Commission meeting archives


June 2013 Commission Meeting

June 6-7, 2013
Pierre, SD


Division of Administration Audio

Action Items
Approve minutes of the May 2013 meeting:
Additional Commissioner Salary Days

License List Requests

  • Dakota Plains Taxidermy, Kimball,  for list of all Any Elk license holders; will mail brochures to promote business; full fee request; approved
  • Cabelas for list of Resident & Nonresident Small Game license holders; send Cabelas catalog and postcard on pheasant season opener; full fee request; approved
  • Pheasants Forever for list of Resident & Nonresident Small Game and Shooting Preserve license holders; mail membership information while educating people on importance of Farm Bill; seeking exception to regular fee; approved
  • Mills Fleet Farm, Appleton WI, for list of Hunting and Fishing license holders; minimum of 100,000; market sporting goods products and services of business; full fee request; approved
  • Scheel's Sports for list of Archery license holders (5,000 resident and 5,000 nonresident, Rapid City and Sioux Falls Areas); full fee request; approved

Information item
License Sales Report

  • Sales improved over the past month - Resident Annual Fishing licenses were 58.9% behind sales pace a month ago and now have moved up to 20% behind; Resident Combination down 4.4% over last year and Nonresident Annual Fishing licenses down 1.8%
  • Nonresident sales catching up to where we were last year
  • Total revenue down 6% from one year ago

Bighorn Sheep Mass E-Mailing

  • Notification that applicant was successful was inadvertently sent to unsuccessful applicants
  • Immediately will add duplication of process to verify correct names are being sent so check is done twice instead of once
  • E-mail are held until evening to send because of size of file; work has been done overnight; now will create batch of e-mails that can be reviewed during the day, and then at night the messages will be sent

Moratorium for acquiring game production lands

  • Secretary Vonk reported this was put into place for a two-year period
  • Have been working with Governor and his staff on moving forward with ways and places to purchase
  • Now over two years and Governor is announcing that he will end the moratorium and GFP will be able to work with willing sellers to purchase game production land
  • GFP will give Commission a 60-day notice of information on a potential purchase then 30-day action item; intend to notify County Commissioners in county of potential land purchase so they know what the land is and how the process will move forward; will still follow normal notification requirements
  • This new process will apply to any piece of ground that exceeds 80 acres in size

Open Forum Audio

  • Steve Clements of South Dakota Sheep Growers and Predator Management Committee spoke about ADC program; had questions that have not been answered; pilot at Huron costing more money hurts bottom line of taking care of problems; portion of license fees; concerned about how extra funding for ADC will work; taking ADC work away from trappers to do WDM work is a concern
  • Leisl Reuwsard reduction in bobcat season; what is the bobcat population in western South Dakota; what is the population objective with changes that will be made; if changes are put in place, when will Commission review and consider putting back to original status; spends 16 hours per day/seven days per week to catch the number of bobcats that he does; question whether proposal is intended to reduce female harvest or really to reduce the catch of serious trappers; last year was the first East River season and was a great opportunity, if female harvest is too high because of over-trapping how do you explain harvest of females east river where trapping bobcats had not taken place; starts trapping in October and still think if season shortened should be done early and not late in year
  • Mike McKernan for National Wild Turkey Federation thanked the Commission for partnership

Public Hearing at 2 PM Audio

Golf cart use on park roads Audio

  • HB1220 was passed during the 2013 Legislative session directing GFP Commission to promulgate rules to permit the use of golf carts within state park and recreation areas; under current state statute, gasoline engine powered golf carts can be licensed and operated on public roads, including state parks and recreation areas. HB 1220 will allow any licensed driver to operate any type of golf cart on roads designated by the Game, Fish, and Parks Commission within state park and recreation areas if it is insured, has required safety equipment and possess a valid park entrance license. Also proposed is elimination of the current park entrance license exemption for mopeds. Statute allows unlicensed mopeds (gasoline powered scooters having a maximum engine displacement of 50 c.c.) to operate on public roads. Eliminating the moped exemption will result in a uniform requirement that a park entrance license will be required for "all" motor vehicles legally operated on state park and recreation area roads where the park entrance license is required.
  • Staff recommended change to proposal would add all-terrain vehicle to list of vehicle types that the operator may have the vehicle license or serial number visibly recorded on the park entrance license (PEL) and available for inspection, as an alternative to affixing the PEL directly to the vehicle.
  • Commission amended the original proposal as recommended to add all-terrain vehicles; then finalized the rule as amended

