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Fishing For Salmon In South Dakota

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Guide to fishing for chinook and coho salmon in SD.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Salmon fishing in South Dakota

South Dakota is not typically known for its salmon fishing, as the state is not located near the ocean. However, there is one species of salmon that can be found in some of the state's waters: the Chinook salmon. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about salmon fishing and identify popular salmon waters in the state.

Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, is a large and prized species of salmon known for its size and fighting ability. While it is not native to South Dakota, the state's Game, Fish, and Parks Department has introduced Chinook salmon into some of its reservoirs as part of a sport fishery program.

One of the main waters where Chinook salmon can be found in South Dakota is Lake Oahe, which is a massive reservoir on the Missouri River. Lake Oahe provides excellent habitat for these salmon, and anglers can target them using various techniques, including trolling, casting, and jigging.

While South Dakota's salmon fishing opportunities are limited compared to other states with more extensive ocean access, the presence of Chinook salmon in Lake Oahe provides anglers with a unique and exciting opportunity to catch this prized species in an inland setting.

Salmon Fishing Waters in South Dakota

Lewis And Clark Lake and Pactola Reservoir offered some salmon fishing in years past. Currently Lake Oahe, Lake Poinsett, Lake Sharpe and Oahe Tailrace are the only waters in South Dakota with significant populations of salmon.

Fishing Boats For Rent In South Dakota

Chinook Salmon

Chinook salmon

World record: 97 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 31 lbs 8 oz

Click the image or link above for species details.

South Dakota State Record Salmon

The state record Atlantic salmon was caught from Lake Oahe.

The state record chinook salmon came from Lake Oahe.

The state record coho salmon was caught in the Missouri River.

The record kokanee salmon was taken out of Pactola Reservoir.

South Dakota Salmon Fishing

The preferred method for catching salmon is fly fishing. Depending on the activity level, salmon may be caught on wet or dry flies, as well as a variety of other lures and baits.

The preferred method for catching salmon is fly fishing. Depending on the activity level, salmon may be caught on wet or dry flies. For more details check here for articles about fly fishing.

About The Pacific Salmon Family

Pacific Salmon are born in and remain in freshwater streams for the early years of life. The number varies by species. Afterward they migrate to the Pacific Ocean waters where they bulk up and prepare for their once in a lifetime spawning run up the freshwater stream where they were born. They will instinctively return to their birthplace, spawn and die. They are found in the streams which empty into the ocean, and adjoining ocean waters.

Salmon Organizations

Atlantic Salmon Federation

Atlantic Salmon Trust

Atlantic Salmon Museum

Pacific Salmon Commission

Pacific Salmon Foundation


Salmon fishing waters and information, by state.

AK Salmon Fishing CA Salmon Fishing CO Salmon Fishing ID Salmon Fishing IL Salmon Fishing IN Salmon Fishing MA Salmon Fishing ME Salmon Fishing
MI Salmon Fishing MN Salmon Fishing MT Salmon Fishing NC Salmon Fishing ND Salmon Fishing NE Salmon Fishing NH Salmon Fishing
NJ Salmon Fishing NM Salmon Fishing NV Salmon Fishing NY Salmon Fishing OH Salmon Fishing OR Salmon Fishing PA Salmon Fishing
RI Salmon Fishing SD Salmon Fishing VT Salmon Fishing WA Salmon Fishing WI Salmon Fishing WY Salmon Fishing

Learn the life cycle of salmon

The more you know about the life cycle and seasonal migration of salmon, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit South Dakota salmon fishing waters. Visit the salmon fishing page for more information about the life cycle of the different species of salmon.

Contribute SD Salmon Fishing Knowledge

If you have information, articles or photos relating to salmon fishing in South Dakota, which you would like to see published here, please submit them for consideration.

Best salmon fishing waters in South Dakota!