Discover the Ending Dates for Fishing Season in North Dakota: A Must-Have Guide!

Fishing Season in North Dakota: When Does It End?


Fishing season is an exciting time for anglers across North Dakota. The state boasts stunning lakes, rivers, and reservoirs teeming with various fish species. However, it’s crucial to know when the fishing season ends to make the most of your angling adventures. In this blog post, we will explore the specific dates and regulations that govern the end of fishing season in North Dakota.

Understanding Fishing Seasons

Before diving into the details about when fishing season ends in North Dakota, let’s understand what fishing seasons entail. Fishing seasons are established by wildlife agencies to protect fish populations during their reproductive cycles while allowing anglers ample opportunities to enjoy their favorite pastime sustainably.

Fishing Season Dates in North Dakota

Inland Waters

The inland waters of North Dakota offer a rich diversity of fish species including walleye, pike, bass, trout, and more. The official fishing opener typically occurs on May 1st annually and marks the beginning of the open-water angling season throughout much of the state.

However, keep in mind that certain bodies of water may have different opening dates due to unique ecological factors or conservation initiatives. It is essential for every angler to review specific regulations for each body of water they plan to fish before heading out.

As for when fishing season ends on inland waters in North Dakota – it varies depending on several factors such as location and species:

– For most lakes within Region 1 (Northwest), Region 4 (Central), Region 5 (Southwest) as well as Devils Lake Basin: Most gamefish have no closed season until March 31st.
– Exceptions include smallmouth bass which has a catch-and-release period from December 1st through April 30th.
– Some lakes within these regions might have different closures for specific species, so it’s essential to check local regulations.

Missouri River System

The Missouri River System, including Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe, offers fantastic fishing opportunities for anglers. Fishing season closure dates on the Missouri River System differ from inland waters:

– Walleye and northern pike: Open year-round.
– Smallmouth bass: Catch-and-release only from December 1st through April 30th.
– Paddlefish: Season typically opens on May 1st and closes once the harvest quota is reached.

It’s important to note that special regulations may apply within certain segments of the river system or at tributaries, so checking regional fishery offices or online resources is highly recommended.


As an angler in North Dakota, understanding when fishing season ends is crucial to plan your outings effectively while respecting conservation efforts. While most gamefish have no closed season until March 31st across various regions of inland waters in North Dakota, there are exceptions such as smallmouth bass with a catch-and-release period. On the other hand, fishing on the Missouri River System remains open year-round for walleye and northern pike but has specific restrictions for smallmouth bass and paddlefish. Staying informed about local regulations before embarking on your fishing adventures will ensure a successful and sustainable experience in this beautiful state.