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Fishing remains the primary recreational activity on Lake Sakakawea. The big lake offers a wide-range of sport fishing including pike, walleye, and Chinook salmon that give anglers lots of action. Lake Sakakawea fishing regulations are established and enforced by the State of North Dakota and the Fort Berthold Indian Tribes Game & Fish Department. Remember to Always Wear Your Life Jacket!

Boat Ramps

Over the number of low water years extensive work has been done on construction and extending of boat ramps on Lake Sakakawea. There are several ramps available for public use to help eliminate congestion; most are in recreation areas and some in wildlife management areas.

Shoreline Access Areas are located around the lake and offer an additional means of getting to the waters edge during times of low water on Lake Sakakawea.

There are a number of Ice Fishing Access Areas that are located around Lake Sakakawea.Most of them are boat ramps but there are other areas that provide a legal means for the general public to access the water during the winter.

Hunting, Trapping, and Snaring around Lake Sakakawea

Public lands offer a great place for sportsmen to hunt pheasants, grouse, partridge, turkey, waterfowl and deer. There are a number of different wildlife management areas around the lake. In addition, some of the Wildlife Management Areas may allow trapping/snaring. Please refer to the regulations that are established and enforced by the State of North Dakota and the Fort Berthold Indian Tribes Game & Fish Department additional information.

The Corps of Engineers has certain project restrictions for areas it directly operates (buildings, recreation and day use areas) for hunting, trapping, and snaring.
For more information call (701) 654-7411.

Fishing Times & Locations

  • Walleye
    • May: Upstream from the Four Bears Bridge
    • June: Van Hook, Snake Creek, Garrison area, Garrison Dam Trailrace
    • July: Van Hook to the Four Bears Bridge
    • Fall: Good Anywhere
    • Winter: Upstream from the Four Bears Bridge
  • Bass (Small-Mouth Bass)
    • June-August: From Garrison Dam to the Little Missouri Arm
  • Northern Pike
    • Spring: Best at Ice Out Upper ends of all the large bays
  • Salmon
    • August-October: Near the face of the dam
    • August-September: Boat fishing is best
    • October: Shore fishing is good
  • Trout (Cutthroat, Rainbow, Brown)
    • Anytime: Garrison Dam Trailrace
  • Catfish
    • Anytime: Garrison Dam Trailrace