GFP Commission proposes catch-and-release rule for muskellunge

Staff reports
Farm Forum

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission rejected a petition to increase the minimum-length limit for muskellunge, including tiger muskies, in South Dakota. Instead, the commission proposed changing the harvest restrictions to catch and release only. Currently, the harvest restrictions for muskellunge include a 40-inch minimum-length limit with a daily limit of one fish.

A petition was submitted to the commission requesting that the length limit for harvesting muskies be increased to 50 inches. Currently, South Dakota has five lakes that are managed for this fish species. They are Lynn and Middle Lynn in Day County, West Highway 81 in Kingsbury County, Sinai in Brookings County and North Island Lake in McCook and Minnehaha Counties.

Muskie populations in these lakes are supported by stocking 9- to 12-inch fish every other year. Muskies over 50 inches have been documented in lakes with a longer history of muskie management, such as Lynn Lake.

The commission will consider adopting the catch-and-release regulation during its next meeting March 1-2 at the RedRossa Convention Center, when public comments will be heard. Written comments, which must include name and city of residence, can be emailed to wildinfo@state.sd.us or mailed to 523 E. Capitol Ave, Pierre, SD 57501.

For more information, go to gfp.sd.gov/commission/archives/.