Upon the discovery last summer of the Asian carp in the North Dakota stretch of the James River near LaMoure, researchers from the South Dakota State University arrived at Sand Lake in an attempt to locate the invasive silver and bighead carp as it moves upstream. Although none were found during the study, they certainly have/are passing through. With a valid concern over the continued spread, the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department has placed "Asian Carp Alert!" signs along the James River to inform anglers of the carp’s presence.
What should I do if I wrangle an Asian carp out of a Sand Lake NWR fishing location?
1. To avoid accidental introduction into untainted waters, do not transport live Asian carp.
2. Contact the Sand Lake NWR staff or the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department and let them know where you caught it.
3. Bon appetit – they’re not bad tasting.
For additional information on the Asian carp invasion in South Dakota, check out the Game, Fish & Parks Aquatic Nuisance page.
Sport Fishing Regulations
Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge allows fishing at five locations. The following rules and regulations apply to all fishing areas in the refuge.
All Season Regulations
Fishing is allowed only at designated sites marked on the map. Please stay within the fishing areas and obey all signs
All state fishing regulations apply. Please consult the 2012 South Dakota Fishing Handbook for further information or special regulations pertaining to the James River.
The refuge is open daylight hours only. This includes from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
Boating (motorized or non-motorized) is not allowed. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the ice during the winter season.
During open water, anglers must fish from the bank or on the shoreline. Fishing from bridges on Brown County Highways 5, 16, and State Highway 10 is prohibited.
Ice shacks or houses must be removed daily. No overnight ice shacks allowed. Power augers are permitted.
No open fires and please do not litter. Pack your trash up with you including fish debris! Help keep your national wildlife refuge clean.
Ice conditions change rapidly near bridges and water control structures. Be aware of current ice conditions. Use Caution!
When parking along road grades, please pull completely off the road to avoid hazards to yourself and to passing traffic.