SM Link

Fishing Regulations

Fishing Handbook

PDF Version

Recreational Use (Duerre v. Hepler) of Non-meandered Water Overlying Private Property

The Supreme Court in Duerre v. Hepler sets a legal precedent for all non-meandered waters in the state that the Department will conform to. The Supreme Court decision stated that it is up to the South Dakota Legislature to determine whether members of the public may enter or use the non-meandered water or ice overlying private property for any recreational use such as hunting or fishing. Therefore, the Legislature (not the Supreme Court, not the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and not the public) must decide how these waters are to be beneficially used in the public interest.

Bullheads as bait

Bullheads may be used as bait statewide. They are still considered a game fish and may only be taken by legal hook and line methods from waters open to angling. Bullheads may not be sold. Anglers are reminded that to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS), bait and fish may not be transported in water from a lake, river or stream.

More information

Additional regulations and rules on fishing tournaments, special events, hoop net and setlines, bait dealer information, private fish hatcheries and fish importation can be found here.

Fishing regulations are also available in our free smartphone app; available for iOS and Android devices.

Available for Android Available for Android