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South Dakota mulls ending no-wakes at Deerfield Lake

May 19, 2019

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is considering a proposal to end a longstanding no-wake restriction on a popular Black Hills lake in the western part of the state.

The proposal would replace the no-wake restriction and 5 mph speed limit on Deerfield Lake with a 25 mph speed limit, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Ken Edel, a retiree and angler from Rapid City, said the no-wake restriction means wasted fishing potential. He said it can take 25 minutes to get across the lake to a fishing spot.

“Is anybody benefiting from that?” Edel said. “I don’t think so.”

Edel has led the effort to stop the no-wake restriction. The proposal will be considered during a meeting on June 6 in Pierre.

Dan Holsworth of Hermosa said many people benefit from the no-wake restriction, including his customers. He is one of the owners of a campground near the lake. Holsworth said a calm body of water is treasured by people who enjoy shore-fishing, canoeing, kayaking and other activities.

If the no-wake restriction on Deerfield Lake is removed, “it would be a horrible thing,” Holsworth said.

Officials said the no-wake restriction has been in place for at least 55 years.

Deerfield Lake was created during the 1940s when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation constructed a dam on Castle Creek in the rural west-central portion of the Black Hills National Forest.

Deerfield Lake is the second largest lake in the central portion of the Black Hills, behind the Pactola Reservoir.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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