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Lake Sakakawea

Lake Sakakawea Lake Sakakawea is one of five major lakes created on the Missouri River by the federal government in an effort to eliminate the annual flooding of river lowlands. Lake Sakakawea is located in west-central North Dakota stretching from the  Garrison Dam nearly 150 miles to the Montana border.

Lake Sakakawea covers over 365,000 surface acres and has an extended shoreline of over 1,500 miles. The width of Sakakawea ranges from one to 14 miles wide with the Van Hook Arm the widest area of the lake. The lake depth in main channel ranges from 70 to 175 feet with the deepest portion off the face of Garrison Dam. Because of its size, Lake Sakakawea offers lots of wide-open area for fishing and water sports. Sailboat and wind surfers find lots of wind energy to propel their crafts.

Fishing remains the primary activity on Lake Sakakawea. The big lake offers a wide-range of sport fishing. Cold water species include Lake, Rainbow and Brown Trout and Chinook salmon. Walleye, sauger and the cross saugeye give anglers lots of action as do the giant northern pike in Sakakawea. Pan fishermen can catch good numbers of large crappie and perch.

In low water years of the late 1980's and early 1990's work was completed on construction and extension of boat ramps on Lake Sakakawea. There are sufficient numbers of ramps available for public use to eliminate congestion. Some dozen ramps insure access at least every five miles on lower Sakakawea and every 15 miles on the upper reaches within McLean County.

For information on the state park with the same name, click here: Lake Sakakawea State Park.

Updated on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 02:03 PM.

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McLean County, 712 5th Avenue, PO Box 1108, Washburn, ND 58577 - Courthouse Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 - Noon, 12:30 - 4:30 CST