GF&P to present elk contingency license recommendations

South Dakotas Game, Fish and Parks will present a recommendation of the GF&P commissioners regarding the use of elk contingency licenses during the commissioners meeting in Sioux Falls.

"Due to this year's dry conditions, the department will use a variety of sources to help generate a recommendation for the GF&P to consider, including a decision making tool assessed by an outside stakeholder group," deputy director of GF&P's wildlife division Tom Kirschenmann said in a release. "Elk contingency licenses are a product of the elk management plan as a means of responding quicker to environmental conditions such as drought, like we have experienced this year."

The statement said the department is working on a recommendation on whether or not to issue additional anterless elk licenses. GF&P recently met with the U.S. Forest Service and National Resource Conservation Services to talk about the Black Hills range conditions.

GF&P also met with the USFS and NRCS to talk about the evaluated forge production data and better understand the forage conditions on federal lands and any changes in livestock grazing plans.

"The percent of normal forage production obtained by the U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service and current elk population objectives will serve as significant pieces of information in the development of the Department recommendation," Kirschmann said.

GF&P commissioners meeting begins today in Sioux Falls

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commissioners are convening at the Ramada Hotel and Suites at 1301 W. Russell St. in Sioux Falls for the start of their September meeting today.

The commissioners will head public comment on proposals such as: the mountain lion hunting season and landowner preference. The commissioners will also be finalizing a petition for landowners with property in non-meandered lakes that are open to public recreation and the Swan Lake boating restriction.

Trout to be stocked near Pierre

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) will be stocking rainbow trout in Oahe Marina near Fort Pierre in September.

Robert Hanten of Fort Pierre, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks fisheries biologist, said the department will stock 15-inch, one-pound rainbow trout in the marina basin immediately downstream from Oahe Dam.

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“Weather permitting, the first stocking of trout will occur on Wednesday, Sept. 6, with an additional stocking planned for Thursday, Sept. 12,” Hanten said in a press release. “The fishing should be great, so get out and enjoy it with your family or friends.”

Oahe Marina is located just downstream from Oahe Dam, off state Highway 1806, north of Fort Pierre.

Bluestem Lake in Nebraska sees Blue-Green algal blooms

A health alert remains in effect for Bluestem Lake in Lancaster County, according to a release from Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

During water testing this week, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality detected elevated toxin levels produced by blue-green algal blooms in Bluestem Lake. Visitors to Bluestem State Recreation Area should avoid full body contact activities such as swimming, wading, skiing, jet skiing, etc. Non-contact activities such as boating, fishing and camping are OK. Dog owners are urged to keep pets out of the water and not allow them to ingest lake water.

Lakes with beaches and those that allow power boating are tested weekly through the summer months.

A park permit is required of each vehicle entering Bluestem State Recreation Area.

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