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GFP News - July 16, 2014


Outdoor campus Hosts 4th Annual Outdoor University

PIERRE, S.D. - Are you and your family interested in learning a new outdoor activity together? Here’s your chance! The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls will host its fourth annual Outdoor University on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Sertoma Park.

“Outdoor University provides something for everyone,” said Thea Miller Ryan, director of the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls. “Individuals and families can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities no matter if they are an avid outdoors person or just getting started.  Spend an hour or the whole day here. Food and drink vendors will be available so make plans to have lunch on site too.”

Individuals and families can try canoeing, archery, air rifles, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing and outdoor cooking. In addition, the Federal Duck Stamp artist, Adam Grimm, will be honored at 1:30 p.m. and the Black Hills Raptor Center will do two shows in the theatre. Outside, visitors can see hunting dog demonstrations, fish cleaning clinics and wildlife capture demonstrations.

A kids' area features a gold mining sluice, soft target shooting and other fun outdoor park-setting games and crafts; including a giant yard mural. Several other outdoor organizations will have booths with activities: the Sioux Falls Herpetological Society will have snakes, the Sioux Empire Gem and Mineral Society will help visitors identify rocks and fossils and the TriState Astronomical Society will have telescopes at the event.

Parking in Sertoma Park is free and additional parking is available at the Sanford Clinic at Oxbow and 51st near the park entrance. Shuttle vans will run all day. This event is sponsored by GFP and Scheels, Sioux Falls. For more information, call 605.362.2777 or visit www.outdoorcampus.org.

About the Outdoor Campus: The Outdoor Campus' mission is to provide education about outdoor skills, wildlife, conservation and management practices of South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks to all ages in order to preserve our outdoor heritage.

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GFP Encourages Registration for HuntSAFE and Bowhunter Education Classes

PIERRE, S.D. - Hunting seasons will soon be here and now is the time to register for a local HuntSAFE or bowhunter education class.

"Course availability is limited as hunting seasons draw closer, so sign up now to secure your spot in an upcoming class as pre-registration is highly recommended and required for most classes," stated Jason Kool, GFP HuntSAFE coordinator.

Students interested in either the traditional classroom or independent study format must register online at http://www.gfp.sd.gov/hunt-ed. For those wanting to take the independent study option, students must register for their field day and then complete the online course offered through the International Hunter Education Association. Students can take this online course at http://ihea-usa.org/hunting-and-shooting/hunter-education/online-courses. Students must take the course and print off all the quizzes at the end of the chapter and bring them to their scheduled field day. The remaining field days for the year have been scheduled after November, and no field days will be offered until the spring. Both the traditional classroom course and the independent study HuntSAFE courses are free for the student.

All archery licensees 11 through 15 years of age, all first-time archery big game licensees regardless of age and all archery elk licensees must possess certification of completion from a bowhunter education course. Bowhunter education class information is available online at http://gfp.sd.gov/outdoor-learning/hunter-education/bowed.aspx. Once these classes end, individuals can still obtain their bowhunter certification, but will only be able to do so via the online course option at the cost of $30.00.

If conflicts occur with the in-person HuntSAFE classes, individuals may want to consider the independent study with a field day HuntSAFE class. “The independent study course allows students the opportunity to complete the coursework online, at their own pace, and then attend a 4-6 hour field day,” stated Kool. “Not all communities offer this delivery option, but those that do are listed online.”

HuntSAFE and Bowhunter Education in South Dakota is designed for persons age 12 through 15. If a student's 12th birthday falls on or between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, they may be issued a card and are eligible to obtain a license and hunt beginning Sept. 1 of that year. Adults are also welcome and invited to attend or take either of the courses on their own as many states require certification for adults as well.

For more information on HuntSAFE or Bowhunter Education in South Dakota, visit http://gfp.sd.gov/outdoor-learning/hunter-education/ or call 605.223.7700.


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Update on Fish Consumption Advisories

PIERRE, S.D.  -  Anglers fishing South Dakota waters should be aware of the 2014 fish consumption advisories.

New consumption advisories issued based on 2013 test results include: walleye longer than 21 inches in Swan Lake (Clark County), walleye longer than 17 inches in Long Lake (Codington County) and black crappie longer than 12 inches in Pudwell Dam (Corson County). Also, the West Twin Lakes advisory (Kingsbury County) for walleye longer than 18 inches and northern pike longer than 19 inches was expanded to include East Twin Lakes (Brookings County) and the waters jointly referred to as Twin Lakes in the advisory listing. 

The South Dakota departments of Health (DOH), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) annually coordinate testing of fish for metals, pesticides and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl). Fish in over 150 of South Dakota‘s most popular fishing waters have been tested for contaminants since the program began and fish consumption advisories have been issued for 18 waters for mercury. The mercury concentration in fish flesh which must be exceeded for an advisory to be issued is 1.0 part per million.

Fish consumption advisories are issued to inform the public of waters, species and sizes of fish where consumption should be limited to DOH guidelines. Fish consumption advisory information is provided to allow individuals to make informed decisions about the sizes and species of fish and the waters from which they keep and eat fish.

For a complete list of current consumption advisories and fish consumption guidelines, visit doh.sd.gov/food/fish-consumption-advisories.aspx. For a complete list of waters tested please visit http://denr.sd.gov/des/sw/fish.aspx.

Agency Contacts for More Information:

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