Crystal Park Pond stocked with trout Conservation Corner 10-23-13

Posted October 22, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Fishing limited to kids until Nov. 1

The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks stocked 400 rainbow trout in the pond at the Miller City Park on October 3. In the past, the Masonic Lodge in Miller sponsored a kids’ fishing derby at the park. I haven’t heard back from them if they plan on doing that again this year but I will keep you posted if anything is planned in the next few weeks. Kids will be allowed to fish the pond from the date that this article is published in The Miller Press. As in past years, the pond will be opened up to any fisherman after November 1. The daily limit of five on trout still applies. A valid fishing license is needed for anyone 16 years old and older; anyone under 16 years is not required to purchase a fishing license. If you have any questions, contact my office at 853-3644.

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I have received a few reports of people finding dead deer in the area. I have investigated about 12 dead deer so far that have been attributed to EHD. This has been caused by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease virus (EHD) also referred to as bluetongue virus. EHD is seasonal and occurs in late summer or early fall. Last year the southern counties in South Dakota were hit especially hard by this disease. It is caused by a biting midge found in stagnant water and usually found during hot, dry years. Once there is a hard frost, the midges die off and then the disease is usually over. However, I expect to receive reports when people continue to harvest their fields and start walking their fields during pheasant season. I should get a better handle on how many deer were affected in the next week or so. The disease is not transferable to humans, and the disease usually kills the deer within several days so the chances of a hunter harvesting an infected deer are very slim.

An easy way to tell if the deer died from EHD is if it is found in or near a waterhole. I found one dugout north of Highway 26 where three deer were lying right in the water. If you find any dead deer in the next few weeks, please give me a call so I can take a look to see what caused their deaths.

Even though the pheasant population is down roughly 66 percent from last year, I’ve had a lot of calls from nonresidents who still plan to return to South Dakota this year. Most of the people who called didn’t care that the pheasant numbers are down, as they said they come out to enjoy time with family and friends, and the chance to harvest a pheasant is just a bonus.

I have heard from a few groups who called and had cancelled their trips because of the lower pheasant numbers, but most of them planned on returning in the future. As for the resident-only pheasant season, there were about half the people hunting that weekend than normally come here and hunt. They averaged about one pheasant per person per day. There is no doubt that hunters will have to work a lot harder this year than the past 10 or 15 years to get birds.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office at 853-3644. If you need to contact the state trapper Jason Burt, please call him directly at 223-7645.

Crystal Park Pond stocked with trout

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