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Lake Oahe Chinook Salmon

The outlook for the Chinook salmon fishing season in 2014 is unknown. A high number of salmon were drawn through Oahe Dam in 2011 with a good number of Chinook salmon found below Oahe Dam. Chinook salmon likely came down from Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota to Lake Oahe. Annual stockings of Chinook salmon have and will continue to provide a salmon fishery for the future. The summer months are typically a good time to catch Chinook salmon. However, early spring can also be a good time to fish for Chinook salmon without the need of downriggers. If you are after larger Chinook salmon, try fishing in the late summer and fall.

Salmon Fishing Techniques
To effectively catch Chinook salmon on Lake Oahe, anglers need to remember Chinook salmon are a cold water fish. The warmer the water gets, the deeper Chinook salmon tend to go. In the spring and fall, anglers fishing the lower portion of the lake can do well trolling with spoons and crankbaits. During the warm summer months, Chinook salmon tend to concentrate in the cold water layer and downriggers equipped with crankbaits, spoons, herring, dodgers, flashers and squids are used to get fishing lines down to where the fish are. In the fall, shore anglers can do well casting spoons and crankbaits from shore around Whitlock Bay when the Chinook salmon are preparing to spawn.


Protect our Waters

You can do your part for the health and productivity of South Dakota's waters by being proactive in preventing the spread of invasive plant, fish and animal species that threaten to crowd out native species.