Surface Water

Water Quality Monitoring Network

The Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources maintains an extensive surface water quality monitoring network at many of South Dakota's streams. There are currently 153 active ambient monitoring stations across the state. The data from these sampling stations helps the Department identify problems, document improvements and demonstrate overall trends in the quality of South Dakota waters.


As stated above, South Dakota conducts sampling at numerous stream sites throughout the state. This information is entered into a national database called "WQX," which stands for Water Quality Exchange.

Water quality information from these sites can be obtained from the Water Quality Portal, and is used to develop Surface Water Discharge Permits and evaluate ambient stream quality. For more information, contact Aaron Leingang or by calling (605) 773-3351.

Search by Station ID# (located in the Water Quality Monitoring Station Information link)

Search by organization ID:  SDDENR_WQX

For more information, contact Aaron Leingang or call (605) 773-3351.

Restoration Enhancement

Projects designed to enhance or restore the water quality, habitat, fish life propagation uses, and recreational uses of a waterbody are encouraged and promoted by various state and federal agencies. All such projects must be approved in advance by DENR.

Before submitting your plan, it is suggested you review the Administrative Rules of South Dakota (ARSD) Chapter 74:51:01 including but not limited to sections 74:51:01:58, 74:51:01:59, 74:51:01:60, 74:51:01:61, and 74:51:01:62.

For additional information pertaining to restoration enhancement projects in South Dakota, don't hesitate to contact Patrick Snyder at (605) 773-3351).

Application form for Restoration Enhancement Projects View and Print

Whole Effluent Toxicity Testing

Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing uses fathead minnows and Ceriodaphnia dubia to measure if a discharge is or may be toxic.

The test can be either acute or chronic. Acute tests are short-term tests, usually 96 hours or less. The acute test determines if the effluent would be lethal to aquatic life and measures whether the fathead minnows and Ceriodaphnia live or die.

Chronic tests are longer term tests. The test is typically run for seven days or less. The fathead minnow test measures whether the discharge effects the growth rate of the minnow. The Ceriodaphnia dubia test measures whether the discharge effects the reproduction of the Ceriodaphnia. The chronic test also measures if the effluent would be lethal to aquatic life.

The testing protocols have strict test conditions that include a constant temperature, specific light quality and intensity, dissolved oxygen requirements, etc detailed in our Guidance Document for Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET). Additionally the Environmental Protection Agency has provided reporting forms on the whole effluent toxicity test methods at their web site.

For more information about South Dakota's whole effluent toxicity requirements, please contact Tim Flor with the Surface Water Quality Program at (605) 773-3351.

South Dakota Fish Consumption Advisories

Each year, the Departments of Health, Environment and Natural Resources, and Game, Fish & Parks cooperate to perform fish collection and sampling. The Department of Health issues consumption advisories.

The state of South Dakota has issued consumption advisories based on Mercury concentrations in fish, for: Bitter Lake, Coal Springs Reservoir, Elm Lake, Hazeldon Lake, Hurley Lake, Island Lake (North), Lake Isabel, Lake Minnewasta, Lardy Lake, Long Lake, Lynn Lake, Middle Lynn Lake, Newell Lake, Opitz Lake, Pudwell Dam, South Buffalo Lake, Swan Lake, Twin Lakes/Highway 81, Reid Lake, Roosevelt Lake, and Twin Lakes (Minnehaha). For more information please visit the Department of Health website. South Dakota fish sampling protocols and procedures can be found here: Intensive and Screening Protocols and Procedures

