Lewis and Clark Lake 2014 Fishing Forecast

Lewis and Clark Fishing Forecast in pdf format

Annual fisheries surveys are conducted on Lewis and Clark Lake to monitor fish population trends. Electrofishing, gill netting, and seining are used to collect information that helps biologists monitor trends in fish populations. Angler surveys are conducted during some years to gather information on angler use and harvest. These long-term trends in fish population status and angler use are used by biologists to make management decisions and determine regulations.

Key Issues in 2014 for Lewis and Clark Lake


  • High flows from the 2011 flood altered habitat throughout the reservoir, especially in the river reaches and the upstream areas of the reservoir. Large amounts of sediment were moved around within the reservoir and deposited in new areas. Anglers are cautioned that there will be sandbars and other obstructions where there was deep water before and deeper areas in places that were relatively shallow prior to the flood.
  • Sedimentation is a very important process occurring in Lewis and Clark Lake. Large amounts of sediment are deposited by the Niobrara River which contributes to the growing delta near Springfield, SD. As the physical characteristics of Lewis and Clark Lake change, anglers will need to adjust their fishing strategies.


  • Walleye recruitment has been low from 2009 through 2011; however, the 2007 and 2008 year classes were especially strong, and will continue to provide good fishing opportunity while the young 2012 and 2013 year classes continue to grow towards the minimum length limit
  • Walleye production was high in 2013 and this large year class should reach 15 inches by the end of 2016.
  • 2013 channel catfish abundance was above average in Lewis and Clark Lake and should provide good angling opportunities for many years.
  • Angling success is often affected by prey fish abundance. During years with good numbers of gizzard shad throughout the summer/fall seasons, angling success can decline due to the amount of food present. There was a high abundance of both gizzard shad and emerald shiners in 2013.

Information on each fish species:

Lewis and Clark Lake

Additional questions and information can be obtained by contacting:

Missouri River Fisheries Center
1550 E. King Ave.
Chamberlain, SD 57532

Sportsmen Assisting Disabled Sportsmen (SANDS)

The SANDS program was created to help men and women and children with disabilities by providing a means for them to meet able-bodied outdoors men and women who volunteer their time and abilities. By lending a helping hand they are able to assist the disabled to get back something they might have lost or never had.

Boating Safety and Regulations

Please follow these rules for a safe and enjoyable time on the water.

Protect our Waters

Aquatic nuisance species threaten threaten our lakes and steams, and can spoil everyone's enjoyment of the water.

Public Fishing Waters

Want to know where to fish, and how to get on the water? Check out this guide.