Custer State Park Deer Hunting Seasons

  • Proposed changes from 2012: Reduce number of "Any Deer" licenses from 2 to zero; Increase number of "Antlerless Whitetail Deer" muzzleloader licenses from zero to 20.
  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Season Dates: Nov. 2-15
  • 10 Any Whitetail and 20 Antlerless Whitetail licenses available
  • Commission finalized rule changes as proposed

East River Deer Hunting Season

  • Proposed changes from 2012 include offering 1,050 fewer 1-tag licenses; 1,500 fewer 2-tag licenses; and 1,300 fewer 3-tag licenses for an overall decrease of 7,950 tags from last year
  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Season Dates: Nov. 23-Dec. 8
  • Dec. 28-Jan. 5 valid for antlerless tags only
  • Commission finalized rule changes as proposed

West River Deer Hunting Season

  • Proposed changes from 2012: Adjust resident license numbers by increasing one-tag licenses by 240 (20 nonresident), decreasing two-tag licenses by 1,260 (102 nonresident), and increasing three-tag licenses by 305 (24 nonresidents)
  • Staff recommended changes from proposal: Adjust resident license numbers by increasing three-tag licenses by 100 (300 tags); Adjust nonresident license numbers by increasing three-tag licenses by 8 (24 tags); Retain same number of licenses, but change license type for Corson and Dewey counties from 09 (two antlerless deer tags) to 19 (two antlerless whitetail deer tags)
  • Season Dates: Nov. 16-Dec. 1 (except Gregory, Mellette, Dewey, Ziebach, Corson)
  • Dec. 28-Jan. 5 valid for antlerless tags only
  • Commission amended proposal with staff recommended changes; finalized rule changes as amended

Black Hills Deer Hunting Season

  • Proposed changes from 2012: Offer residents 50 and nonresidents 4 fewer "Antlerless Whitetail" deer licenses
  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Season dates Nov. 1-30
  • Commission finalized rule changes as proposed

Refuge Deer Hunting Season

  • Proposed changes from 2012: Adjust the start date for Unit RFD-SL1 from the Saturday before East River deer hunting season to the second Saturday of November - Start dates for all other Sand Lake units would adjust accordingly; Only unfilled Sand Lake "Antlerless Deer" licenses are valid during the 9-day season starting on the first Saturday after Christmas; During any Refuge Deer seasons that are restricted to muzzleloaders, make an allowance for optics that do not employ magnification as defined in 41:06:04:14 Muzzleloading Restrictions.
  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Commission finalized rule changes as proposed

Archery Deer Hunting Season

  • Proposed changes from 2012: Only unfilled "Any Antlerless Deer" licenses are valid from January 1-15th; Add Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Clay, Codington, Douglas, Grant, Hutchinson, Lincoln, Turner, Union and Yankton counties to the area where antlerless deer licenses are not valid; Change the name of "Blood Run Nature Area" to "Good Earth State Park"; Reduce number of "Any Antlerless Deer" archery access permits for Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve from 45 to zero and Good Earth State Park from 5 to zero; Increase the number of "Any Deer" archery access permits from 5 to 10 for Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve.
  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Season dates: Sept. 28-Jan. 15; from Jan. 1-15 only Antlerless tags are valid
  • Commission finalized rule changes as proposed

Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Season

  • Proposed changes from 2012: Only unfilled “any antlerless deer” licenses are valid from January 1-15th; Add Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Clay, Codington, Douglas, Grant, Hutchinson, Lincoln, Turner, Union and Yankton counties to the area where antlerless deer licenses are not valid.
  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Season dates: Dec. 1-Jan. 15; From Jan. 1-15 only Antlerless tags are valid
  • Commission finalized rule changes as proposed

