Fishing & Boating

Fishing Regulations

General: Any enrolled member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe or spouse of a Lower Brule enrolled member fishing within the boundaries of the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation on the Missouri River is required to possess the requisite Tribal fishing license which is free (the state license may be substituted if desired by the fisherman). Nonmembers fishing on the Missouri River within the boundaries of the reservation must purchase state required fishing licenses (and tribal access permit), but are not required to purchase a tribal fishing license. Non-members and members fishing within the reservation on waters other than the Missouri River are required to purchase a tribal license only. Fishing is open year round from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 to include open water and ice fishing. Fishing hours are from midnight to midnight. Artificial light may be used as an aid in taking fish by legal methods. A maximum of two lines and three hooks per line is allowed for fishing open waters. A maximum of four lines is allowed for fishing through the ice. No person may possess carp, buffalo fish, suckers, goldfish or game fish (except cleanings and bullhead, lake herring, and sunfish of the genus Lepomis) as bait for hook and line fishing. The daily limit is the number of fish that may be taken from midnight to midnight, except no person may possess more than one day's limit of fish while on the water or actively engaged in fishing. The possession limit is twice the daily limit. Snagging and netting of fish is prohibited.


Walleye or Sauger Combination (14 inch min. Apr., May, and June for Walleye)

Daily and Possession                                        

Walleye or Sauger (LB Tribal Members) 6 and 12
                                  (Non-members) 4 and 8

Largemouth/Smallmouth or combination 5 and 10

Northern Pike 3 and 6

All Trout Species 7 and 7

Crappie 25 and 50

Perch 25 and 50

All Catfish Species 10 and 20

All Bullhead Species 100 and 200

Bluegill or Sunfish Combination 25 and 50

White Bass 25 and 50

Non-Game Fish No Limit No Limit

Commercial Sale of Fish:  No person shall sell, barter, trade or offer to sell any fish taken from Reservation waters, except: without possessing a Commercial license issued by the Lower Brule Department of Wildile, Fish and Recreation Diretor: channel catfish, flathead catfish, and non-game fish.

Hoop Nets, Traps and Setlines:

No person shall set any hoop net, traps or setlines except enrolled members of the

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. No enrolled member of the Lower Brule Indian-Tribe shall set, check, pull, or operate

any hoop net, trap or setline without possessing a valid Tribal license or permit issued by the Lower Brule

Department of Wildlife, Fish and Recreation Director. Each hoop net, trap, or setline must be marked with a metal

tag with the enrolled member’s, name, address and telephone number. Hoop nets must not be more than 18 feet

long nor more than 4 feet wide. No leads or wings are permitted. Only hoop nets constructed of fabric mesh with

twine size number 15 or larger and slat catfish traps constructed of wood or synthetic slats with at least two 1 1/4

inch openings in each end are allowed. Wire fish traps are prohibited. Hoop nets, traps and setlines may be used

to take channel catfish, flathead catfish, and non-game fish in Reservation waters. It is prohibited to take blue

catfish, game fish or endangered or threatened fish. Any blue catfish, game fish, or endangered or threatened fish

must be released in the waters from where they were caught. Only prepared or cut bait, worms, frogs, crayfish, and

toads may be used on setlines. Whole baitfish (minnows) are prohibited. Hoop nets and setlines must be checked

at least every 48 hours. Unlimited numbers of non-game fish may be taken from Reservation waters. Legal fish

taken by hoop net, trap, or setlines from Reservation waters may be sold, bartered, or traded pursuant to subsection

12.09. No enrolled member may use or tend hoop nets, traps, or setlines of another enrolled member. No enrolled

member may use a setline that operates by a reel or other mechanical device, or more than 20 hooks attached to

one setline

Gill Netting: It is unlawful to take any fish or attempt to take any fish with the use or aid of a gill net.


No person may take fish with a spear, legal spear gun, or bow and arrow except enrolled members of the

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. Fish may be taken with spear, legal spear gun (a muscle-loaded device propelling a

spear attached to a lanyard no more than 20 feet long), and bow and arrow (crossbows are illegal). Arrows may

have only one point, which must be barbed and attached to the bow by a line. Daily and possession limits are the

same as and in combination with hook and line limits. Non-game fish may be taken between sunset and sunrise

