South Dakota BHA 2024 Summer Newsletter

Summer is officially here! Besides camping, fishing, and soaking up all the time outdoors that we can - here's what we've been up to the past three months at the South Dakota chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers:


Help us protect Pactola Reservoir from future gold mining!

Why is Pactola Reservoir - one of western South Dakota’s most popular waters for recreation and the entire water supply for the Rapid City area - under threat of gold mining? Back in the day, long before Pactola was one of our favorite places to fish, boat, and recreate, it was a gold mining community. As the saying goes, "There's gold in them hills!"

There’s good news though. The area around Pactola has the possibility of being included in a mineral withdrawal that has been proposed by the Black Hills National Forest, but it’s going to take a lot of support from anglers, hunters, recreationists, and the community to accomplish it. Mineral withdrawals are governmental processes implemented to preserve areas and resources from the potential negative impacts of mineral exploration and extraction. The Mining Law of 1872 allows for mineral exploration and mining on all federal public lands unless they have a mineral withdrawal or special designation, which Pactola currently does not have.

How can you help? The comment period is coming soon, so keep an eye out for the opportunity to comment and rally your friends and family to do the same. We will share a link for you to provide comments as soon as the Forest Service makes it available.

It's up to us to protect the lands and waters we all love so much!

Pint Night Tour and Spring Raffle

Sioux Falls-based Board Members at the Remedy Brewing Pint Night

Thank you to everyone who joined us at our Pint Nights in May and who entered our spring raffle. Congrats to Patricia M. who won a big package of gear from our partners, including a Weatherby Orion shotgun!

Upcoming Events

Pierre-Fort Pierre Missouri River Cleanup
July 10, 4:30-8PM CT
Downs Marina in Griffin Park, Pierre
Contact: Paul Lepisto [email protected] (605) 220-1219

National Trapper’s Association Convention
July 25-27
W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds, Sioux Falls
BHA will have a booth at this year’s NTA Convention. We are looking for a volunteer to represent BHA at the booth on the 27th and help with tear down. If you are interested and available, please email BHA board member, Derek Jaeger an email. Volunteer will receive free admission in exchange for their time.

John Stengle Tract of Frozen Man Creek GPA Dedication
July 30th 6:30pm
Frozen Man Creek WMA
Hayes, South Dakota 57537
(44.44335, -101.07514)
This project was acquired through the Build a Wildlife Area® program and is now open to public recreation! Join Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Staff, volunteers and partners for the official dedication of this great new piece of public land. South Dakota BHA donated funds to Pheasants Forever for this effort and we’d love for you to join us in celebrating this momentous effort with them!

USFS Seed Collection, Black Hills National Forest
Hosted by the CoNPS Restoration Committee and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program - Volunteers Needed
August 9-10, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
For more details and to register click here.

Field to Table Recipe

Steve Rinella’s “The Perfect Fried Catfish Sandwich”
From SD BHA Chapter Chair, Rochelle Plocek

As spring moves into summer and the long, hot days start to drag on, I get impatient. It’s too hot and snaky to train much with the dog, bird season is more days away than I want to count, and the kid and I are already sick of watching movies in the air conditioning. So what’s a gal to do? Pack up the kid, the dog, the cooler, the paddle board, and the fishing poles and head on down to the local river.

Any one who’s ever fished with a kid knows that they are hard to fish with, or at least mine sometimes is. If the fish aren’t biting or we need to be quiet, it’s game over, and that’s how we learned to go fishing for catfish. They are always biting, noise level never matters, and they aren’t too picky about the bait. You also don’t really need special equipment, although some heavier duty poles are nice. That said, the little 2-foot Paw Patrol pole in our quiver hasn’t broken yet, and it’s caught more catfish than all the rest combined.

Of course, once the kid catches a fish she expects to eat it, but kids can also be hard to please so blackened catfish will have to wait. Instead, I highly recommend you either pick up a copy of Steve Rinella’s The Meateater and flip to page 207, or watch this video.

Now go find yourself a kid, a pole, and head on down to the local fishing hole!

Meateater Experience Sweepstakes

Join the MeatEater crew for world-class fishing, delicious meals, and great conversations. For more details, check out the "Prizes" section.

Enter here by August 18 for a chance to win this incredible experience and support BHA’s mission!

All proceeds will go directly to BHA’s efforts to protect public lands and waters, advance initiatives like “Corner Crossings” and “Save the Cutoff,” and promote conservation in the halls of Congress.

Join Us!

Like what you see? Want to support our continued work in South Dakota? Join, renew or gift a membership here.




The South Dakota BHA Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers



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