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Amazing Facts About Aquatic Invaders

We have been telling you about aquatic invasive species (AIS) all summer and what you can do to slow the spread of these nasty plants and animals. Now how about some simple and sometimes amazing facts about these aquatic invaders?

Silver and Bighead Carp

  • These species have the ability to leap 10 feet when startled.
  • These two species are the most important fish, worldwide in terms of total aquaculture (grown on fish farms for food) production.
  • One bighead carp can produce over 2,000,000 eggs.
  • In an effort to make the fish more appealing to Americans, the fish has been renamed silverfin or Kentucky tuna.

Zebra Mussels

  • These freshwater mussels were originally native to the lakes of southern Russia and the Ukraine.
  • They have a lifespan of 4-5 years.
  • An adult female zebra mussel can produce 30,000-40,000 eggs in each reproductive cycle and over 1 million eggs a year.
  • Most zebra mussel predators don’t live in North America. An adult crayfish can eat 100 zebra mussels a day. Smallmouth bass also are a predator.

Rusty Crayfish

  • Their name derives from the two rusty sots on the sides of their back.
  • Typically larger than other crayfish species and can grow to over 4 inches from their eyes to the tail.
  • Will displace other native crayfish species.
  • Females can carry up to 200 fertilized eggs under their tail.
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Reetz Lake near Webster, S.D. Open to Anglers on August 1

PIERRE, S.D. – As part of a signed access agreement with the landowners, Reetz Lake will be open to licensed anglers starting Aug. 1 – Sept. 30, 2018 and from May 1 – Sept. 30, 2019.  

Although the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission adopted regulation changes for the lake, the revised regulations will not take effect until the administrative rules process is complete and the rules are approved and filed with the Secretary of State. At the earliest, the new fishing regulations would take effect on Sept. 10, 2018.

“The Department is pleased to announce that after 15 months of being closed, Reetz Lake will once again be open to the public and even though the new regulations are not in effect Aug. 1, the landowners are willing to provide additional angling opportunities,” stated Kevin Robling, GFP special projects coordinator. “As a reminder to anglers, we ask everyone to recreate with respect and be aware of the size restriction changes likely to occur in September.”

From Aug. 1 – Sept. 10, daily fish limits for Reetz Lake include:

  • 1 walleye or sauger 28 inches or greater.
  • Only those largemouth and smallmouth bass less than 14 inches can be taken and only 1 greater than 18 inches.
  • Statewide regulations for all other species.

From Sept. 10 – 30, daily fish limits for Reetz Lake will be:

  • 1 walleye or sauger, 28 inches or greater.
  • 1 yellow perch, 14 inches or greater.
  • 1 black crappie, 15 inches or greater.
  • 1 bluegill, 10 inches or greater.
  • Statewide regulations for all other fish species.
    • Includes the year-round removal of the largemouth and smallmouth bass size restrictions.

Landowner permission is required to fish Reetz Lake from Oct. 1 – April 30.

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Jumping Fish and Anchored Mussels…Who Knew?

We have been sending emails to you all summer, trying to keep you informed of the laws and what South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is doing to try and slow the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in our great state.

We thought with the dog days of summer upon us, we would lighten the mood a little with a few interesting facts about AIS.

1. Asian carp were brought to the U.S. in the mid-1970’s to help clean commercial catfish rearing ponds, but did you know that in terms of aquaculture (producing fish for food),these carp are the fourth most produced fish in the world? They are a valued fish for eating and are extinct due to overfishing in much of their home range. Here is a video showing how to clean and prepare silver carp.

2. Asian carp are vocacious eaters of plankton and can eat 20%- 40% of their body weight in the micro-organism every day!

3. Although they prefer lakes, they require large rivers for spawning.  The eggs are semi-buoyant and it is believed they must remain suspended in the water column to survive. [Read more…]

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TAKE THE BAIT, NOT THE WATER

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Anglers are reminded that bait and fish may not be transported in water taken from a lake, river or stream. 

Bait can only be transported away from a water body in domestic water (tap water, well water, bottled water, ice). Most domestic water must be treated to remove chlorine prior to putting fish in it.

Boat anglers can wait until they reach an immediately adjacent fish cleaning station to put their bait in domestic water. They can dump out the lake water and fill their bait bucket up with water from the cleaning station or water they brought with them.

A shore angler can do the same if they are able to access the domestic water source at a fish cleaning station that is immediately adjacent or if they bring domestic water with them.SDG & P

Minnows may be used in multiple lakes as long as they are transported between lakes in domestic water. Lake water must be drained before leaving each lake.

Unused minnows should be poured into the fish grinder at a cleaning station or drained and disposed of in the trash containers at the boat launch or cleaning areas. It is a violation of state statute to dump unused minnows into a water body.

[Read more…]