Noem signs aquatic invasive species bill that takes effect immediately

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem has signed legislation to protect South Dakota’s public waters and prevent the spread of invasive species. House Bill 1033 works to prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species by requiring the inspection and decontamination of boats.

Each year, zebra mussels and other invasive species cause billions of dollars in damages across the United States. Zebra mussels, an invasive species found in five South Dakota lakes, attach to hard objects to live, reproduce rapidly, and move quickly. The mussels clog irrigation lines and damage boat motors and docks. Their sharp shells can wash up on shorelines in large numbers making recreation difficult or even dangerous.

This bill addresses invasive species by giving Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) authority to establish inspection and decontamination stations at boat ramps; authorizes law enforcement and GFP to inspect and require decontamination of boats; and creates repercussions for transporting invasive species. The legislation goes into effect immediately.