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Oahe Beckons with Great Summer Fishing

5/4/2005
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PIERRE, S.D. – Anglers heading to Lake Oahe need not be concerned about catching fish or getting their boat on the water – neither will be a worry in 2005. 2005 could hold the best fishing season anglers have experienced in quite a few years. “The low water conditions are actually a benefit to anglers who plan on fishing Lake Oahe. Structure such as timber and rocks that anglers couldn't physically see in the past and often hold fish are now visible and more fishable than ever before,” said Mike Haas, director of the Mobridge Chamber of Commerce. “Personally, I have never had a better time on the water than I am having right now.” Jim Riis, GF&P's Missouri River fisheries program administrator, agrees that fishing has bounced back and will be good this season. “The Missouri River and its reservoirs offer some of the best fishing in the Midwest and we are going to have some excellent fishing on Lake Oahe this year.” Record low water levels have put the state Game, Fish and Parks Department into high gear extending and building new boat ramps. GF&P will continue to extend ramps throughout the summer to ensure boaters access. Planned extension and new low water ramp projects should keep most, if not all, of the 12 access sites that were in service last fall usable throughout the 2005 boating season, according to Doug Hofer, GF&P's Parks and Recreation director. “Some specific boat ramps may be closed temporarily due to construction later in the summer but boat ramp options will be available to provide good boating access all season,” said Hofer. Boaters are encouraged to visit www..sdgfp.info/wildlife/boating/rampconditions.htm for up-to-date information on the condition of individual boat ramps. Riis noted that there are plenty of other fishing opportunities on the river. “Anglers can expect larger walleye this year, but don't forget the other fun fish in the reservoir. White bass and catfish are plentiful, offer lots of action and are excellent eating. The smallmouth bass fishery is first-class as well. Opportunities are endless for people to enjoy the Missouri River and all the various fish species. The Missouri River creates a paradise in central South Dakota,” Riis said.