GFP offers free park entrance and free fishing to celebrate summer

GFP offers free park entrance and free fishing to celebrate summer

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GFP offers free park entrance and

free fishing to celebrate summer

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is holding one of the traditional rites of spring, the Open House and Free Fishing Weekend Friday through Sunday.

The promotion grants free park entrance and free fishing statewide for both residents and nonresidents. Fishing regulations and limits as well as camping fees still apply.

While the customary park programming is still on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, parks will still be offering online fun through the Department and specific park social media channels.

“Open House and Free Fishing Weekend is a time-honored tradition in South Dakota,” said State Parks Director Scott Simpson. “It’s a great opportunity for folks to shake off the cobwebs, check out the parks, and participate in their favorite outdoor activity. Our parks are a great place to social distance, and we all deserve some quality time in the outdoors.”

Simpson also stated that visitors will start seeing some normalcy in available amenities such as showers, bathrooms and fish cleaning stations.

"Comfort stations will be cleaned thoroughly each day and inspected often. However, taking responsibility for your own health is imperative during this time," Simpson said.

To be as self-sufficient as possible, plan to:

• Get your park entrance license online before your visit by calling or going online

• Use the restroom facility in your camper rather than public facilities

• Bring a personal supply of hand sanitizer, disinfectant and soap to decontaminate shared spaces before you use them

• Wear masks when you interact with others

When you do use a shared facility, adhere to the following guidelines:

• To limit exposure, use your own facilities whenever possible (camper, tables, etc.)

• Limit contact with frequently-touched surfaces

• Practice social distancing at all times; stay six feet away from others

• Follow CDC personal hygiene guidelines

• Leave the facility clean

• Wash hands or use hand sanitizer after use

"Parks' staff have done an incredible job of working to get our parks in good condition for this weekend and beyond," Simpson said. "We will be taking all the recommended CDC precautions as well as extra cleaning to ensure our visitors comfort and safety."

Camping reservations are still available for Open House Weekend in many parks. Make reservations online at campsd.com or by calling 1.800.710.CAMP.

GFP announces dates for tail submissions

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) has scheduled three tail submission opportunities for the Nest Predator Bounty Program. Tails can be submitted until July 1 or until the $250,000 cap is reached. Due to COVID-19, special guidelines and submission dates are in place for the safety of participants and GFP staff.

The first submission opportunities took place on May 8, and two more will follow on May 15 and May 29 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations:

 • Sioux Falls - Game, Fish and Parks Shop/DOT Complex (Not the Outdoor Campus): 5316 W 60th St N, Sioux Falls, SD, 57107

• Huron - Huron Fairgrounds Shop: Midway Ave. and 2nd St. SW Huron, SD, 57350 (about 1 block west and 1 block north of the GFP Office located at 895 3rd St. SW)

• Rapid City - Game, Fish and Parks Shop: 4130 Adventure Trail, Rapid City, SD 57702

• Chamberlain - Game, Fish and Parks Office: 1550 East King Avenue Chamberlain, SD 57325

• Fort Pierre - Game, Fish and Parks Office: 20641 SD Hwy 1806, Fort Pierre, SD 57532

• Mobridge - Game, Fish and Parks Office: 909 Lake Front Drive, Mobridge, SD 57601

• Webster - Game, Fish and Parks Office: 603 East 8th Avenue, Webster, SD 57274

• Watertown - Game, Fish and Parks Office: 400 West Kemp, Watertown, SD 57201

• Aberdeen - Game, Fish and Parks Office: 5850 East Highway 12, Aberdeen, SD 57401

At each location, signs will be posted and GFP staff will be on hand to provide instructions and direct traffic.

Due to COVID-19 please note these special instructions for tail submissions:

• If you are feeling ill, please stay home.

• Stay in your vehicle unless directed by GFP staff.

• Follow signs and instructions from GFP staff on traffic flow and the submission process.

• GFP staff will come to your vehicle window to complete the necessary paperwork and count tails.

• An electronic affidavit will be signed by GFP with your verbal consent.

• A valid ID (driver’s license) is required.

• A hunting or fishing license is required unless the participant is under 18 years of age or is a landowner harvesting predators from their property.

More information will be available on future tail submission opportunities. Please be sure to have tails frozen and in bags that allow easy identification and counting.

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