PIERRE - S.D. Game, Fish and Parks officials are reminding anglers that walleye size limits on lakes Sharpe, Francis Case and the Missouri River below the Fort Randall Dam to the Nebraska border have been removed until Sept. 1.
Missouri River Fisheries Administrator Jim Riis said the size limits are removed during July and August for Lakes Sharpe and Francis Case because warm water temperatures reduce the chance of released fish surviving. Also, fishing pressure on these two reservoirs has peaked by then.
He added that lakes Sharpe and Francis Case traditionally get the bulk of their fishing pressure in May and June. "Other waters in South Dakota see fishing pressure increase through July, so the regulations are needed."
Riis said it is important for anglers to remember that the regulation of one walleye of 18 inches or longer is still in effect for Lake Oahe during August. "Most years, the peak of the fishing season on Lake Oahe occurs during July and August. If that regulation was not in effect on Lake Oahe during these two months, higher harvest rates of larger walleye could eliminate the benefit of the regulation during the other 10 months of the year."
Officials also recommend that anglers fishing deep water (30 feet or deeper), especially during the warmer summer months, should simply keep the first four legal-sized fish that they catch. This strategy will greatly reduce the number of walleye that die from the stress of being caught and released from deep water.