Most of the area lakes are froze over. The James River will remain open for a while, because of the water flow. Anglers need to use caution around the ice because of the weather and water conditions. Be careful before venturing out on the ice.
Waterfowl: The ducks and geese have all migrated south for the winter. The Canada goose season closes on Dec 22, and the snow goose season closes on Jan 10th.
Pheasants: Birds are grouped up and have moved to winter cover, and food sources. Hunters that are hunting in cattails by standing corn have had the best success. Sand Lake Refuge pheasant season opened on Dec 9th.
Deer: Deer are starting to go to their wintering areas and are starting to herd up. Deer are still moving in the mornings and evenings.
Conditions for getting outside this weekend were not ideal. There were some ice anglers out throughout the county, having minimal success on area lakes.
Waterfowl: Very few geese left in the area.
Deer: There was a few hunters out this past weekend for the antlerless deer season. Standing corn fields are still holding deer as well.
Pheasants: Individuals still willing to chase roosters are being rewarded with some birds. Look for birds to be taking refuge in cattail sloughs, with most of them being froze up by now.
Goose: Fishermen are catching a few walleyes around the evening.
Blythe: Fishermen are catching a few walleye and perch.
Kampeska: Fishermen are catching a mixed bag of walleye, perch, crappie and northern pike.
Deer: Archery and Muzzleloader seasons are still going. The cold weather should get the deer moving this week.
Waterfowl: Most waterfowl have moved through the area.
Pheasant: Hunters are having better success with the snow falls, colder temps. and crops coming out. Pheasants are starting to group up around cover and food sources.
Waubay: Some anglers are having luck with walleye and perch on the NE side of the lake. The refuge is now open to foot traffic only from one hour prior to sunrise and must be off the ice one hour after sunset.
Bitter: There has been a decent bite for walleye and perch
Pickerel Lake: There has been an up and down bite for bluegills lately with an occasional crappie.
Pheasant: Good number of pheasants in the area with success rates slowly increasing as crops continue to come out.
Deer: Deer have started herding up and making their way to wintering areas.
Poinsett: Fishing was slow this past weekend. Reports of a few walleye and an occasional perch.
Clear Lake: Few fishermen have been walking out from shore. Reports of minimal success.
Albert: Few reports of an occasional walleye and small perch being caught.
Waterfowl: Minimal amounts of waterfowl in the area.
Deer: Antlerless deer season is December 14 to December 22. Areas to focus will be on evening food sources.
Pheasant: As the harvest continues for 2019, areas to focus on are harvested fields next to CRP fields.
Roy: A few anglers have ventured out and found some nice pike, a couple walleye and small perch.
Opitz: Small walleye have been caught near shore.
Pheasant: Hunters are finding good bird numbers on the western edge of the county. Majority of the birds are being found near harvested crop fields.
Deer: Archery hunters are still seeing deer in the morning and evenings.
Antlerless rifle season opens on December 14-22. The only tags valid are antlerless tags. Any deer tags are NOT valid during this part of the season and do not convert.
- Have you ever considered visiting a state park in your area?! Grab your binoculars and grab your snow shoes this Holiday season and plan a visit to a State Park near you and enjoy the solitude the parks have to offer this time of year. A few activities to enjoy are hiking, ice fishing, and bird watching! As always, thank you for visiting South Dakotas State Parks!
- The 2020 Park Entrance License is currently for sale and makes a great stocking stuffer. Starting January 1, 2020, Park Entrance License Fees go to $36 for an annual, $18 for a second, a transferrable will be $80. Pick yours up today at any of our participating vendors in Watertown, Aberdeen and surrounding areas. These include Hy-Vee, Little River City, Gas n Goodies and the Cowboy Country Stores in Watertown. Aberdeen vendors include Ken’s Superfair Foods, Runnings, Kessler’s, and any GFP regional or district office.
Pelican Lake Recreation Area: December 30th from 4-6pm, join us for our 2nd Annual Christmas Party in the Park. We will have games, snowshoes, cross country skis, snacks and more! Then on January 1st, 2020 from 1pm-2:30pm start the new year off right by participating in the nationwide First Day Hike. Both events will be held at the picnic shelter. Both snow shoes and skis will be provided. A park entrance license will be required for both events. We look forward to seeing you there!
Richmond Recreation Area: Come snowshoe in the park on Saturday January 4th, 2020. Meet at the District Headquarters/Park Shop At 1:00pm. For questions and to reserve your snowshoes please call (605) 626-3488.