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Party-fishing law might be expanded

PIERRE — A state fishing law might be changed so anglers have less worry about being cited for catching too many.

Rep. Lee Qualm wants South Dakota’s party-fishing law that covers anglers in a watercraft to be expanded to ice fishing and shore fishing as well.

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The current law lets a party of two or more anglers fishing together in a boat to keep their combined limit of a species, regardless of how many are taken by each angler.

“Invariably there’s one guy who gets hot and catches more than everybody else,” Qualm, R-Platte, said. “It’s pretty simple. It just makes legal what everybody is doing anyway.”

No one else testified for or against the legislation during a hearing Thursday by the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

The panel endorsed the bill 11-0.

HB 1076 now moves to the full House of Representatives for consideration as early as today.

The committee placed the bill on the House consent calendar. That means it won’t be debated, unless a member asks for it to be removed, but members can ask questions.