Proposed Oahe Dam Refuge Expansion

Wild Bill

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2015
Not sure if any of you have seen this, but a private citizen petitioned the commission to expand the Peoria Flats State Refuge to the east and connect it with the Oahe Dam State Refuge, and increase that further downstream to the point of Farm Island. This petition was set in motion by a landowner who just so happens to own a guide service and has a few thousand acres north a bit. I think you can all see where this is going...

While the additional refuge for birds sounds like a win, this proposal is more than just a waterline refuge, it includes over 3,000 acres of public land that would be closed, almost all of which are river bluffs that are very popular for pass shooting. If you have never goose hunted in Pierre, pass shooting from the bluffs is a long standing tradition and a very effective hunting strategy for many people, both local and non-local. It is great for both younger and older hunters, as the barriers are minimal. No need for decoys, calls, etc.

As stated above, this proposal was introduced by a private citizen who, one could assume, wants to expand the refuge to remove hunting pressure from pass shooters and water hunters and less disturb geese that would potentially fly towards his property.

This expansion is not based on factual data or any scientific research or recommendation by SD GFP, and if you read through the public comments, you will see a handful of GFP Biologists that oppose this expansion. You can also see in the proposal that this does not check the box of 3/4 of the R3 (Recruitment, Retention, Reactivation) criteria, and you could argue it doesn't check the 4th box as well, but they have it as "Not applicable".

If you read the proposal and agree it is a poor idea, I encourage you to make a public comment via the link below and/or take the time to email each commissioner.

Proposal ->

Link to make a public comment->



Well-known member
Oct 10, 2020
A win for the people. Keep in mind the commission is now pro commercialization.(IMO) Dear Gov even tried to change the makeup of the commission politically. Do not know if that got through or not.
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