Fishing proposal worries some South Dakota anglers
RAPID CITY (AP) -- A proposal to allow statewide spearing and bow fishing of most game fish year-round in South Dakota has riled some anglers who fear damage to trout fisheries in shallow streams and small lakes in the Black Hills.
RAPID CITY (AP) - A proposal to allow statewide spearing and bow fishing of most game fish year-round in South Dakota has riled some anglers who fear damage to trout fisheries in shallow streams and small lakes in the Black Hills.
Spearfishing could deplete stocks of larger, spawning fish and hurt efforts to establish self-sustaining fisheries, angler Ev Hoyt told the Rapid City Journal ( http://bit.ly/1tRKIJf ).
"The fish in many cases would just be sitting ducks for spearing," Hoyt said. "They're particularly vulnerable during spawning, where they congregate on the relatively shallow gravel beds, especially the larger fish."
But the Bill Donovan of Sioux Falls, the author of the proposal, says spearfishing is just another way to take fish and is subject to regulations that protect fisheries.
"My proposal was, let's open up the whole state. Give everybody a chance to go diving in the lake in their backyard if they want to," he said.
"If spearfishing doesn't have any impact on the resource and you're only taking your limit, what difference does it make?" Donovan said.
The Game, Fish & Parks Commission will decide the proposal's fate later this month. If passed, it would allow use of legal spear and bow fishing equipment on all game fish species, with the exception of paddlefish and sturgeon, in all inland waters starting next year.
Currently, the game fish spearing and bow fishing season runs until March 15 in established open waters such as Lake Oahe, portions of Lakes Sharpe and Francis Case, and Angostura and Belle Fourche reservoirs. Anglers are allowed to spear and bow fish northern pike and catfish year-round in all inland lakes except those managed for muskies.
"No inland waters are exempt from the current commission proposal, meaning spearing and bow fishing 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," GF&P fisheries chief John Lott said in a press release.