New prices at state parks

The following fee changes were approved by the Game, Fish and Parks Commission earlier this fall and will go into effect on Dec. 1.
  • Lodge fees will increase by $25 per night.
    • Rates as of Dec. 1:
      • Mina Lake – $160 per night
      • Shadehill – $160 per night
      • Oahe Downstream -$150 per night
      • Lake Thompson – $225 per night
      • Newton Hills – $225 per night
      • Palisades – $225 per night
    • Lodges operated by private concessionaires (located at Angostura, Custer State Park, Roy Lake, and Lewis and Clark) are not affected.
    • Lodge reservations are currently being taken for all arrivals in 2011.
  • Campsite and camping cabin fees will increase by $2 per night.
  • Picnic shelter reservation fees will increase to $20 per day. Use of picnic shelters is free, but a reservation guarantees availability for group gatherings.
  • Custer State Park has eliminated its per person fee. Vehicles entering the park will need a $15 per vehicle pass or a $10 per motorcycle pass.
  • Annual park entrance licenses and daily fees at parks other than Custer will not change.

Revenue generated will be used for park operations in light of an anticipated reduction in state general fund support, higher utility costs and a multi-year effort to combat an infestion of mountain pine beetles in Custer State Park.

— From a state Game, Fish and Parks Department news release.

South Dakota Tourism celebrating top dogs

Fall is pheasant hunting season in South Dakota. Birds are easy to find, but a good hunting dog is a rare treasure. The look in a dog’s eyes that says, “Take me hunting” is hard to resist. That’s why South Dakota Tourism is on the hunt to reward the best dogs.

The “Take Me Hunting” photo contest launched on October 4, as a weekly photo contest on South Dakota Tourism’s Facebook page. Fans are encouraged to post pictures of their dog. In the first week of the contest, 143 photos were submitted. In the 6 weeks that the contest has been active, 325 photos have been submitted and South Dakota Tourism’s Facebook page has gained 500 fans.

The contest is in the seventh week of the eight week long photo contest. Each weekly winner is awarded a weekly prize consisting of dog treats, an orange “Take Me Hunting” dog collar, a stuffed bird and a collapsible water bowl. Each of the eight weekly winners will also be eligible for the grand prize of a $100 Cabela’s gift card.

To enter a photo in the contest, go to and upload a photo of your dog. Hunting dogs are encouraged, but all pooches are welcome.

-From a South Dakota Tourism news release



Provided by: Great Lakes of SD Tourism Association

Karen Kern, Executive Director

When you’re fishing in Central South Dakota, please patronize the local bait shops, resorts and all businesses. For a listing of Great Lakes Tourism Association members go to

Lake Oahe

In the Pollock area the bite is going strong and there is plenty of room for more people. It’s the time to get up there and catch some of those walleye.  Lots of limits coming in.  Anglers are using crawlers with most fishing being done around 20-28 feet.  Some smallmouth are also being caught.

At Mobridge the best bite of the year is on. Anglers are using bottom bouncers as well as crawlers and spinners in anywhere from 14-20 foot depths.

At Akaska the fishing is very good with anglers fishing in the 10-20 foot depths. Anglers are pulling plugs and also using crawlers.

At Gettysburg fishing has been good.  Walleye are being caught in 17-28 depths mainly using crawlers. Resorts are seeing a lot of fish limits coming in. If you’re looking for smallmouth action, now is the time to be out on the water. They are catching the smallmouth on crawlers and leeches – many anglers get them along with the walleye and they are fighters.

Around Spring/Cow Creek the fishing is very good around the Cheyenne Arm, Bush’s Landing, Sutton Bay and Little Bend.  Bait being used is crawlers and spinners or crankbaits in 15-40 feet. Salmon anglers are using primarily artificial bait and herring. The salmon bite is very good and they can be found around 75-100 feet.  For anglers wanting to try out some salmon fishing, now is the time to get in on the action.

Lake Sharpe has seen good walleye fishing in the Pierre area from the Oahe Dam down past Antelope Creek. Anglers are using spinners and crawlers or crankbaits.  Fishing should be good into the fall. At West Bend the fishing is steady for smaller fish with a lot of good rod-bending going on! Best fishing on Lake Sharpe north of Chamberlain is from Iron Nation to the Big Bend Dam in 15-20 feet of water.

