Non-Meandered Water

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The South Dakota Senate is denying to take up a bill that opens all non-meandered lakes to recreational use.

Senate Bill 199 opens any non-meandered lakes over private property. Recreationists could use those lakes without permission from the landowner.

Recreationists and supporters of the bill are calling for a due process to open public waters over private land.

It’s the opposite of what’s been called the “Open Waters Compromise” that lawmakers passed last summer.

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard delivers his final State of the State address to a joint session of lawmakers. He discusses workforce development, teacher salaries and extending the Open Waters Compromise.

Kent Osborne / SDPB

One state lawmaker says he hopes a special session is called very soon to determine what beneficial use of non-meandered water is for the public.
 
During day two of public hearings on the issue in Aberdeen, State Senator Brock Greenfield says he hopes a special legislative session is called soon to consider any legislation.
 

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

An issue that infiltrated the 1990's is catching the eye of South Dakotans who fish.

The South Dakota Supreme Court will rule on the second of two lawsuits pertaining to public access to bodies of water for recreation. It’s an issue that took center stage in Day County where several bodies of water formed more than two decades ago following heavy snow and spring rains.

Since then sportsmen have wanted access to the water that pools on private property, but landowners want their privacy. State law holds water in trust for “beneficial use” for the public.