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fyi if your going to be doing some fishing in SD:


I am not sure how I feel about this yet, but what I am most concerned about is losing access to bodies of water where gfp stocked fish.


From article "GFP cannot facilitate access to these waters until the State Legislature acts." I would suggest many of us to contact our state legislatures and voice our opinions

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looks like there will be some protest fishing taking place today at Dry Lake #2 at 3:30pm. South side of the lake where willow lake road meets the lake.


Sounds like some local media outlets will be covering the event to get it on the 6pm news

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Go to link below and sign this petition to get things moving faster. The petition calls for a special session to resolve this issue instead of waiting until next January:

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Im doubting anyone is going to go away happy.  Its good to see people at least discussing the subject at hand.



Outdoors recreation groups said Tuesday they felt left out of last week’s attempt at finding a compromise over the use of public lakes on private property.

A group of lawmakers last week reviewed a bill that would reopen about 30 so-called “non-meandered” waters to South Dakota anglers. The state would have to individually negotiate with property owners for public access to thousands of other unofficial lakes.

Some sportsmen say the proposal gives landowners too much power, and that all of the lakes and sloughs affected by this year’s South Dakota Supreme Court ruling should be reopened to outdoor recreation unless property owners opt-out.

“That isn’t acceptable,” said Chris Hesla, executive director of the South Dakota Wildlife Foundation. “It’s a one-way street. The only thing that can happen is that property owners can request that lands be closed. The public has no recourse.”


Read it here.




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Until the legislature passes something, all these lakes remain closed. That is exactly what some of these landowners want.

They need to make a deal but neither side will ever compromise on this.

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The Legislature’s nonmeandered waters task force approved draft legislation Friday to resolve the issue of public access to recently formed lakes that lie over privately owned land. Governor Dennis Daugaard calls the proposal a good compromise:

"This bill is a good compromise that balances the rights of landowners with the ability for sportsmen to use public waters for recreation. I support this bill and encourage the Legislature to work together so that we can finally achieve a solution to this long-standing issue. I will confer with legislative leaders to identify possible dates for a special session soon."


 I have a big problem seeing the “compromise”. It basically declares all non-meandered waters open to the public, unless landowners post property as closed.” That says ultimate power rests in the hands of the landowners. The Legislature committee appears to be choosing private property rights over public water rights

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Are you surprised there is an option for land owners to mark off their water within the bill?  Look at the political climate in SD.  Even on the democratic side, the representatives and senators are VERY pro-property rights.  A few things to consider:

  • This bill requires research, review, and public testimony in 2019 to determine the effectiveness of the bill
  • This bill sunsets July 1 2021.  If it turns out to be a bad bill, it's not permanent and we can work to get something better passed.
  • Land owners cannot close water over their land to the public then turn around and charge a tresspass fee
  • Land owners have to verify their property lines, and use defined and approved markers or buoys.  Given the freeze/thaw cycles, they would likely have to place buoys every spring and stakes every winter.  how many do you really think are going to go through the hassle, especially if they cannot profit from closing their access?

Now, a few issues I see with this bill:  No appeal process for the public to petition to re-open waters closed by land owners, no funding for increased GFP hours for publishing & updating maps, no funding for increased tresspass enforcement, no funding for water access leases or lakebed purchases.


Is this bill the best thing going?  No.  Is it a good start?  Yes. 

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59 minutes ago, carpshooterdeluxe said:

Now, a few issues I see with this bill:  No appeal process for the public to petition to re-open waters closed by land owners, no funding for increased GFP hours for publishing & updating maps, no funding for increased tresspass enforcement, no funding for water access leases or lakebed purchases

You have some valid points. I also worry that there is going to be a lot of money that goes under the table between some of these landowners and guides on the areas of water that will allegedly be marked off.


Of all the bodies of waters that come in to play could any be potentially marked off completely with no public access? And of those waters how many were stocked by the GFP? If we lose access to those bodies of water, so be it I think land owners are somewhat entitled to that. My only hang up is then they better net all the fish out. And quickly follow with some rotenone.


We have started to enter a severe dry cycle in some of these areas, maybe some of the problems will be resolved by mother nature and some of these water levels will recede due to the drought.

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SD special session on nonmeandered water ends with legislation passed. House voted 54-12 to accept Senate version. Senate voted 26-2.


now waiting for the governor to sign which he has already indicated he would 


this is bittersweet, glad to see waters opened back up, not thrilled about seeing some closed for good. 


we don't need private lakes stocked by the public with license dollars.
Tax forgiveness on flooded land is a better solution


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