When it's time to head out with your rod and reel this year make sure you know the new fishing laws. As of January 1 several fishing regulations are being implemented in South Dakota.

They include aquatic invasive species, possession limits, species limits, and spearing regulations and updated paddlefish laws.

Checkout the list below and remember to pick up a copy of the 2019 South Dakota Fishing Handbook.

Aquatic Invasive Species

  • Lake Yankton has been added to the list of containment waters.
  • Starry Stonewort has been added to the list of aquatic invasive species.

Domicile Possession Limits

  • The fish possession limit is unlimited at a person’s domicile. A domicile is a person’s established, fixed, and permanent home to which the person, whenever absent, has the present intention of returning. Places that are NOT domiciles include hotels, motels, summer cabins, campers, sleeper ice shacks, travel trailers, etc. Nonresidents may not exceed the established possession limit for each species of fish because they do not have a domicile in South Dakota.

Fish Limits

  • The 15” minimum length restriction for Walleye has been removed from all waters that have a four fish Walleye daily limit except for waters with evaluations in progress. Waters with 15” minimums removed include:
  • Clear Lake and Roy Lake (Marshall County), Richmond Lake (Brown County), Elm Lake (Brown/McPherson Counties), Enemy Swim and Pickerel Lakes (Day County) and Lake Mitchell and Firesteel Creek (Davison County).
  • Black Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass) size restrictions have been removed from all waters except Burke Lake (Gregory County), New Wall Lake (Pennington County) and Lake Yankton (Yankton County).
  • The 1 trout over 14” in a daily limit regulation has been removed from Black Hills lakes. The regulation remains in place for Black Hills streams.
  • There is now a minimum length limit of 24” and a daily limit of 1 for Lake Trout or Splake in the Black Hills Fish Management Area.
  • There is now a minimum length limit of 28” and a daily limit of 1 for Walleye on Horseshoe Lake (Day County).
  • White Bass and Rock Bass daily and possession limits have been removed from all inland waters within South Dakota.


  • Anglers obtaining a Lake Francis Case paddlefish tag may now take paddlefish by snagging or bow and arrow.


  • The requirement for purchase of a game fish spearing and archery permit has been removed.
  • The spearing season for Northern Pike and catfish on inland waters (except for waters currently managed for muskie) is now year round.
  • The entirety of Lake Sharpe and Lake Francis Case are now open to spearing of game fish from May 1 – March 31.
  • Spearing and archery are now prohibited in Angostura Marina and Lewis and Clark Lake Marina.
  • Rough fish spearing on SD-Nebraska boundary waters is now open 24 hours per day, year round.
  • Crossbows may now be used to take rough fish on the SD-Nebraska boundary waters.
  • ·The game fish spearing and archery season on the SD-Nebraska boundary waters now runs from July 1 – December 31.

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