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Missouri River Inland Waters Fishing Regulations

Lake Oahe

  • Walleye: Anglers are allowed a daily limit that includes no more than one walleye 20 inches or longer throughout the year. This regulation aims to sustain the walleye population by protecting larger, potentially breeding-sized fish.

Lake Sharpe

  • Walleye Regulations:
    • Minimum Length: A 15-inch minimum length limit is enforced, with an exception during July and August when this restriction is lifted to accommodate seasonal fish movements and growth patterns.
    • Daily Limit: Regardless of the season, the daily limit may include no more than one walleye 20 inches or longer, facilitating balanced harvests year-round.

Lake Francis Case

  • Walleye Restrictions:
    • Minimum Length: Similar to Lake Sharpe, a 15-inch minimum length limit is in place, excluding July and August to allow for a broader range of catch sizes during summer.
    • Daily Limit: Consistent with other locations, anglers may keep no more than one walleye 20 inches or longer daily, ensuring the protection of mature fish.
  • Closed Area: Fishing is prohibited between the railroad bridge and I-90 bridge causeway in Brule and Lyman counties from December 1 to April 30, with an exception for shore fishing from the Brule County side, allowing limited access while protecting vulnerable fish populations during critical periods.

Missouri River (From Fort Randall Dam Downstream to the Nebraska Border)

  • Walleye: A year-round minimum length of 15 inches is set, with the daily limit including only one fish 20 inches or longer to promote sustainable fishing practices.
  • Catfish: There are no daily or possession limits for catfish, except for flathead catfish, where only one 30 inches or longer may be taken daily. This regulation aims to conserve larger flathead catfish, which are less common and play a crucial role in the ecosystem.
  • White Bass: Anglers are permitted a daily limit of 15, with a possession limit of 30, helping to manage white bass numbers effectively while providing ample fishing opportunities.

South Dakota Missouri River Fishing Regulations

Nebraska-South Dakota Border Waters Fishing Regulations

South Dakota Missouri River Fishing Regulations

Missouri River from Gavins Point Dam to SD-Nebraska Border

  • Walleye: Across this stretch of the Missouri River, a year-round minimum length of 15 inches is required for walleye. This regulation is designed to ensure the sustainability of the walleye population by protecting smaller, immature fish.

Gavins Point Tailwaters to Missouri River-Big Sioux River Confluence

  • Licensing Requirements:
    • Nonresident Anglers: Those fishing from Gavins Point Dam to 0.6 miles downstream are required to hold a Nebraska nonresident fishing license. This specific licensing requirement ensures that nonresident anglers contribute to the conservation efforts funded by fishing license fees in Nebraska.
    • South Dakota Residents: Can fish with their South Dakota resident license, offering a reciprocal agreement that facilitates fishing access for residents along the border waters.

Boat Regulations

  • Nebraska Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Stamp:
    • Boats launched from any Nebraska boat ramp, including the North Tailrace ramp below Gavins Point Dam and Lake Yankton, must display a Nebraska AIS stamp. This requirement is part of efforts to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, which can have detrimental effects on native ecosystems and water quality.
    • The AIS stamp should be affixed to the starboard (right) rearward side of the boat, ensuring it is visible for inspection.
    • Boats launched from South Dakota ramps do not need the Nebraska AIS stamp to access the shared border waters, reflecting the collaborative management of these waters by both states.

Further Information

For more details on the Nebraska Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) stamp, including how to obtain one, visit the official Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website at outdoornebraska.gov/aisstamp/. This resource provides comprehensive information on the AIS stamp requirement, its purpose, and instructions for compliance, supporting efforts to protect waterways from the impact of invasive species.

Inland Missouri River Harvest and Length Limits

The Missouri River and its inland waters offer a diverse array of fishing opportunities, with specific harvest and length limits set to ensure sustainable fishing practices and conservation of fish populations. Here's an overview of the regulations:

Walleye

  • Daily Limit: 4, but only one may be 20 inches or longer.
  • Possession Limit: 8.
  • Note: Additional length restrictions may apply in certain areas.

Northern Pike

  • Daily Limit: 6.
  • Possession Limit: 12.

Largemouth/Smallmouth Bass (Any Combination)

  • Daily Limit: 5.
  • Possession Limit: 10.

Yellow Perch

  • Daily Limit: 15.
  • Possession Limit: 30.

Crappie (Any Combination)

  • Daily Limit: 15.
  • Possession Limit: 30.

Sunfish (Bluegill, Green, Pumpkinseed, Redear, Orangespotted in Any Combination)

  • Daily Limit: 15.
  • Possession Limit: 30.

Trout/Salmon (Any Combination)

  • Daily Limit: 5.
  • Possession Limit: 10.

Muskellunge/Tiger Muskie

  • Policy: Catch and release only, emphasizing the conservation of these large, apex predator species.

Rainbow Smelt

  • Daily Limit: 5 gallons, reflecting the abundant and schooling nature of this species.
  • Possession Limit: No limit.

White Bass/Rock Bass

  • Policy: No limit, except in the last 5.5 miles of the Missouri River in South Dakota, where the daily limit is 15 and the possession limit is 30.

Lake Herring/Lake Whitefish, Bullhead, Rough Fish

  • Policy: No limit, indicating a more liberal approach to the harvest of these species.

Catfish (Any Combination)

  • Policy: No limit, but only one Flathead Catfish 30 inches or longer may be kept daily, supporting the sustainability of larger specimens.

Sturgeon

  • Policy: Season closed, protecting this ancient and often vulnerable fish species.

Paddlefish

  • Policy: Available by special permit only, due to their unique biological and ecological characteristics.

Nebraska-South Dakota Border Waters Fishing Limits

Fishing regulations for Nebraska-South Dakota border waters are designed to ensure sustainable use and conservation of aquatic resources. Here are the specifics:

Walleye

  • Daily Limit: 4 (with specific length restrictions on certain border waters).
  • Possession Limit: 8.

Northern Pike

  • Daily Limit: 3.
  • Possession Limit: 6.

Largemouth/Smallmouth Bass (Any Combination)

  • Daily Limit: 5.
  • Possession Limit: 10.

Rock Bass

  • Policy: No limit, reflecting their abundance in border waters.

White Bass

  • Daily Limit: 15.
  • Possession Limit: 30.

Yellow Perch

  • Daily Limit: 15.
  • Possession Limit: 30.

Crappie (Any Combination)

  • Daily Limit: 15.
  • Possession Limit: 30.

Sunfish (Bluegill, Green, Pumpkinseed, Redear, Orangespotted in Any Combination)

  • Daily Limit: 15.
  • Possession Limit: 30.

Channel Catfish

  • Daily Limit: 10.
  • Possession Limit: 20.

Flathead Catfish

  • Daily Limit: 5 (with only one allowed over 30 inches).
  • Possession Limit: 10.

Blue Catfish

  • Daily Limit: 1.
  • Possession Limit: 1, aiming to protect this species while allowing for controlled angling.

Trout (Any Combination)

  • Daily Limit: 5.
  • Possession Limit: 5.

Muskellunge/Tiger Muskie

  • Policy: Catch and release only, to support the conservation of these apex predators.

Rainbow Smelt

  • Daily Limit: 5 gallons, indicating the less restrictive management of this species due to its abundance.
  • Possession Limit: No limit.

Sturgeon

  • Policy: Season closed, reflecting conservation efforts for this ancient fish species.

Paddlefish

  • Policy: Fishing available by special permit only, due to their unique status and conservation needs.

Rough Fish

  • Policy: No limit, reflecting the management goals for species considered less desirable by anglers or overabundant.
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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.