Supreme Court Decision Prompts GFP Action On Non-Meandered Waters

PIERRE, S.D. – In compliance with the recent Supreme Court ruling in Duerre v. Hepler, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is closing Department-managed boat launches on non-meandered bodies of water.

“Recreational access to non-meandered waters is a complex issue that has impacted our state for decades,” said Kelly Hepler, GFP department secretary. “Under this Supreme Court decision, GFP cannot facilitate access to non-meandered waters for recreational purposes.”

According to the Supreme Court, the South Dakota State Legislature must determine whether and how the public may use non-meandered waters for recreational purposes. GFP cannot facilitate access to these waters until the State Legislature acts.

To comply with the Supreme Court ruling, GFP is posting signage and limiting access to infrastructure at the following water bodies, with the potential of additional water bodies to be added:

Caseys Slough, Cottonwood Lake GPA, Dry Lake #1, Dry Lake #2 and Swan Lake in Clark County;
Deep Lake and Goose Lake in Codington County;
East Krause Lake, Lynn Lake, Middle Lynn Lake and Reetz Lake in Day County;
North Scatterwood Lake in Edmunds County;
Three Buck Lake in Hamlin County;
Bullhead Lake, Cattail-Kettle Lake and Cottonwood Lake in Marshall County;
Keisz Lake in McPherson County;
Grass Lake, Loss Lake, Scott Lake and Twin Lakes in Minnehaha County;
Twin Lakes in Sanborn County;
Cottonwood Lake and Mud Lake in Spink County; and
Dog Ear Lake in Tripp County.
Public notice signs will be posted in these areas by the end of April.

In accordance with the Supreme Court ruling, the Department has halted fish stockings, creel surveys, canoe and kayak rentals, permitting of fishing tournaments and special events, and facilitating access for ice fishing for the listed water bodies.

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