Youth Deer Hunting Season

  • Proposed changes from 2012: Add Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Clay, Douglas, Hutchinson and Union counties to those areas where only one license is valid; Remove the youth deer restriction for Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge, and Waubay National Wildlife Refuge.  This would make an allowance for the USFWS Refuge System to allow access for youth deer hunting at their discretion.
  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Season dates: Sept. 14-Jan. 15
  • Commission finalized rule changes as proposed

Fall Turkey Hunting Season

  • Proposed changes from 2012: Offer 20 fewer one-tag licenses and 10 more two-tag licenses for resident hunters on the East River Prairie Units; Offer 500 fewer one-tag licenses for resident hunters and 40 fewer one-tag licenses for nonresident hunters for the Black Hills Unit; Repeal 41:06:14:04.  Licenses valid for unit specified. In those units adjoining the Cheyenne River or White River a license is valid in the adjacent unit within one mile of the common river boundary.
  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Season dates: Oct. 1-Jan. 31
  • Commission finalized rule changes as proposed

Bobcat Trapping and Hunting Seasons Audio

  • Proposed changes from 2012: Shorten the west river season.  The west river season will open at sunrise on December 26 and will close at sunset on February 15; Change the east river season to open at sunrise on December 26 and close at sunset on the third Sunday of January.
  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • The last three consecutive years of the west river bobcat season has experienced sex ratios that have been skewed towards a higher ratio of females being harvested.  Having more females than males harvested is an indicator of a moderate or heavy harvested population. The proposal reflects a more conservative harvest goal.
  • Have a 3-year research program in place on bobcats in cooperation with SDSU that will add to knowledge of South Dakota population
  • Commission moved to amend the rule change proposal by moving end date for West River 2 weeks later so season would run Dec. 26-Mar. 1 and passed amendment on 5-2 vote
  • Commission then deferred action until Friday to gather more information on a potential change in season dates and/or limit on the number of bobcats an individual may take
  • Over the last three years around 9 people harvested 10 bobcat or more so limits will have limited impact
  • Suggest repose season for next month with no change for East River and West River begin Dec. 26-March 1 with an overall quota of 600; past 12 years annual harvest averaged around 625 and last year was 780; must figure out way to disseminate information on harvest limit if one is put in place
  • Commission then voted down the amended proposal from this month to re-propose for next month
  • Commission then approved proposal for season date change to Dec. 26-March 1 and overall harvest limit of 600

August Management Take Goose Audio

  • Proposed changes from 2012: Modify the hunting dates to the first Saturday of August to August 31; Increase the daily bag limit from 8 to 15; Add those portions west of the Cheyenne River in Pennington County to the open area; Allow unplugged shotguns; Modify the shooting hours to end one-half hour after sunset.
  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Hunting dates: Aug. 3-31, residents only
  • Open Area: Brookings, Brown, Clark, Codington, Day, Deuel, Hamlin, Hanson, Grant, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, Marshall, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Pennington, Roberts, Spink and Union counties.
  • Daily limit 15, no possession limit
  • Commission discussed merits of unplugged shotguns and shooting hour change
  • Commission moved to amend proposal to eliminate unplugged shotguns and modified shooting hour times; passed 7-0
  • Commission then finalized rule changes as amended

Archery Accompaniment

  • Proposed changes from 2012: Amend 41:06:05:03 to limit the scope of the rule to the possession of firearms by an archery hunter.  Create a new rule, 41:06:05:03.01, to address non-licensee armed accompaniment and to place the responsibility for adherence on the unlicensed hunter.
  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Currently, a person hunting under an archery only license cannot be accompanied in the field by another person carrying a firearm or bow and arrow unless that individual has an archery big game license valid for the same geographic area and time of year as the licensee. An exception exists for those persons carrying a pistol and possessing a valid concealed pistol permit. The licensed archery big game hunter is held as the responsible party if other armed individuals accompany him/her and do not have the same type of license. The proposed amendment would place the responsibility for adherence to the rule on the armed unlicensed individual who accompanies the archery big game hunter.
  • Commission finalized rule changes as proposed on a 5-2 vote

