South Dakota GFP Proposes Petition Process to Restrict Lake Use

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South Dakota Lake Use

South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks

PIERRE, S.D. -( The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission during the July Commission meeting adopted a proposal to establish a process where landowners can request the restriction of recreational use of nonmeandered waters for public use.

“The Legislature gave the GFP Commission the authority to decide on requests to restrict nonmeandered lakes. The process being considered by the Commission will give landowners who reside on one of the 27 Section 8 lakes the ability to formally make those requests,” stated Kelly Hepler, GFP department secretary.

Petitioning landowners must first complete and submit the petition form which can found online. Landowners can complete and submit the form online or print and mail the form to GFP.

Upon submission of the form, the Commission will schedule and post a hearing date based on the availability of the landowner and the Commission. The hearing agenda will be publicly posted and the hearing will be open to the public. Prior to the Commission’s decision, the department will work with the landowner to determine temporary solutions to accommodate the landowner and the public.

Following the hearing, the Commission will adopt a resolution that grants the petition in part or full, or denies the petition stating its reasons for partial or complete denial. State law requires the Commission to consider privacy, safety and substantially affected financial interests of the landowner as well as history of use, water quality and quantity and the public’s interest in recreational use of the water.

Final adoption of the petition process rule will be considered at the Commission meeting in September, after which they will then accept and consider petitions for closing waters to public access.


The proposed rule will pertain to the following 27 Section 8 nonmeandered lakes:

  1. Casey’s Slough, Cottonwood GPA, Dry #1, Dry #2, Round, and Swan in Clark County;
  2. Deep and Goose in Codington County;
  3. East Krause, Lynn, and Middle Lynn, in Day County;
  4. North Scatterwood in Edmunds County;
  5. Three Buck in Hamlin County;
  6. Bullhead, Cattail-Kettle, and Opitz in Marshall County;
  7. Island South in McCook County;
  8. Keisz in McPherson County;
  9. Grass, Loss, Scott, and Twin in Minnehaha County;
  10. Twin in Sanborn County;
  11. Cottonwood and Mud in Spink County;
  12. Cottonwood in Sully County; and
  13. Dog Ear in Tripp County, South Dakota.

“We continue to encourage conversations from landowners and those who hunt, fish and recreate in our state about the changes and the impacts of the Open Waters Compromise. Together, let’s all contribute to the conversations to ensure our state’s outdoor heritage is conserved and that the quality of life we all enjoy here is taken care of now and into the future,” concluded Hepler.