Fishing and Flooding Update for
the Missouri River in South Dakota
All Missouri River Reservoirs Are Full, Active and Looking Good
Think Water Safety
Lake Oahe, above the dam is full, but there is no flooding. The areas around Pollock, Mobridge, Akaska, Gettysburg and Spring/Cow Creek are open for business. Also, the areas around Chamberlain, Platte, Pickstown, Wagner and Yankton are also open for business. They have very high water, but the fishing is good. The Pierre/Fort Pierre area is open for business, even with the flooding!
Because of still higher releases from the Oahe Dam there will be some state recreation areas downstream possibly having challenges. For information on Missouri River Access and State Park Recreation Area Access please go to: http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/missouri-river-flood.aspx.
In regards to the flooding situation in Pierre/Fort Pierre please note: The discharge from the Oahe Dam will be extremely high into Lake Sharpe – discharge is now at 160,000 cfs and there is considerable flooding in the Pierre/Fort Pierre area. On Lake Sharpe – the area from the Oahe Dam to Antelope Creek is closed to boating. West Bend and down is open. The area below Gavins Point Dam at Yankton is also closed to boating, as is the area below the Fort Randall Dam.
Farm Island Recreation Area east of Pierre on Highway 34 is closed as is the Oahe Downstream Recreation Area below the Oahe Dam. The Springfield Rec Area by Yankton is also closed.
Highways throughout the Great Lakes Region are open. But I-29 is closed in spots between Omaha and Sioux City. There are alternate routes to be used, so check them out.
In the Pollock area fishing for walleye, perch, smallmouth and white bass is going really well. Anglers are using leaches, crawlers and minnows with some pulling plugs – the report is that all bait seems to be working. The good depth seems to be around 7-14 feet. They are having great fishing in this area – with shore fishing also going strong.
At Mobridge fishing is very good – north of the bridge is slowing, but south of the bridge is very good. Anglers are using crawlers and leaches, with some using crankbaits. Depth is anywhere from 7-15 feet. Fish are healthy as they’ve ever been. Reports are still coming in that this is the best fishing they’ve seen for years.
At Akaska fishing is good, limits are coming in and they are very busy in this area. Reports from the tournament held this past weekend was that there are lots of fish and they did very well. Anglers are using 2-hook spinners with crawlers and leaches. They are fishing in around 15 feet. Shore fishing here is going really well. With the high water fishing from shore will be good this year and no standing in mud – great for kids!
At Gettysburg there is plenty of access and the walleye fishing is very good. The walleye are starting to move a bit south. Anglers are using minnows, crawlers and leeches in 10-25 feet of water. The smallmouth population is very active. Areas that are going good are Sutton Bay, Stove Creek and Bush’s Landing. Catfish are also being caught and are great for kids using a bobber.
Around Spring Creek / Cow Creek fishing is good for walleye in the Cheyenne and Sutton Bay areas using crawlers, spinners with a ½ crawler with some pulling plugs. Some angers are doing well in the Chantier Creek area. Best depths are 8-15 feet up to 24 feet. Whole area is good for catfish! Smallmouth fishing is going well as is northern fishing. The northern fishing is the best it’s been since the 70s! Salmon fishing is slow at best – The movement of the water through the lake has had an effect on the salmon. One thing for sure, there are lots of fish in Lake Oahe this year!
NOTE: A “no boating zone” has been declared within ½ mile upstream of the Oahe Dam. Rest of Lake Oahe is open. Boaters will continue to have access to the lower end of Lake Oahe via the West Shore Boat Ramp, which is located near the face of the dam. The boaters will be diverted away from the whirlpool and boat closure area via a series of buoys. The order will be in effect until rescinded by the Governor.
Lake Sharpe - Please see the note at the beginning of this report on the Pierre/Fort Pierre area! The area from the Oahe Dam to Antelope Creek is closed to boating.
At West Bend there is a current so anglers will have to adjust for that current rate. The smallmouth bite is good but walleye fishing is fair at best. Anglers are using spinners with crawlers, Lindy rigs and crankbaits.
Around Chamberlain most fishing on Lake Sharpe is being done in 10-20 feet. Anglers are finding that it’s taking some work to get limits. This area has had a large amount of rain and the water is stirred up – that will hopefully change this week since the weather looks to be more stable. The release from the Big Bend Dam is also high and that will continue through the summer. There has been some flooding in the Chamberlain/Oacoma area, so check for ramp availability in the area.
In the Platte area fishing is good but not great. There is lots of water on Francis Case, so again, you’ll need to check for ramp availability. Anglers are using minnows and crawlers with some success. Live bait seems to be the best option. Fish being caught are healthy and looking good. The length limit will go off July 1.
At the Pickstown - Wagner – Lake Andes area walleye fishing on Lake Francis Case is fair to good! The fish are big and fat – with 18-24 inches being the average. Ramps are open at Prairie Dog, St. Francis and South Shore. Area around Prairie Dog Bay is going well as are all points and banks along the river. Some anglers are starting to find the walleye inside the bays. Most are fishing in about 10-20 feet, using crawlers and leaches. Smallmouth are on a good bite up above pitching baits around shallow rocky areas. Water temp is around 61-62 degrees. Shore fisherman are doing well for all species – even below the dam in the fast water! Debris is not bad – just use caution and slow down a bit. The Fort Randall Dam will be releasing 150,000 cfs so boat ramps below the dam are unusable.
Around Lewis & Clark Lake they are catching walleye while drifting with bottom bouncers tipped with crawlers or leaches.
On the Missouri River some shore fishing only – there is a no boat restriction here also. Discharge here will reach 150,000 also. Lots of fish being caught from shore – drum, walleye, smallmouth bass. Bait being used is nightcrawlers, leeches and crawdads.
Springfield Area – walleye are being caught and some small northern are being caught. All boat ramps in the Springfield area are closed, as are the campgrounds at the Sand Creek Area and the Springfield Recreation area. All boat ramps in the area are underwater and the docks have been pulled from the water.
On Lake Yankton they are catching catfish, bluegill and crappie using crawlers and minnows.
For more information and up-to-the-minute reports on fishing Lake Oahe, please call West Pollock Resort, 605-889-2448; Kemnitz MoRest Motel in Mobridge at 605-845-3668. At Akaska call Akaska Bait Shop at 605-649-7847. Call Bob’s Resort at 605-765-2500 or South Whitlock Resort at 605-765-9762 in Gettysburg. On the lower end of Lake Oahe, call Spring Creek Resort at 605-224-8336, Outpost Lodge at 605-264-5450 and Lake Oahe/Lake Sharpe call Carl’s Bait Shop at 605-223-9453. On Lake Francis Case, contact the Platte Chamber of Commerce at 888-297-8175, Fort Randall Bait & Tackle at 605-487-7760 in Pickstown and Circle H Motel in Lake Andes at 605-487-7652. On Lewis & Clark contact Captain Norms Bait Shop at 605-665-4271.
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