Hunting Season Proposals
Antelope Hunting Season Audio

  • No recommended changes to CSP season and finalized by Commission with same season structure as 2012; dates Oct. 15-23; 3 Any Antelope licenses available; no hunting allowed with 440 yards around any numbered CSP road
  • Recommended changes to statewide season include: Offer resident hunters 165 less one-tag licenses (165 tags) and 345 less two-tag licenses (690 tags) than 2012; Units 45A (Lyman) and 45B (Ft. Pierre National Grasslands) will be issued zero firearm licenses. As a result, Units 45A and 45B will also be closed to archery antelope hunting.
  • Season Dates: Sept. 28-Oct. 13
  • Open to Residents Only
  • Currently conducting aerial survey counts and will come back at finalization in July with some possible license number changes based on those aerial survey results
  • Around 24,000 adults compared to 22,000 last year; last year harvested around 2,600 antelope with 53% success
  • Commission Cooper spoke to individuals from Bennett County that season structure does not help opportunities for hunters in their area
  • Commission proposed rule changes as recommended

Early Fall Canada Goose

  • Recommended changes from 2012 include: Change the opening date from the first Saturday in September to September 1; Amend 41:06:16:07 to modify the boundaries of Units 1 and 2 near the Missouri River to remove portions from Unit 1 (area open to Early Fall Canada Goose Hunting Season) and include in Unit 2. This modification would include all of Tripp County and that portion of Charles Mix County east of U.S. Highway 281 and north of S.D. Highway 46.
  • Department staff has received public input seeking later season goose hunting opportunities in Tripp County and a portion of Charles Mix County. Additional input from public meetings reveal support for this proposed change to these goose hunting unit boundaries
  • Season dates: Sept. 1-30
  • Daily limit 15 and possession limit 30
  • Shooting hours 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset
  • Nonresidents may not hunt in Beadle, Brookings, Hanson, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Sanborn, Turner and Union counties
  • Commission proposed rule changes as recommended

Youth Waterfowl

  • No recommended changes from 2012 and Commission finalized this season with no changes
  • Season dates: Sept. 21-22
  • Limits same as regular duck and goose seasons; Residents and nonresidents who have not reached the age of 16 by the first day of the season may hunt in the youth waterfowl hunting season; Each youth hunter must be accompanied by an adult while hunting; The youth hunter must be properly licensed to hunt waterfowl in the state, unless participating under a Mentored Hunt scenario as described in “Mentored Youth Hunting"; All other hunting restrictions will be the same as during the regular waterfowl seasons

Sage Grouse Audio

  • Recommended change from 2012: Close Season
  • As a result of a continual decline in the number of male sage grouse observed during the spring lek survey, a season closure is recommended after evaluating biological data and harvest strategies
  • Major conservation initiative for sage grouse has been ongoing in western U.S.; Fish & Wildlife Service will make a determination on sage grouse in 2015
  • South Dakota has a small population primarily in NW corner; partnering with NRCS and Pheasant Forever to provide sage brush habitat and conservation for sage grouse
  • Established priority leks (breeding grounds) where count male sage grouse to track population trend; number has been going steadily downward since impacts of a West Nile die-off around 2006-7
  • Currently re-writing sage grouse management plan
  • Felt if population dropped below 100 males would need to close season and now at that point
  • Commission proposed rule change to close the season

Harvested wolf inspection requirement

  • Recommended new administrative rule: 41:06:04:19. Mandatory inspection of harvested wolf. Any person who harvests a wolf pursuant to § 41-6 shall notify a conservation officer within 24 hours after the kill and submit the animal for inspection by a conservation officer or other designated department representative no later than 48 hours following the kill.
  • The following was enacted during the 2013 Legislative Session: Section 1. That subdivision (21) of § 41-1-1 be amended to read as follows: (21) "Predator/varmint," coyote, wolf, gray fox, red fox, skunk, gopher, ground squirrel, chipmunk, jackrabbit, marmot, porcupine, crow, and prairie dog; and Section 2. That chapter 41-6 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows: Wolves may only be hunted, taken, or killed in any area of the state in which the State of South Dakota has preeminent authority over the management of wolves.
  • Currently, the management of gray wolves associated with the Western Great Lakes population (East River in South Dakota) is under the control of the respective states.  The Northern Rocky Mountain population is currently protected in the United States under the Endangered Species Act.
    Commission proposed rule change as recommended

