Drought-stricken lakes open to liberalized fishing

Drought-stricken lakes open to liberalized fishing Due to decreasing water levels caused by the drought, several lakes in southeastern South Dakota are open to liberalized fishing from Oct. 1 through Feb. 29, 2004.

These include Lake Cavour in Beadle County, lakes Goldsmith and East Oakwood in Brookings County and lakes Preston, Spirit and Whitewood in Kingsbury County.

"Each of these lakes has a history of frequent winterkill under water conditions better than they are now," said Todd St. Sauver, Game, Fish and Parks regional fisheries manager in Sioux Falls. "We are trying to be proactive and give anglers an opportunity to harvest a few more fish from these lakes because they are likely to winterkill this year."

St. Sauver noted that in the past, by the time officials discover low oxygen levels and open the lakes to liberalized fishing, the fish have usually become so stressed they don't bite.

Liberalized fishing allow anglers to use up to six lines to harvest game and non-game fish. Snagging, spears, legal dip nets, legal lift nets, legal cast nets and legal minnow seines are also allowed. The daily limit is up to three times the hook and line daily and possession limits and length limits do not apply. Anglers should check pages 33-34 of the 2003 Fishing Handbook for additional information about liberalized fishing.

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