All motorized boats have to utilize designated boat ramps at Belle Fourche Reservoir

 The recent discovery of zebra mussels in South Dakota’s Lake Sharpe has prompted the Bureau of Reclamation to immediately require all motorized watercraft to launch and retrieve from designated boat ramps at Belle Fourche Reservoir.

“Reclamation, South Dakota Game Fish and Parks, and the Belle Fourche Irrigation District are concerned that zebra mussels will make their way to Belle Fourche Reservoir, which is less than 120 miles from Lake Sharpe,” said Area Manager Arden Freitag. “We hope to delay any introduction of zebra mussels by being proactive.”

Invasive zebra mussels move from lake to lake by people carrying them on their boats. As such, current South Dakota law requires all boaters to pull all drain plugs before leaving a boat ramp parking lot. Plugs must remain out until the boat’s next launch. Additionally, boats cannot transport lake water past the boat ramp parking lot.

Bill Eastman, Conservation Officer with South Dakota Game Fish and Parks reminds the public that a good practice for all boaters and anglers to follow is the Clean, Drain, Dry procedure.

• Clean off visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from all equipment before leaving water access.

• Drain motor, bilge, livewell, and other water containing devices before leaving water access.

• Dry everything for at least five days or wipe with a towel before reuse.

 For more information regarding this restriction or other issues pertaining to Belle Fourche Reservoir, call Jay Leasure, Bureau of Reclamation, 605-519-5504. For questions related to Rocky Point Recreation Area, contact Brad Nelson, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks at 605-641-0023. To learn more about zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species, visit SDLeastWanted.com.

Hunt For Habitat Winners announced

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department (GFP) announced the winners of their first Hunt for Habitat raffle.

The Hunt for Habitat raffle is part of Governor Kristi Noem's Second Century Initiative, which works to ensure the next generation has an opportunity to enjoy South Dakota’s outdoor heritage.

“As South Dakota’s Sportsman in Chief, I’m committed to protecting and enhancing habitat so the next generation can have the same outdoor opportunities we’ve enjoyed for the last 100 years. It is exciting to see folks step up to support habitat through the Hunt for Habitat raffle,” said Governor Noem. “Advancing habitat in South Dakota touches every aspect of life in our state – from the outdoor activities we enjoy to the honey we eat. The funds raised through this raffle will help create and improve hunting opportunities. Thank you to all who participated."

The raffle offered four prizes:

A Trophy Custer State Park Bison license, which was a separate drawing and open to resident and nonresidents.

Three "triple tag" winners will receive an antelope, deer, and elk license. Nonresidents were eligible to win one of the three “triple tag” prizes.

Winners may use their licenses in either the 2019 or 2020 season. Each winner will also choose the weapon and season in which they will use their tag.

The raffle raised $320,990 to improve habitat in South Dakota to help all animals thrive – that means everything from butterflies and other pollinators to deer, elk, pheasants and everything in between.

The money raised will be used to improve habitat on both public and private lands, along with improving access to public hunting areas across South Dakota.

The Custer Trophy Buffalo tag goes to Sheryl Leland of Mitchell.

The three “triple tag” winners will each receive a tag for an antelope, a deer, and an elk. Those winners are:

• Meyers Delaney of Jacksonville, Florida

• Travis Haan of Rapid City

• Keith Hagen of Mitchell


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