Division of Parks and Recreation

Action item Audio
Good Earth State Park land acquisition - Resolution

  • The Commission was asked to approve a resolution that will authorize GFP to proceed with the acquisition of property from The Conservation Fund, a Maryland non-profit corporation, which had purchased one of the portions of the Buzz Nelson property
  • Previously purchased the portion of the property that the Parks & Wildlife Foundation originally purchased
  • Property is in six parcels and will add approximately 254 acres to Good Earth State Park; purchase price around $10,000 per acre; $2.4 million with $1.2 million already in place with Parks & Wildlife Foundation
  • Legal requirements for this purchase are already in place; there has been no concern raised about this action
  • Commission approved the resolution

Information items Audio

Park Improvement projects

  • Around 400 active capital development projects in the works
  • Oahe Downstream fish cleaning station/grinder; new kind of grinder that is much quieter and takes bigger fish, doesn't splash as much, takes less maintenance
  • Oahe Downstream comfort station to supplement existing stations; had to reconfigure campground a bit after flood so this will help alleviate demand
  • Shoreline stabilization to repair flood-damaged shorelines in park areas
  • West Bend dump and fish cleaning station to handle bigger traffic
  • Fischer Grove was extremely damaged in the flood so reconfigured campground to avoid damaged bridge and move to other side of river; still need to get comfort station put in; will open this weekend for primitive camping; full services in 2-3 weeks
  • Sylvan Lake wastewater treatment will help protect water quality; old system sand filtration; new system has different filtration system and will be easier to maintain
  • Pickerel Lake comfort station and at Newton Hills
  • Angostura getting a new fish cleaning station
  • Platte Creek Recreation Area has a new beach area as part of changing use pattern at the area
  • There are a lot of road projects planned for 2013, many to maintain asphalt roads
  • Pease Creek Dump and Fish Cleaning Station
  • Other major work at Platte Creek to include fish cleaning and dump station; add new tier of parking to accommodate use; add playground
  • Big Sioux Recreation Area expanded to the north with an addition a couple of years ago; added access, parking and dog training area; added habitat cover; trail project later this fall and next year will connect to an existing trail system
  • Rocky Point has a boat ramp expansion to deal with congestion at the one ramp that serves the area; auxiliary ramp will offer boat launching in a different direction

Spring Flooding

  • Rain was welcome change from drought last year but did cause some spring flooding
  • Lake Alvin culverts under the road are smaller than the rush of water, backup of water floods area and equalizes with level of lake and can over-top the dam; caused some erosion due to extreme rush of water; dam structure was sound but will need a little maintenance
  • Lake Lakota at Newton Hills was almost dry, rains over Memorial weekend filled it back up; did wash out a county road that comes into the area
  • Union Grove had some flash flooding that moved out in a few hours
  • Roughlock Falls in Black Hills had water rushing over the road and the road was closed for a while

