randall Dam down to the South Dakota-Nebraska state line on the Missouri River.
Removing the 15 inch minimum length restriction for walleye from the Cattail/Kettle Lake Complex in Marshall County and Bitter Lake in Day County.
Adding a 15 inch minimum length restriction for largemouth and smallmouth bass in Bismarck Lake, Custer County.
Changing the name of the “Black Hills Trout Management Area” to the “Black Hills Fish Management Area.”
Allowing the removal of fish eyes for use as bait while on the water and specifying that on waters where length limits are in effect, only gamefish must remain whole, with head, skin and fins attached.
The Commission did not adopt the proposal to remove the 15-inch minimum length limit and two fish daily limit for walleye on Opitz Lake.
The Commission also voted to expand opportunities for paddlefish anglers to allow the snagging of paddlefish on the Big Sioux River during the October paddlefish season below Gavin’s Point Dam. Currently, Iowa allows licensed anglers to snag paddlefish on the Big Sioux River from the Missouri River upstream to the Interstate 29 Bridge during the spring Iowa paddlefish season. This rule change would allow licensed South Dakota paddlefish anglers to snag paddlefish in the Big Sioux River from the Missouri River upstream to the Interstate 29 Bridge during the October South Dakota paddlefish season.
The Commission also voted to set the archery paddlefish season earlier in the summer to allow archers a better chance to harvest paddlefish on the Missouri River downstream from Gavin’s Point Dam. The season will be from June 1 through June 30. Regulation changes adopted by the Commission will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
Additional Commission action included adoption of the proposal to consider white bass as rough fish for commercial fishing on waters and at amounts specified on individual commercial fishing contracts approved by the department.