Francis Case

Around Chamberlain on Francis Case the fishing is fair to good from Chamberlain to the Big Bend Dam in about the 15-20 foot depths. Anglers are using crankbaits and crawlers and there are limits coming in but you have to look for the fish with a different bite each day. Smallmouth are also biting in this area.

In the Platte area fishing is picking up! Anglers are having good luck south of the bridge around Platte Creek, pulling plugs over submerged trees. Best depth is 35-45 feet. Ramps are open and camping has been very busy.

At the Pickstown and Wagner areas walleye fishing on the lake from South Shore north to Wheeler has been fair. Anglers have seen a crawler bite in 15-22 feet of water. Fishing below the dam has been slow.

Around Lewis & Clark Lake catfish can be caught on stink bait. White bass are being caught by trolling along the face of the dam in 18-24 feet of water, but only a few walleye are being caught.

At Lake Yankton largemouth bass fishing is going well using artificial purple worms with glitter. Take your kids out fishing for an afternoon and get some sunfish using worms.

In the Springfield area they are catching lots of catfish using stink bait.

On the Missouri River they are catching bluegill and crappie on minnows and worms. The catfish bit seems to be the best on stink bait. Drum can be caught on crawdads. Down along the Nebraska Handicapped section, anglers are catching bluegill, channel catfish, flatheads and small mouth bass.

For more information and up-to-the-minute reports on fishing Lake Oahe, please call West Pollock Resort, 605-889-2448; Kemnitz MoRest Motel in Mobridge at 605-845-3668. Call Bob’s Resort at 605-765-2500 or South Whitlock Resort at 605-765-9762 in Gettysburg. On the lower end of Lake Oahe, call Spring Creek Resort at 605-224-8336 and Lake Oahe/Lake Sharpe call Carl’s Bait Shop at 605-223-9453. On Lake Francis Case, contact the Platte Chamber of Commerce at 888-297-8175, and Fort Randall Bait & Tackle at 605-487-7760 in Pickstown. On Lewis & Clark contact Captain Norms Bait Shop at 605-665-4271.

*Please remember that the fishing conditions in our great state change constantly and this report is simply a guideline.*

Labor Day Weekend Events Wrap Up Summer

From the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks:

PIERRE, S.D. – Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of the summer, and South Dakota State Parks invite you to come out and enjoy special weekend events.

  • Over the River and Through the Woods hike, Lewis and Clark Recreation Area near Yankton, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. CDT. Take an evening hike along the Gavin’s Point Nature Trail. Info: 605-668-2985
  • Southern Hills Triathlon, Angostura Recreation Area near Hot Springs, Sept. 4, at 7 a.m. MDT. Athletes can participate in a kids’ triathlon, sprint triathlon, Olympic distance triathlon, or duathlon. There is a fee to participate in the event and individuals or teams may enter. Participants can register online at . Info: 605-745-4463 or 605-745-3494.
  • Pie Iron Cooking is a Piece of Cake, Lewis and Clark Recreation Area near Yankton, Sept. 4, at 4 p.m. CDT. Learn the basics of Dutch oven cooking, from starting a fire to using pie irons. Info: 605-668-2985
  • All Campers’ Potluck, Indian Creek Recreation Area near Mobridge, Sept. 4, at 5:30 p.m. CDT. The entire campground is invited to a potluck. Entertainment will be provided by a DJ. Info: 605-845-7112
  • Campsite Decorating Contest, Oakwood Lakes State Park near Volga and Lake Poinsett Recreation Area near Arlington, Sept. 4-5. Campers, bring supplies to decorate your campsites! Judging takes place at 5 p.m. CDT Saturday. Prizes for all! Info: 605-627-5441
  • Kids Bicycle Parades, Sept. 5, at 9:30 a.m. CDT at North Point Recreation Area and 11:30 a.m. CDT at Randall Creek Recreation both near Pickstown. Kids need to bring only their bikes, as decorations will be provided for these end-of-the-summer events! Info: 605-487-7046.
  • Palisades Amazing Family Dash, Palisades State Park near Garretson, Sept. 5, at 10 a.m. CDT. Can your family make it in this fast-paced race? The real challenge is, before you can travel to your next location, you’ll need to complete a special task. Teams must include children younger than 17 and at least one adult. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams. Pre-registration is not required. Info: 605-594-3824.

For more information on the South Dakota State Parks, please visit or call 605-773-3391. To learn about park programs in your area, contact your local state park office.