Photo © Sam Stukel

Where to Fish

If you are looking for the excitement of having a fish on the line, the relaxation of a quiet day by the lake or a chance to enjoy quality time with family and friends, check out the Public Fishing Access Map below. 

Ice Fishing 

Ice fishing is a popular winter activity and anglers need access to the popular ice fishing waters across the state. Throughout the winter, weekly snow removal will be conducted at the sites listed below. When snow conditions persist, GFP will attempt to clear snow prior to noon each Friday. Because South Dakota's weather and winds are unpredictable, access cannot be guaranteed throughout the week. Vehicle travel on the lake will be dictated by snow and ice conditions.

  • Less than four inches of ice - Stay off!
  • Four to six inches - Ice fishing via foot travel in single-file lines should be safe, assuming the ice is clear and clean of snow.
  • Six to 12 inches - Snowmobiles and ATVs can travel safely on good ice that is at least six inches thick.
  • Twelve to 16 inches - Small cars and pickups can venture onto the ice once it is a foot or more thick. However, anglers are generally encouraged to avoid driving on ice that is less than 16 inches thick.
  • More than 16 inches - Generally, a medium-sized car or mid-sized pickup can travel safely on good, clear, solid ice.

Lakeside Use Areas

A park entrance license is required to access boat ramps inside the boundaries of all South Dakota state parks and recreation areas as well as some lakeside use areas. A complete list of lakeside use areas is found on the Lakeside Use Area page below.

Black Hills Fishing

The Black Hills offer unique fishing opportunities found no where else in the state.  There are approximately eight hundred miles of streams and 38 reservoirs that support sportish in the Black Hills Fish Management Area.  

The majority of Black Hills streams contain self-sustaining wild populations of brown and brook trout and some also contain wild rainbow trout.  Less than 10% of the stream mileage in the Black Hills is stocked.  

Black Hils reservoirs provide ideal conditions for both trout and other warm and cool water sportfish species.  While some natural reproduction occurs in large reservoirs, annual stockings of hatchery-reared trout occur to provide a consistent adult fishery.  Other species are sustained through natural reproduction.

The Black Hills of South Dakota Fishing Guide contains a complete list of fish species, watersheds, reservoirs and more.