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Darkhouse Spearfishing

Darkhouse Spearfishing

Northern pike and nongame fish are the only legal species for darkhouse spearfishing. Daily and possession limits are the same as listed on page 12 of the Fishing Regulations Guide. Darkhouse spearfishing is legal from December 1 through March 15 of each fishing year. All waters open to hook and line fishing are open to darkhouse spearfishing except the following fishing waters which are closed:

  • Braun Lake – Logan Co.
  • East Park Lake – McLean Co.
  • Heckers Lake – Sheridan Co.
  • Lake Audubon – McLean Co.
  • McClusky Canal and New Johns Lake – Burleigh Co.
  • Red River and Bois de Sioux rivers
  • Red Willow Lake – Griggs Co.
  • Sweet Briar Dam – Morton Co.
  • West Park Lake – McLean Co.

In addition to possessing the needed valid fishing license, all individuals who participate in darkhouse spearfishing must first register on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department Online Services website, or through any Game and Fish Department office, prior to participating.

It is illegal to return fish to the water after they are speared. Possession of a spear is counted as a hook-and-line fishing pole while darkhouse spearfishing.

Legal darkhouse spear equipment shall be any manually powered shaft with barbed points. The spear head shall not exceed 12 inches in width. Pneumatic or rubber band powered spear guns may not be used. Artificials and all legal bait with the exception of live white sucker and rainbow smelt may be used as decoys. Any line used for a decoy will be considered a hook-and-line fishing pole if a hook is attached to the line.

Darkhouse Spearfishing

There is no restriction on the size of the ice hole while actively engaged in darkhouse spearfishing. When a hole greater than 10 inches in diameter is left in the ice when a darkhouse is moved, the area in the immediate vicinity of the hole must be adequately marked by the spearer with a natural object or a brightly painted or colored wooden lath. Markers must be visible from a minimum of 150 feet.