New Sioux Falls park offers fishing opportunity

A news release from the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks:

Family Park Community Fishing Park to Open Nov. 25
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Residents of the Sioux Falls area will have a new and unique outdoor fishing opportunity thanks to a partnership between the Soukup (SOO-kup) family, the City of Sioux Falls and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department.
The venture has resulted in Family Park, a 90-acre parcel of land located ½ mile north of the intersection of 12th Street and the Tea/Ellis Road.
The park has a 35-acre pond containing northern pike, white bass, channel catfish, crappie, large mouth bass, bluegills, and perch. In addition to frequent stockings to maintain those species, GFP will also stock rainbow trout each spring and fall.
Fishing in Family Park will first open to the public on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 5 a.m.; regular park hours will be from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The Soukup family donated the land to the City of Sioux Falls to establish a park that provides a safe, friendly and relaxing place for everyone, but especially families, to enjoy the sport of fishing.
“GFP and the City of Sioux Falls can’t thank the Soukup family enough for providing this fantastic opportunity for families to be outdoors and go fishing together without needing to travel far from Sioux Falls” said GFP Regional Fisheries Manager Todd St. Sauver (Saint SAW-ver).
GFP has funded initial fishing access development and will manage the fishery.  The City of Sioux Falls will maintain the park and fund future development.
Vehicle access roads, parking areas, boat ramp, 14 stone fishing piers and pedestrian fishing trails are ready for public use this fall and winter, and portable toilets will be available, too.  Construction will be completed next spring on four floating fishing piers, a boat dock and expansion of the stone fishing piers.
The project partners decided a set of rules was needed to preserve the Soukup family’s wishes of providing a quality outdoor experience.  Motorized watercraft, including boats powered with electric motors, snowmobiles, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are prohibited from the park.  Canoes, kayaks and rowboats are allowed.
Swimming and scuba diving will not be allowed, and feeding waterfowl is prohibited.  Vehicles may not be driven on the ice, and no ice shelters may be left on the ice when the park is closed.
Fishing regulations for Family Park are the same as other public waters in the state.  Fishing licenses are required, and statewide bag limits are in effect.
“We understand there is some concern about over-fishing the lake, but our experience is that most people will practice catch-and-release once they understand the intent to provide a quality fishing experience,” St. Sauver said.

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspapers Contest. Seth’s day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota’s state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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