GFP Commission Finalizes River Otter Trapping Season

PIERRE, S.D. – The Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized their proposal to create a conservative trapping season for river otters. The season will be limited to portions of eastern South Dakota.

This limited trapping season will be open from sunrise on November 1 to sunset on December 31 in the following counties in eastern South Dakota: Aurora, Beadle, Bon Homme, Brookings, Brown, Charles Mix, Clark, Clay, Codington, Davison, Day, Deuel, Douglas, Grant, Hamlin, Hanson, Hutchinson, Jerauld, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, Marshall, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Roberts, Sanborn, Spink, Turner, Union and Yankton.

Other rules include:

Limit of one river otter per trapper per season.

Harvest limit of 15 river otters. Season will end prior to December 31 if the harvest limit is reached.

Trapping season open to residents only, with a furbearer license.

A river otter shall be reported to the Department of Game, Fish and Parks within 24 hours of harvest. At the time of reporting, arrangements will be made to check in the carcass and detached pelt at a GFP office or designated location for registration and tagging of the pelt within 5 days of harvest. Additionally, once the season has closed (last day of season or harvest limit reached), a person has 24 hours to notify the department of a harvested river otter.

The pelt shall be removed from the carcass and the carcass shall be surrendered to the department. After the pelt has been tagged, it shall be returned to the trapper. Upon request, the carcass may be returned to the trapper after the carcass has been inspected and biological data collected.

Any river otter harvested after the 24-hour period following the close of the season will be considered incidental take and shall be surrendered to the department.

A person may only possess, purchase or sell raw river otter pelts that are tagged through the eyeholes with the tag provided by the department or if the river otter was harvested on tribal or trust land of an Indian reservation or another state and is properly and securely tagged with a tag supplied by the governmental entity issuing the license.