Here's an updated list of lakes with potential winterkill in North Dakota.

Brutal Winters with heavy snow can lead to big fish die-offs.  When the ice finally comes off this spring it could be interesting on some of our area lakes.

The North Dakota Game and Fish over the course of each winter test lakes for dissolved oxygen.  Not every lake in the state is tested.  Instead, Game and Fish officials focus on bodies of water with the potential for low dissolved oxygen.

Heavy snow with as much as 80 plus inches of snow over area lakes is a recipe for winterkill.  The North Dakota Game and Fish get concerned when a body of water reaches 2 ppm, which sets off the alarm for potential winterkill in that lake.

The following list of lakes does not mean that winterkill is guaranteed at those levels, but they may experience some form of winterkill.

Anglers are reminded if they should observe a significant fish die off on the following lakes or any other, to please get in touch with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6349.

Area Potential Winterkill Lakes for 2023.

Burleigh County:

Mitchell Lake

Morton County:

Danzig Dam (NEW)

Gaebe Pond

Glen Ullin Reservoir

Krieg's Pond

Crown Butte Dam

Kidder County:

Deer Lake

Etta Alkaline Complex


Lake 5

Lee Leno Lake

Leno Lake

Rafferty Lake

Ranch Lake

Seil Lake

Trautman Lake

Mclean County:

Brush Lake (NEW)

Coal Lake

Crooked Lake

Scooby Lake

Emmons County:

Baumgartner Lake

Jake's Lake

Logan County:

Beaver Lake (NEW)

North Lake Napolean

West Lake Napoleon

Erickson Lake

Winter kill on North Dakota lakes each winter, unfortunately, happens quite frequently when the water becomes depleted of oxygen due to the buildup of ice and snow.  With a very large snow and ice pack on area lakes, this year means winter kill is likely on many bodies of water.

Winter kill can have a significant impact on fish populations in North Dakota's lakes, and it can take several years for these populations to recover.

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