Mt. Rushmore Connector Trail

  • Extension of Mickelson Trail; second biggest project right now next to Good Earth State Park
  • Estimated to cost $8 million; dependent on federal grant that feel will be available when ready to move forward\
  • Partnership includes National Park Service, Forest Service and Parks & Wildlife Foundation
  • Legislature provided funding to help keep the project moving forward
  • Burlington Railroad ran from 1890 - 1983 from Edgemont to Deadwood; in 1983 railroad abandoned right-of-way; industry no longer there to support business; also in 1983 US Congress passed the Rails to Trails act which created a mechanism where an entity could take over ownership of railroad right of way that had been abandoned; 1985 began to salvage the 100 bridges and trestles along the route, that brought attention to fate of the trail and publicity led to grassroots effort to preserve the trail for bicycling; citizen group bought out salvage operation on bridges; gained support of Gov. Mickelson to move project forward; completed in 1998
    Considered one of the best Rails to Trails conversions in the nation and recently mentioned as the #7 trail in the world
  • Added spur trail in 2007 that led into Custer State Park at Stockade Lake
  • No current connection to Mt. Rushmore and work is in place to make that happen; must go through Wilderness and other travel restriction areas, not to mention topography of the area; next step will be an environmental impact statement to meet federal requirements; may take up to 2 years

Park Revenue and Visitation Reports

  • Revenue up 6.6% over same time period last year
  • Camping units down 9.8%

Division of Wildlife

Action item
Sportsmen Against Hunger Audio

  • The Commission was asked to approve a resolution authorizing GFP to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement for the 8th year for processing antlerless deer and Canada geese by providing assistance for expenses incurred in processing meat donated by hunters for distribution to needy persons and families free of charge
  • The partnership is intended to encourage hunters to take more antlerless deer and Canada geese as part of management objectives for these species
  • Canada geese have been a huge component over the past two years; 2012 over 8,000 geese donated during August Take and Early September season
  • Commission approved the resolution

Information items
Shoot Range Projects Audio

  • Fall River County Shooting Complex talk began around a year and a half ago as a way to expand opportunity for recreational shooters; grant process through GFP to assist in shooting range development and improvement; traded a GPA for private land to allow development of range on former GPA; $150,000 approved for GFP expenditures; total to date around $130,000
  • Broke ground last week and already completed rough-in work on road and parking lot; most of berm completed; completion date for rough work is mid-August and so far ahead of that schedule
  • 50-yard pistol range and 20 benches for rifle shooters; will have 100 yard and 200 yard ranges
  • Oahe Downstream has an existing range that has been around for around 50 years and is in disrepair; strictly 100 yard range with 5 benches; gets over 1000 visitors/month throughout the year
  • Plans are to expand with one 300-yard bench; ten 100-yard benches and a couple 50 yard benches; also a pistol area and a separate area where shotgun could be shot
  • Cleanup of old range is an issue with lead playing a big role in that but construction planned to take place next year
  • Plan to add an air gun and archery indoor range at The Outdoor Campuses; building with be constructed at both the Sioux Falls and Rapid City locations, 1/2 of building for air gun and 1/2 for archery
  • Issues at both locations on where to place; also, funding will rely on some private donations
  • Mobridge shooting range on parks land north of town; shooting range has been in place for several years and needs updating; 640 feet of berm work that will be 12 feet high and National Guard is providing labor; construct an additional shelter with 10 additional covered benches; upgrade access road and expand parking lot
  • Working on ways to put shooting range in more populated areas, but the work is more difficult where there are more people and more development

Spring Goose

  • 2012 breeding estimate 270,000 breeding geese; currently population exceeds management goals and has created a considerable expense in animal damage control; low landowner tolerance
  • Have sub-permitted landowners to kill geese; increased bag limits for AMT and Early September season
  • Authorized the take this spring of 7,000 geese by 140 volunteer hunters who were each permitted to take 50 geese; limited to pass shooting and jump shooting; all geese donated to Sportsmen Against Hunger
  • April 1-30 in areas of chronic damage; over 1,200 volunteers applied for the 140 spots
  • Poor hunting conditions with ice and snow in April, including the Sioux Falls ice storm resulted in low participation
  • Harvested 820 geese, were permitted to take 7,000
  • Statistics indicate around 94% of geese taken were resident and not migrants
  • There were positive aspects despite falling short on harvest

