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Spearing Game Fish in SD "are they nuts!?"

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This proposal is INSANE! my humble opinion.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, November 14, 2014

CONTACT: Emily Kiel at [email protected]

GFP Commission Proposal on Statewide Spearing of Game Fish

PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission is proposing to open up game fish spearing statewide. The proposal was made as a result of an outside petition received from spearfishermen. The Commission will consider adoption of the proposal at their Dec. 11-12 meeting in Fort Pierre.

The Commission proposed the following rule amendments for game fish spearing for 2015:

• Allow spearing and bowfishing of all game fish species (except paddlefish and sturgeon) in all inland waters.

• Establish a year-round game fish spearing and bowfishing season.

• Make game fish spearing and bowfishing regulations on boundary waters match those of adjoining states.

“No inland waters are exempt from the current Commission proposal, meaning spearing and bowfishing for all species (except paddlefish and sturgeon) could occur in all inland waters including urban fisheries, small impoundments, trout streams and large lakes and reservoirs,” stated John Lott, GFP administrative chief for fisheries. “Harvest of game fish by spearers and bowfishers is not a biological issue. It is a social issue.”

Currently, the following regulations pertain to game fish spearing on inland waters:

• Game fish spearing and bowfishing season is open from June 15 to March 15, inclusive.

• Waters open to the spearing and bowfishing of game fish (except sturgeon and paddlefish) during the established spearing season in 2014 included:

o Lake Oahe;

o Portions of Lakes Sharpe and Francis Case;

o Angostura and Belle Fourche reservoirs.

• Spearing and bowfishing of northern pike was open in all inland lakes in 2014, except those managed for muskies, during the June 15 – March 15 game fish spearing season. As of last week, the Commission finalized that for 2015, the spearing and bowfishing of northern pike and catfish in all inland lakes (except those managed for muskies and areas of the Missouri River system closed to game fish spearing) and the Grand River immediately below Shadehill Reservoir, is allowed year-round. The Commission also added Shadehill reservoir to the list of waters open during the June 15 – March 15 game fish spearing season.

“By proposing a statewide, year-round season for spearing and bowfishing of game fish, the Commission has provided the public an opportunity to comment on how much spearing and bowfishing opportunity for game fish there should be,” concluded Lott.

The GFP Commission will act on this proposal Dec. 11-12 at the Fort Pierre Holiday Inn Express in Fort Pierre.

Written comments on this proposal can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501, or emailed to [email protected] or [email protected] To be included in the public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. CST on Dec. 11 and include a full name and city of residence.

A public hearing before the Commission will be held for those who want to publically comment at 2 p.m. CST at the Fort Pierre Holiday Inn Express on Dec. 11.


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Got an email about this. I have no problem with it. A harvested fish is a harvested fish whether it is harvested with a spear or a rod and reel.

One concern I had is during the spring they would be very easy to spear but the season would only be open from June 15 to March 15 so that is not a problem.

I agree with them when they say in the release that it is a social issue, not a biological issue.

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I'm not a fan of it. I deal with them all summer in the Pierre area. The outfitters that run spear boat are really good at dropping guys all over entire flats/points and their spear boat isn't within 1/2 mile. Dangerous as heck. They spear right below the dam in Pierre as well. I'm honestly really surprised no spear fisherman has died from being hit yet. The main channel is only a couple hundred yards wide and they drift down it all the time. Most people in town for the weekend fishing/boating have no clue what the flag and markers are for and buzz right by them within yards going 40mph. I see this was a petition from the spearfishing folks. I find that they are being awful greedy. Email the commissioners about your stance.

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Fish populations dwindling, divers everywhere, why should we come?

The other thread discusses the social issues surrounding spearing. I really don't care about spearing, dead is dead. And winter spearing looks very interesting. But when you pull you boat 200 miles then troll across a point, land 2 walleyes and turn around to make another pass only to see a boat race in and dump their diver because they saw you catch fish...forget it. I will stay home.

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I'd bet money it is the MN dark house association is behind the petition. I hope the angling community sends hundreds of thousands of emails opposing this.

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The difference between spearing & hook & line angling, and for that matter netting, is with hook & line the fish need to bite on your presentation. Spearing & netting, all the fish has to do is be there & it is dead. There is no variable of the fish being willing or active or anything, it just has to be there. Usually when i go out, alot of times i come home frustratred because things didnt go as planned, either the fished didnt bite or i was using the wrong presentation or wrong area at the wrong time. Spearing, all these variables are irrelevent, it doesnt matter that its not prime time & they arent feeding, it doesnt matter that there was just a bug hatch or that its a full moon, they just have to be there. This seems a little unsporting & in my eyes making it easier to deplete a resource. Do you actually think dark house anglers target eating size fish? Not! They are trying to kill the largest, which are the egg-carrying ones that provide the future.

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My guess is that none of you have done this before just like shooting fish in a barrel isn't it they say I've been spearing all my life over 35 years and it's not that easy. Not all of us take only big ones just like a 28 inch walleye they aren't very good table fare, give me a 3 lb northern and I'm in heaven the ones nobody wants. Why would the MDAA care about SD rules when we have enough to deal with hear in MN . Don't judge us until you know your facts. If you want I'll take you out and show you what the sport is all about.

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