PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission passed a rule to allow more opportunities to spear game fish across the state.
The Commission lengthened the spearing/archery season for game fish (except paddlefish and sturgeon) in inland waters open to game fish spearing from June 15 through March 15 to May 1 through March 31. The Commission also changed the legal spearing hours from sunrise to sunset to a half hour before sunrise to sunset. Crossbows were also added as a legal method of take for game fish on inland and border waters.
The Commission opened all inland waters to the take of catfish and northern pike. This would include rivers and streams during open seasons. This would exclude waters managed for muskie or waters closed to spearing of gamefish elsewhere in the regulations.
Lynn Lake is now closed to the spearing of catfish and northern pike due to it being a newly-stocked muskie water; and Waubay and Bitter lakes in Day County, Swan and Dry #2 lakes in Clark County, Albert, Henry, Thompson, and Whitewood lakes in Kingsbury County are now open to spearing of all game fish except paddlefish and sturgeon during established season dates. Previously, only inland lakes were open for catfish and northern pike spearing and bowfishing and no waters in eastern South Dakota were open to spearing or bowfishing for game fish.