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Rules and Regulations

Wetland 512 x 290There are lots of fun, interesting, and educational things for you to enjoy at the Madison Wetland Management District.  When in doubt about rules or regulations regarding a specific activity, please check with the Madison WMD office before participating in that activity.  Be safe and have fun! 

This page applies to the South Dakota Public Use Regulations of Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA) in the Madison Wetland Management District (WMD).  Wildlife-dependent recreational activities are allowed on WPAs, including hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education, and interpretation. Please observe the following regulations to protect natural resources and to help ensure that your visit will be safe and enjoyable.    

HUNTING, FISHING, AND TRAPPING:  Eastern South Dakota is a popular area for hunting waterfowl, ring-necked pheasants, and white-tailed deer.  When hunting with a shotgun, hunters must use and possess only approved non-toxic shot. Lead bullets in rifles and muzzle loaders are allowed in accordance with State regulations.  Persons possessing, transporting,or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuge System lands must comply with all provisions of state and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (50 CFR 27.42) and specific refuge regulations in 50 CFR Part 32).  Many lakes throughout the District offer good fishing for walleye, perch, crappie, and northern pike. 

For further information on hunting, fishing, and trapping, check with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parksfor details regarding hunting licenses, season dates, bag limits, and other regulations. 


DOGS:  The use of dogs is encouraged for hunting. Dogs are allowed for other activities only if the dog is confined to a vehicle, boat, fish house, or is on a leash controlled by the handler. Dog training is prohibited.

HORSES:  The use of horses is not allowed on WPAs. 

CAMPING:  No overnight camping is allowed. 

MOTORIZED VEHICLES:  The use of all motorized vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles, is restricted. 

BOATS:  Boats are allowed while engaged in permitted public use activities. Boats that must be launched from a trailer are limited to those waters that are accessible from a right-of-way or designated road. 

EQUIPMENT REMOVAL:  With the exception of tree stands and ice houses, all personal property including, but not limited to boats, decoys, trail cameras, portable blinds, and any materials brought into the area for blind construction, must be removed at the end of each day. Blinds constructed of dead and down materials gathered on-site may be left throughout the hunting season. 

TREE STANDS:  Portable tree stands and free-standing elevated platforms may be used in accordance with State regulations.  The use of nails, wire, screws, or bolts to attach a stand or steps to a tree is prohibited.

FIRES AND FIREWORKS:  No open fires are allowed. The use or possession of fireworks is prohibited. 

TARGET SHOOTING:  Although these WPAs are open to hunting, the use of all firearms for target practice is prohibited. 

POSSESSION OF FIREARMS:  Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuge System lands must comply with all provisions of State and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (50 CFR 27.42 and specific refuge regulations in 50 CFR Part 32). 

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES:  The use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting is prohibited. 

PACK IT IN- PACK IT OUT:  There are no trash facilities on site. Please take all garbage and other refuse with you and dispose of properly. Take pride in your Waterfowl Production Areas and help keep them clean. 

OBSERVATION OF VIOLATIONS:  If you observe a violation of these regulations, or any other violations of federal, state, or local laws or regulations, please report them immediately. You may contact the South Dakota Turn in Poachers (TIPS) at 1.888.OVERBAG (683-7224), your local County Sheriff by calling 911, or the Madison Wetland Management District at (605)256-2974. Information such as a legal description, violation observed, and identifying information such as a license plate will be very helpful in contacting the suspect. Do not jeopardize your safety in any way to obtain this information. 

SPECIAL USE PERMITS:  A use not listed above may be allowed.  However, if allowed, it will require a Special Use Permit. The permit can be requested from the Madison WMD Office. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Additional information can be obtained by contacting Madison WMD office at 605-256-2974 or 23520 SD Hwy 19, Madison, SD  57042. 

Last Updated: Jun 05, 2014
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