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State Parks Remain Open, Fishing Conditions Good

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks

There are restrictions on business activity around the state to reduce transmission of the coronavirus. However, state officials say South Dakota’s parks and outdoor recreation areas are open. 

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks secretary Kelly Hepler stated they’ve modified some of the park operations.

"We don’t have people manning the stations, so we’re letting people go in, don’t need a park pass. Once we are back up and running again, come back in a buy a park pass, so this is a grace period. We don’t have our comfort stations open, but we do have all our potties are open for people to use," explained Hepler. "Certainly all the trails are open. Around here in Pierre we have the shooting range and archery range, and that’s true in a lot of the places around the state. We don’t have some of the popular places like the outdoor campuses. Those are closed, just for the benefit of the public."

Hepler said it’s also a great time for fishing in South Dakota. He said anglers are catching walleye and pike. He reminds people to abide by the CDC guidelines - to minimize numbers and avoid groups. 

The agency is actively cleaning the amenities at parks, like picnic tables and bathrooms. However, people are encouraged to regularly wash their hands and use good hygiene if they are spending time in the outdoors.