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North Dakota



Seasons & Limits

Open Areas and Season Dates

ALL WATERS of the state are open to fishing year-round except below.
  • The Red River below Drayton Dam for a distance of 150 feet.
  • From or within 100 feet of the bridge located between North and South Lake Metigoshe.
  • Areas near the Garrison Dam Tailrace so posted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • No individual shall fish or boat in areas posted and designated by the Game and Fish Department.
OWLS Pond, State Fair PondClosed to fishing at night (sunset to sunrise).
Lightning LakeClosed to all ice fishing. Open to all open-water fishing.
Portions or all of the following waterfowl rest area: Sheyenne LakeClosed to all fishing September 20 through ice up. Open to all fishing all other times.
All national wildlife refuges and easement national wildlife refuges are closed to fishing except the following (contact refuge headquarters for designated open areas and special restrictions):
Arrowwood, J. Clark Salyer, Lake Darling (and all waters within the Upper Souris refuge boundary), Lake Ilo, Long Lake and Tewaukon national wildlife refugesOpen to shore and/or ice fishing April 1 through March 31 in designated areas. Open to boat fishing May 1 through September 30 in designated areas. Closed to all boating October 1 through April 30.
Lake Alice and Lake Audubon (southern half of lake) national wildlife refugesOpen to ice fishing only. Closed to all other fishing and all boating.
Dakota Lake, Hobart Lake, Lake Ardoch, Rose Lake, Sibley Lake (Griggs Co), and Silver Lake (Benson Co)Open to all fishing from April 1 through March 31 of each fishing year. Boat fishing may be restricted at certain times of the year. Contact refuges for specific areas and times open to boat fishing.

Statewide Daily and Possession Limits

SpeciesDaily LimitPossession Limit
Walleye, Sauger, Saugeye or Combination (a)510
Northern Pike510
Yellow Perch2040
White Bass2040
Burbot (Ling)1020
Channel Catfish East of ND Hwy. 1 (b)55
Channel Catfish West of ND Hwy. 1no limitno limit
Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass or Combination510
Muskellunge (pure or hybrid)11
PaddlefishSee Paddlefish Snagging
Nongame Fish (other than legal live baitfish)no limitno limit
Legal Live Baitfish (c)150150
Smelt5 gallons5 gallons
Snapping Turtle (d)One annually
a–Zander are included as part of the walleye, sauger, saugeye combination in Spiritwood and Alkali lakes (Stutsman Co.).
b–In the Red and Bois de Sioux rivers, the limit is 5 catfish regardless of the number of state or provincial licenses purchased by the angler.
c–Aggregate of all legal species.
d–Harvest legal only between July 1 and November 15.

Exceptions to Statewide Fish Limits

Red and Bois de Sioux rivers up to the first vehicular bridge or crossing on any of their tributariesNORTHERN PIKE – Daily 3, Possession 3
Kraft SloughYELLOW PERCH – Daily 10, Possession 20
Lightning LakeTROUT – Catch-and-release only from April 1 through June 30
McDowell DamALL SPECIES – Catch-and-release only while ice fishing
OWLS PondALL SPECIES – Catch-and-release only
State Fair PondALL SPECIES – Catch-and-release only from April 1 through July 31