2013-14 Private Shooting Preserves

  • Total of 206 permits for 2013-14 compared to 203 last year
  • The 206 permits include 175 operators and 199,379 total acres of land
  • Statistics for all preserves in 2012-13: 403,380 pheasants released; 237,965 total harvested; 202,991 released birds harvested; 36,630 (15% of total harvest) wild birds harvested
  • Of the 203 permitted preserves in 2012-13, 17 took advantage of the additional opportunity and harvested 16 or more pheasants in a single day; records reflect that those 17 preserves averaged 55.6 man-days where 16 or more birds were harvested in a single day
  • Private Shooting Preserves by Size: 12 were 160 or fewer acres; 23 were 161-320 acres; 51 were 321-640 acres; 36 were 641-960 acres; 25 were 961-1279 acres; 34 were 1280-1919 acres; 18 were 1920-2559 acres; and 7 were 2560 or more acres
  • Issued 2 notice of warning letters to preserves that have received citations or been complaints; remind preserve operator that the business must be operated within requirements in permit

2013 Fish Spawning Report

  • Bad spring weather adversely affected the walleye egg take on Lake Oahe
  • 60.6 million eggs taken statewide but only 13.8 million from Oahe
  • What does that mean for next year: currently exploring other options for egg take

Walleye Tagging Study Audio

  • A cooperative venture with ND Game & Fish and SDSU on Lake Oahe
  • Seeking answers to what is annual exploitation (percentage of population removed every year); what is annual mortality, both angling and natural; how/when/where do walleye move; and what is the walleye population?
  • Seeking to figure out how both North and South Dakota regulations affect walleye population
  • Some tags are reward tags, and these are put in place to help statistically verify tag returns
  • 9,300 walleye tagged; so far 450 returns and 30 reward tags returned
  • Most walleye caught have been within 10 miles of tagging location; biggest movement so far one tagged in North Dakota traveled down to Little Moreau

Gizzard Shad Trap/Transfer Project

  • Last year tried stocking adult pre-spawned gizzard shad in Lake Oahe; moved 1,800 adults and had some local success with larval shad in some of the areas where stocked; anglers reported seeing schooling shad and shad in walleye diets
  • So far in 2013 have moved 1,678 adults to same sites plus a couple more sites in North Dakota; have overwintered some shad on lower end of Oahe
  • Evidence on rainbow smelt is that some were seined this spring and have been seen in some walleye diet, but not at those high levels of 2009-10; rising water levels may help survival

Fisheries Strategic Plan

  • 2014-18 guide for fisheries management in state
  • Planning helps make and meet goals and objectives; are we doing the right things and are we doing things the right way
  • Planning components will be for Black Hills, West River, Missouri River and East River
  • There will be an inventory, programs to address issues through objectives, goals and strategies; there will be supporting programs; and there will be evaluation to see if meeting goals and objectives
  • Inventory on management area, staff, funding and expenses, and infrastructure
  • There are 9 statewide programs including surveys, research, access, habitat management, non-game management, fish production and stocking, bait and private aquaculture, invasive species and fish health
  • There are issues within each of these program including survey data standardization and processing; survey design and prioritization; comprehensive access inventory and needs assessment; non-game species status; sources of cool-water eggs and trap and transfer of fish; fish diseases, and aquatic invasive species
  • Strategies include develop statewide data management system; establish a survey prioritization and review process; comprehensive fishing access needs assessment; develop standardized non-game surveys; update state fish health plan; investigate ways to increase reliability of egg sources
  • Main support programs include communications, human dimensions, law enforcement
  • Performance measures will include a 5-year average to account from differences year to year; angler days (average 2.7 million per year); licensed anglers (over 200,000 sold); overall satisfaction with fishing (70% or higher)
  • Black Hills is the first area plan being put in place and will include streams, small lakes and ponds, and larger reservoirs; management issues divided between people, habitat and fish
  • Management objectives include determine angler demographics; develop operational plan to mitigate unplanned introductions; generate sub-plans; determine factors that may be limiting quality of fisheries; manual to direct selection of habitat improvement projects; refine trout stocking and evaluation criteria
  • Management strategies include highlight issue of illegal fish introduction, conduct comprehensive demographics preference; generate streams and small lakes plans; develop a habitat manual; complete habitat projects now in the works; refine fish population surveys to include collection of additional data

Next meeting
July 8 at the Pierre Ramkota