South Dakota fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in South Dakota. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in South Dakota

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5 waterbodies
32 cities
28 fish

What kind of fish can you catch in South Dakota

Below are 28 types of fish that can be caught in South Dakota. The data have been collected based on fishing reports from South Dakota and have undergone serious moderation. Explore the map of South Dakota to find out where a particular type of fish is biting.

Lakes and reservoirs for fishing in South Dakota

Below are the largest and most popular lakes, reservoirs, and bays for fishing in South Dakota. Each South Dakota body of water includes information on fish species, analytics, and a map with fishing spots

Licenses for fishing in South Dakota

License Type Resident Fee Non-Resident Fee
Annual Fishing $28 $67
1-Day Fishing $8 $16
3-Day Fishing - $37
Senior Fishing (Age 65 and older) $12 -
Setline License $5 -
Hoop Net License $10 -
Nursing Facility Group License $35 -
Combination (Small game + fishing) $55 -
Senior Combination (Age 65+) $40 -
Reduced Fee Hunting and Fishing Card (for disabled/veterans) $10 (4 years) -

Please note that these fees are for general fishing licenses and may vary for other types of fishing like commercial or subsistence fishing. Also, there are special rules and fees for hunting and trapping licenses. For the most accurate and detailed information, and to purchase a fishing license online, visit the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks website.

Fishing Regulations in South Dakota

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Use of explosives, poisons, or electrical devices for fishing is illegal.
  • Fishing with nets, traps, or seines is restricted to specific permits and designated areas.
  • Use of live fish as bait is limited in certain waters to protect native species.
  • Snagging fish is allowed only in designated areas during specific seasons.
  • Spearing and bowfishing are permitted for certain species in specified waters.
Catch Limits
  • Walleye and Sauger: Daily limit varies by lake, typically 4, with size restrictions.
  • Northern Pike: Daily limit varies, often 3-6, with size restrictions in some waters.
  • Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth): Daily limit of 5, size limits vary by water body.
  • Trout: Daily limit varies by area, typically 5 fish with size restrictions.
  • Panfish (Bluegill, Crappie, Perch): Daily limits vary, often 15-25 combined.
  • Catfish: Daily limit varies, typically 5-10, with size restrictions for some species.
  • Muskellunge: Daily limit of 1, minimum length of 40 inches.
  • Sturgeon: Catch-and-release only in most waters; specific harvest opportunities are limited.
  • Salmon: Daily limit varies, generally 5 fish.
  • Paddlefish: Seasonal and area-specific limits, catch-and-release only in certain areas.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • Access to some waters may be restricted for environmental conservation or public safety reasons.
  • Fishing on private property requires explicit permission from the landowner.
  • Special regulations for fishing in state parks and wildlife refuges.
  • No fishing zones enforced around certain infrastructures like dams and fish hatcheries.
  • Seasonal access restrictions in certain areas for fish spawning and habitat management.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Catch-and-release areas for certain species, especially trout and bass.
  • Areas with gear restrictions, such as artificial lures only or fly fishing zones.
  • Slot limits for bass and other species in certain lakes and rivers.
  • Special regulations in waters with high fishing pressure or ecological sensitivity.
  • Trophy fisheries with enhanced size and bag limits in selected areas.
Protection of Rare Species
  • Fishing for endangered or threatened species is strictly prohibited.
  • Special regulations in habitats of rare or sensitive aquatic species.
  • Research fishing for rare species requires special permits.
  • Reporting accidental catches of rare species is important for conservation efforts.
  • Areas with significant ecological value may have additional fishing restrictions.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Closed seasons for specific species during spawning or migration periods.
  • Ice fishing regulations, including shelter and gear restrictions, during winter months.
  • Seasonal closures in sensitive ecological areas for species protection and habitat restoration.
  • Temporary closures during environmental events or for population studies.
  • Special regulations for early and late fishing seasons in certain areas.

Most popular cities for fishing in South Dakota

The largest and most popular fishing cities in South Dakota. Cities in South Dakota include information on fishing, as well as a map with fishing spots. Explore the cities to know what fish are caught and in which bodies of water.

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