Jan. 1 - Dec. 31. All species of fish, except paddlefish, pallid sturgeon, lake sturgeon, and endangered or

threatened fish, may be speared from sunrise to sunset during the seasons established by Tribal proclamation. The

season is Jan. 1 - March 5, July 1 - Aug. 31, Dec. 1 - Dec. 31. Areas are Lake Sharpe, and Lake Francis Case,

except from Big Bend Dam to 2 miles downstream, which is closed. Catfish may be taken without limit for noncommercial

purposes from sunrise to sunset January 1 - December 31. Underwater spearfishing is not permitted

within 100 yards of designated swimming or waterskiing areas, boat docks, power intake tubes, or spillways. No

underwater diving is permitted where placement of the diver-down flag would restrict boat access into or out of a

public access area. Divers must display a Diver’s Flag on the water on a float or buoy during any diving or

underwater spearfishing. The flag must be at least 80 square inches and must be all red with a white diagonal

beginning at the top of the flag where attached to the staff. The Diver’s Flag indicates a diver is submerged in the

immediate area and boats are to avoid the area. Persons spearfishing may not possess game fish in areas not open

to the spearing of game fish.


Landing Aids: Landing nets, gaffs, and similar devices may be used as an aid in landing fish.

Artificial Lights: Artificial lights may be used as an aid in taking fish by legal methods.

Unattended Lines: Each line used must be under the direct supervision and within the unaided observation of the user.

Ice Houses: Each fish house, shanty, or other shelter must display on the outside the name and address of the owner in letters at least two inches high. The door must permit entry except when unoccupied and locked from the outside. Shelters must be removed from the ice by March 5.

Transportation: No person shall transport dressed fish from the waters of the Reservation to his or her residence unless those fish can be readily counted. Mobile recreational vehicles, trailers, or tents do not qualify as residences. Any dressed fish transported, if frozen must be packaged individually. Two fillets will be counted as one fish. A person may carry or transport only his or her own lawfully possessed fish.

Restrictions: No person shall: deposit refuse in Reservation waters; leave or deposit fish on the shorelines of Reservation waters; empty receptacles containing bait into Reservation waters; transport or introduce fish or fish eggs into Reservation waters; release fish, reptiles, amphibians or crustaceans not native to the Reservation into Reservation waters without written authorization from the Lower Brule Department of Wildlife, Fish and Recreation Director; possess, have under control, or maintain trammel nets, gill nets, or seines except legal minnow seines; possess a spear on or near lakes or streams except during legal hours in open season; sell, buy, or barter game fish; lend his or her license to another person or aid someone in securing a license fraudulently; use explosives, electrical devices, or poisonous or stupefying drugs to take fish; shoot fish, frogs, or turtles with a firearm.

Interference: No person may intentionally interfere with other persons lawfully engaged in taking or attempting to
take fish, or engage in an activity specifically intended to harass or prevent the lawful taking of fish.


General: No person shall operate any boat, watercraft, water-vessel, or floating-device without complying with all rules and regulations pertaining to safety and operation established by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Boating Safety Equipment: No person shall operate any boat, watercraft, water-vessel, or floating device without maintaining the following equipment on or within any boat, craft, vessel or device: all motorboats less than 16 feet in length and non-motorized boats must have at least one Coast Guard approved type I, II, or IV flotation device for each person on board. All boats 16 feet and over in length must have, in addition, at least one Coast Guard approved throwable type IV device on-board; all persons using water skis, surfboard or similar device must wear a

Coast Guard approved Type I, II, or III flotation device. Any Enforcement Officer who observes a vessel being used in an unsafe condition or manner and in the Officer’s judgment such use creates a hazardous condition may direct the operator to take whatever immediate and reasonable steps that would be necessary for the safety of those. aboard the vessel, including directing the operator to return to mooring and to remain there until the situation creating the hazard is corrected or ended. For the purpose of this section an unsafe condition is defined as any one

of the following: 1) Operating without boating safety equipment; 2) Operating in an overloaded condition; 3) Fuel leakage or presence of fuel in bilges; 4) Riding on the bow, gunwale, transom, or on the back of seats without taking precautions to prevent persons falling overboard; 5) Operating in weather or water conditions, which endanger the boat and/or occupants; 6) Operating a boat without a battery cover in place; or 7) Operating a boat without the necessary lights for low light conditions.

Prohibited Operation: No person shall: Operate a boat at excessive speeds, or in a dangerous or reckless manner; operate a boat in an overloaded condition; operate a boat within designated swimming areas or in areas where swimmers are present; operate a boat within 100 yards of a skin-diving zone marked by the appropriate diving flags indicating the presence of skin divers below the surface; operating near dams or other hazardous waters; towing water skiers near other vessels, obstructions, hazardous waters, or in a reckless or dangerous manner; operate a boat in such a manner to cause a dangerous or damaging wake; operate a boat in such a manner as to molest, disturb or annoy persons lawfully engaged in fishing; continue to use or refuse to terminate use of a boat in a hazardous manner after being ordered to cease by an Enforcement Officer; no person shall operate any motorboat, craft, vessel, or floatation device while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.