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Trout Fishing In North Dakota

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Guide to fishing for rainbow, cutthroat, brown and lake trout in area lakes and streams.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Trout fishing in North Dakota

North Dakota offers quality trout fishing, with various species available in its lakes and rivers. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about trout fishing and identify trout fishing waters in the state. Among the popular trout species targeted by anglers are rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, and cutthroat trout.

Rainbow trout are widely distributed and are known for their beautiful colors and acrobatic fights. They can be found in several lakes and rivers across North Dakota, providing anglers with exciting fishing experiences. Brown trout, on the other hand, are prized for their wily nature and can be found in select locations, including some of the state's rivers.

Lake trout, also known as Mackinaw, are sought after for their impressive size and strength. These deep-water dwellers are typically found in larger lakes and reservoirs, such as Lake Sakakawea. Anglers targeting lake trout often employ trolling techniques using downriggers and deep-diving lures to reach the fish in the depths.

Cutthroat trout, named for the distinctive red slashes on their throat, are native to North Dakota and can be found in some of the state's rivers and streams. They offer a unique angling experience and are highly regarded for their beauty and the challenge they present to anglers.

North Dakota is home to numerous lakes and rivers that support trout populations, providing anglers with a range of options for pursuing their favorite species. Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake, and the Missouri River are popular destinations for trout fishing, offering ample opportunities to land these prized fish.

When it comes to state records, North Dakota has seen some impressive catches over the years. The current state record for rainbow trout stands at a substantial weight, while brown trout and lake trout records also reflect the potential for trophy-sized catches.

Trout fishing in North Dakota is regulated by fishing seasons, limits, and specific regulations to ensure the sustainability of these populations. Anglers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the fishing regulations in the specific bodies of water they plan to fish and obtain the necessary permits before embarking on their trout fishing adventures.

Trout Fishing Waters

Most of the trout caught in ND come from streams and rivers. Lake Oahe and Garrison Tailrace have healthy populations of trout, as does sections of The Missouri River.

Fishing Boats For Rent In North Dakota

Trout Species In The State

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 21 lbs 4 oz

Cutthroat Trout

Cutthroat trout

World record: 41 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 10 lbs 1 oz

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 31 lbs 11 oz

Lake Trout

Lake trout

World record: 72 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 16 lbs 6 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Select the best trout lures and baits

Trout spinners, crankbaits and jerkbaits work well for shallow, reasonably active fish. Salmon eggs, worms and prepared baits will work at virtually all depths.

North Dakota State Record Trout

The state record rainbow trout was caught from Garrison Tailrace.

The state record cutthroat trout was taken out of Garrison Tailrace.

The state record brown trout came from Garrison Tailrace.

The state record lake trout was caught in Garrison Tailrace.

Visit the ND Game & Fish Department for details regarding trout stocking in ND. Watch trout fishing videos to see trout anglers in action.

Brown Trout
Brown trout being released.

The 5 primary trouts are the rainbow, brook, brown, cutthroat and lake trout. Browns are considered the most difficult to catch and brookies are the easiest. Pure cold water is key to survival of the trouts.

Additional trout fishing information

Trout Conservation
Trout Unlimited


Trout locations and info, by state.

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