Amsden Dam, Day County Lake Oahe (Cow Creek), Sully County
Angostura Reservoir, Fall River County Lake Oahe (Grand River Embayment), Corson County
Antelope Lake, Day County Lake Oahe (Minneconjou Bay), Stanley County
Bear Butte Creek, Lawrence County Lake Oahe (Moreau River Embayment), Dewey County
Beaver Lake, Minnehaha County Lake Oahe (West Whitlock), Potter County
Belle Fourche Reservoir, Butte County Lake Oahe, Stanley & Sully Counties
Belle Fourche River, Butte County Lake Oakwood (East Oakwood Lake), Brookings County
Belle Fourche River (near Vale), Butte County Lake Pocasse, Campbell County
Big Sioux River, Minnehaha & Moody Counties Lake Poinsett, Hamlin County
Bitter Lake, Day County Lake Roosevelt, Tripp County
Blue Dog Lake, Day County Lake Sharpe (Farm Island Area), Hughes County
Brakke Dam, Lyman County Lake Sharpe (Joe Creek Area)
Brant Lake, Lake County   Hughes & Lyman Counties
Brush Lake, Brookings County Lake Sharpe (North Shore Area),
Bullhead Lake, Deuel & Roberts Counties   Buffalo & Lyman Counties
Burke Lake, Gregory County Lake Sharpe, Stanley & Lyman Counties
Cattail Lake, Marshall County Lake Sinai, Brookings County
Cavour Lake, Beadle County Lardy Lake, Day County 
Cheyenne River (below Edgemont), Lemmon Lake (East), Perkins County
  Fall River County Lewis & Clark Lake, Yankton & Bon Homme Counties
Cheyenne River (near Angostura Reservoir), Lily Lake, Day County
  Fall River County Little Missouri River, Harding County
Cheyenne River, Pennington County Little Moreau #1, Dewey County
Cheyenne River (near Wasta), Pennington County Long Lake, Codington County
Clear Lake, Deuel & Marshall Counties Lynn Lake, Day County
Cleghorn Springs Hatchery, Pennington County Mankey Slough, Clark County
Clubhouse Sough, Marshall County Marindahl Lake, Yankton County
Coal Springs Reservoir, Perkins County McCook Lake, Union County
Cottonwood Lake, Sully County McNenney State Fish Hatchery, Lawrency County
Crooked Lake, Grant County Middle Lynn Lake, Day County
Curlew Lake, Meade County Mina Lake, Edmunds County
Deerfield Reservoir, Pennington County Missouri River, Yankton County
Diamond Lake, Minnehaha County Murdo Lake, Jones County
Dog Ear, Tripp County New Wall, Pennington County
Dry Lake #2, Clark County Newell Lake, Butte County
Dry Lake, Codington County North Fork Whetstone River, Grant County
Durkee, Meade County North Twin Lake, Minnehaha County
East 81 Lake, Brookings County Opitz Lake, Day County
  (See Twin Lakes/Hwy 81) Pactola, Pennington County
Elm Lake, Brown County Pelican Lake, Codington County
Enemy Swim Lake, Day County Pickerel Lake, Day County
Fate Dam, Lyman County Piyas Lake, Marshall County
Faulkton Lake, Faulk County Pott's Dam, Potter County
Goldsmith Lake, Brookings County Pudwell Dam, Corson County
Goose Lake, Codington County Punished Women Lake, Codington County
Grass, Codington County Rapid Creek, Pennington County
Hayes Lake,Stanley County Ravine Lake, Beadle County
Henry,Kingsbury County Red Iron Lake (South), Marshall County
Horseshoe Lake, Day County Reetz Lake, Day County
Hurricane Lake, Roberts County Reid Lake, Clark County
Isabel Lake, Dewey County Richland Dam, Jones County
Island Lake (North), Minnehaha County Richmond Dam, Brown County
James River, Beadle County Rose Hill Lake, Hand County
James River - below Milltown, Hutchinson County Roy, Marshall County
James River - above Yankton, Yankton County Rush Lake (North & South), Day County
Lake Albert, Grant County Shadehill, Perkins County
Lake Alice, Deuel County School Lake, Deuel County
Lake Alvin, Lincoln County Sheridan Lake, Pennington County
Lake Byre, Lyman County Sheriff Dam, Jones County
Lake Byron, Beadle County Simon Dam, Potter County
Lake Campbell, Brookings County  Soukup Pond, Minnehaha County
Lake Carthage, Miner County South Buffalo Lake, Marshall County
Lake Cochrane, Deuel County South Twin Lake, Minnehaha County
Lake Dante, Charles Mix County Spearfish Creek, Lawrence County
Lake Dimock, Hutchinson County Staum Dam, Beadle County
Lake Francis Case (Between White River Stockade Lake, Custer County
  Confluence & Boyer) Summit Lake, Grant County
Lake Francis Case (Pease Creek), Swan Lake, Clark County
  Gregory & Charles Mix Counties Thompson, Kingsbury County
Lake Francis Case (Platte/Winner Bridge), Twin Dam, Stanley County
  Gregory County Twin Lake, Sanborn County
Lake Francis Case, Brule & Lyman County Twin Lakes/Hwy 81, Kingsbury County
Lake Henry, Bon Homme County  Twin Lakes (South Twin & North Twin),
Lake Herman, Lake County   Minnehaha County
Lake Hiddenwood, Walworth County Vermillion Lake, McCook County
Lake Hurley, Potter County Waggoner Lake, Haakon County
Lake Isabel, Dewey County Wall Lake, Minnehaha County
Lake Kampeska, Codington County  Waubay Lake, Day County
Lake Louise, Hand County West 81 Lake/Twin Lakes Complex,
Lake Madison, Lake County Brookings & Kingsbury Counties
Lake Minnewasta, Day County Whitewood Creek, Lawrence County
Lake Mitchell, Davison County Whitewood Lake, Kingsbury County
Lake Oahe (Cow Creek), Sully County Wilmarth Lake, Aurora County
Bitter Lake, Day County Marindahl, Yankton County
Fairfax, Greagory County Menno, Hutchinson County
Flat Creek Lake, Perkins County New Underwood, Pennington County
Lake Dimock, Hutchinson County North Buffalo, Marshall County
Lake Madison, Lake County Pudwell Dam, Corson County
Little Moreau Lake #1, Dewey County Redfield, Spink County
Little White River, Bennett County Scott Lake, Minnehaha County
Long Lake, Codington County Stink, Codington County