North Dakota fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in North Dakota. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in North Dakota

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6 waterbodies
17 cities
27 fish

What kind of fish can you catch in North Dakota

Below are 27 types of fish that can be caught in North Dakota. The data have been collected based on fishing reports from North Dakota and have undergone serious moderation. Explore the map of North Dakota to find out where a particular type of fish is biting.

Lakes and reservoirs for fishing in North Dakota

Below are the largest and most popular lakes, reservoirs, and bays for fishing in North Dakota. Each North Dakota body of water includes information on fish species, analytics, and a map with fishing spots

Licenses for fishing in North Dakota

For more detailed information and regulations, you can visit North Dakota Fishing eRegulations

License Type Resident Fee Nonresident Fee
Individual Licenses    
Fishing License (ages 16 and older) $16 $45
Married Couple Fishing License $22 $60
Senior Citizen Fishing License (65 or older) $5 -
Totally or Permanently Disabled Fishing License $5 -
Veteran with 50% Service-Related Disability $5 -
Paddlefish Tag $10 $25.50
Combination Licenses    
Combination License (ages 16 or older) - includes fishing, general game and habitat, small game and furbearer licenses $50 -
Veteran Combined Hunting (100% service-related disability) $3 -
Short-Term Licenses    
3-Day Fishing - $25
10-Day Fishing - $35


  • Individual Licenses are for specific activities, with fees varying by age and residency status.
  • Combination Licenses include multiple privileges and are available for residents only.
  • Short-Term Licenses offer temporary fishing rights, mainly for non-residents.

Fishing Regulations in North Dakota

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Use of explosives, poisons, or electrical devices for fishing is illegal.
  • Fishing with nets, traps, or seines is allowed only with specific permits and in designated areas.
  • Use of live fish as bait is restricted in certain waters to protect native species.
  • Snagging fish is not allowed except in designated areas during specific seasons.
  • Spearing and bowfishing are permitted for certain species in specified waters.
Catch Limits
  • Walleye: Daily limit varies by lake, typically 3-5, with size restrictions.
  • Northern Pike: Daily limit varies, often no limit to encourage removal in certain waters.
  • Yellow Perch: Daily limit varies, typically 10-20, depending on the lake.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: Combined daily limit of 3, size restrictions may apply.
  • Trout: Daily limit varies, typically 3-5, depending on the water body.
  • Salmon: Daily limit varies, generally 5 fish in aggregate with trout.
  • Crappie: Daily limit of 10, no size limit.
  • Catfish: Daily limit of 5 channel catfish, size restrictions may apply.
  • Muskellunge: Daily limit of 1, minimum length of 40 inches.
  • Sturgeon: Catch-and-release only in most waters; harvest opportunities are limited and regulated.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • Access to some waters may be restricted for environmental conservation or public safety reasons.
  • Fishing on private property requires explicit permission from the landowner.
  • Special regulations apply to fishing in state parks and wildlife refuges.
  • No fishing zones enforced around certain infrastructures like dams and fish hatcheries.
  • Seasonal access restrictions in certain areas for fish spawning and habitat management.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Catch-and-release areas for certain species, especially trout and bass.
  • Areas with gear restrictions, such as artificial lures only or fly fishing zones.
  • Slot limits for bass and other species in certain lakes and rivers.
  • Special regulations in waters with high fishing pressure or ecological sensitivity.
  • Trophy fisheries with enhanced size and bag limits in selected areas.
Protection of Rare Species
  • Fishing for endangered or threatened species is strictly prohibited.
  • Special regulations in habitats of rare or sensitive aquatic species.
  • Research fishing for rare species requires special permits.
  • Reporting accidental catches of rare species is important for conservation efforts.
  • Areas with significant ecological value may have additional fishing restrictions.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Closed seasons for specific species during spawning or migration periods.
  • Ice fishing regulations, including shelter and gear restrictions, during winter months.
  • Seasonal closures in sensitive ecological areas for species protection and habitat restoration.
  • Temporary closures during environmental events or for population studies.
  • Special regulations for early and late fishing seasons in certain areas.

Most popular cities for fishing in North Dakota

The largest and most popular fishing cities in North Dakota. Cities in North Dakota include information on fishing, as well as a map with fishing spots. Explore the cities to know what fish are caught and in which bodies of water.