The Legislature’s Rules Review Committee decided 3-2 on Monday that the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission properly acted in banning discharge of firearms and fishing from boats for part of the year on a nonmeandered water body in Clark County.
The restrictions apply on privately owned Indian Springs basin, near Clark, from Oct. 10 through ice-up or Dec. 31, whichever arrives first. Floodwaters connect Indian Springs with publicly owned Antelope Lake, which remains open.
The Indian Springs closure came at the request of some landowners who want a place for waterfowl to rest during fall hunting. Landowners hope to have better waterfowl hunting on adjacent croplands where birds feed.
The restricted area covers 1,730 acres of the 2,661-acre basin. The Legislature met in special session last year to set state laws on nonmeandered waters. GFP commissioners adopted the Indian Springs regulations Sept. 6 at their meeting in Yankton.
The restrictions are consistent with some on other South Dakota waters, according to Tony Leif, director for the state Wildlife Division.
“I think it’s important to point out these dates were a compromise,” Leif told legislators Monday. He said ice fishing and boat fishing would be open for three-fourths of the year.
Sen. Craig Kennedy, D-Yankton, asked whether property owners charged people to hunt.
“To the best of my knowledge, no,” Leif said.
Voting to support the rule were Sen. Alan Solano, R-Rapid City; Rep. Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton; and Rep. Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls. Voting against were Sen. Lance Russell, R-Hot Springs, and Kennedy.
Among other rules that received the green light Monday were revisions by the state Department of Veterans Affairs.