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Kid holding a fish he caught

Open Water Fishing Information

Fishing Licenses

Anyone age 16 and older fishing in North Dakota is required to have a fishing license.

Licenses are annual and valid from April 1 to March 31.

Purchase a License

Blank fishing license


North Dakota fishing regulations are updated every two years and published in a fishing guide.

View Fishing Guide

Woman fishing with guide cover superimposed

Where to Fish

Interactive and printable fishing waters maps are available to help you find the perfect fishing spot. Maps include driving directions to managed fishing waters, lake contours, fish stocking history, fisheries status updates, boat ramps and more.

View Fishing Waters Maps and Information

Fishing maps graphic

Paddlefish Snagging

Paddlefish snagging season begins May 1. Snagging requires an additional snagging license. The season may be closed early if the harvest limit is reached prior to the normal closing date.

Paddlefish Snagging Information


Boating Information

Boat registration, safety regulations, boat access locations, etc.

Boating Information

Boat on a lake

Virtual Fishing Mentor

Are you new to fishing or would like to learn more about fishing equipment? Check out our Virtual Fishing Mentor equipment page to get started.

View Fishing Mentor

Annual Fish Challenges

Try your hand at completing the North Dakota Classic Challenge (northern pike, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, channel catfish) or Sportfish Challenge (bluegill, walleye, bass, trout).

Take the Challenge

People holding fish they caught for the challenge

Miscellaneous Resources

Aquatic Nuisance Species

ANS - curly leaf pondweed

Species, Regulations, Infested Waters, etc.

ANS Information

Tagged Fish Reporting

Tagged walleye

If you catch a tagged fish, please report the tag information.

Report Tag

Fish ID

Yellow perch drawing

Learn how to identify common North Dakota fish species

What is this Fish?

Y Bones

Northern pike Y bone

Learn how to remove Y bones from northern pike

Y Bone Tutorial

Fish Recipes

Fish taco

Learn some new recipes

Fish Recipes

Legal Transport of Fillets

Legal Transport

Fishing guide cover with angler and fishing pole in background

Transporting Fillets
in North Dakota

How to Clean
a Walleye for Transport

Season Previews

2024 open water fishing season previews will be published during the weeks of March 25 and April 1.

(Last updated for the 2024 open water season)

Southwest Fisheries District

Lake Sakakawea

Northeast Fisheries District

South Central Fisheries District

Southeast Fisheries District

Devils Lake Complex, Red River

North Central Fisheries District and Lake Audubon

Northwest Fisheries District

North Dakota Outdoors Magazine

Biologist releasing fish into a lake

NDO Magazine - March/April Fishing Edition

More Fishing Information