GFP Commission Proposes Catch and Release Rule for Muskellunge

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission rejected a petition to increase the minimum length limit for muskie and tiger muskie fisheries in South Dakota. Instead, the GFP Commission proposed changing the harvest restrictions for these fish from a statewide 40 inch minimum length limit and a daily limit of one fish, to a catch and release only.

A petition was submitted to the GFP Commission requesting that the length limit for harvesting a muskie be increased from the current 40 inches to 50 inches. Currently, South Dakota has five lakes that are managed for this fish species. They are Lynn and Middle Lynn in Day County, West Highway 81 in Kingsbury County, Sinai in Brookings County and North Island Lake in McCook and Minnehaha Counties.

Muskie populations in these lakes are supported by stocking 9-12 inch fish every other year. Muskies over 50 inches have been documented in lakes with a longer history of muskie management, such as Lynn Lake.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting the catch and release regulation on March 1-2, 2018, at the Pierre RedRossa Convention Center. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held March 1 at 2 p.m. CST. Individuals can also provide written comments on commission rule proposals by sending them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, or via email to To be included in the public record and to be considered by the Commission, comments must include a full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of 72 hours before the public hearing (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006.