North Dakota Game Fish Records

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This article was updated in February 2024.

The following records charts list the North Dakota record sport fish legally caught and verified in the state. There are charts for both game and non-game fish species.

For more information about how to claim your own record fish in North Dakota, find more information below the records charts.

Game Fish Species

2 lbs, 12 oz
Strawberry Lake,
Budd Hystad
Oct 17, 1963
Brown Trout
31 lbs, 11 oz
Missouri River,
Garrison Dam Tailrace
Timmy Johansen
Feb 1, 2005
Burbot (Ling)
19 lbs, 8 oz
Missouri River,
Garrison Dam Tailrace
Shane Johnson
Jan 3, 2023
Channel Catfish
42 lbs, 1 oz
Moon Lake,
Tina Willis
Jul 25, 2009
Chinook Salmon
31 lbs, 2 oz
Missouri River,
Garrison Dam Tailrace
Thomas Schwartz
Jun 10, 1986
3 lbs, 4 oz
Lake OaheDon Newcomb
Feb 7, 1998
3 lbs, 4 oz
Jamestown Reservoir,
Boat Club Bay
Chris Rick
Jan 19, 2013
Cutthroat Trout
10 lbs, 1 oz
Missouri River,
Garrison Dam Tailrace
Chris Vernon
Aug 4, 2003
Lake Trout
16 lbs, 6 oz
Missouri River,
Garrison Dam Tailrace
Royce (Pete) Johnston
Mar 6, 2012
Largemouth Bass
8 lbs, 8 oz
Nelson Lake,
Leon Rixen
Feb 11, 1983
Northern Pike
37 lbs, 8 oz
Lake SakakaweaMelvin Slind
Jun 21, 1968
131 lbs, 0 oz
Upper Missouri River,
Confluence Area
Grant Werkmeister
May 7, 2016
Pure Muskellunge
46 lbs, 8 oz
New Johns Lake,
Cory Bosch
Jul 3, 2007
Rainbow Trout
21 lbs, 4 oz
Missouri River,
Garrison Dam Tailrace
Wade Weltz
Mar 26, 1998
8 lbs, 12 oz
Lake SakakaweaMike Fischer
Oct 6, 1971
12 lbs, 0 oz
Yellowstone RiverDave Faiman
Jan 6, 2013
Smallmouth Bass
6 lbs, 13 oz
Lake Darling,
Bruce Elberg
Apr 14, 2007
Tiger Muskellunge
40 lbs, 0 oz
Gravel Lake,
Marvin Lee
Jun 26, 1975
16 lbs, 6 oz
Lake Oahe,
Eckroth Bottoms
Jared Shypkoski
Mar 13, 2021
White Bass
4 lbs, 10 oz
Devils Lake,
Six Mile Bay
Charlie Vang
Jun 10, 2012
Yellow Perch
2 lbs, 15 oz
Devils LakeKyle Smith
Mar 28, 1982
Source: North Dakota Game and Fish Department

Non-Game Fish Species

Black Bullhead (Catfish)
4 lbs, 1 oz
Devils LakeRiley Zavada
May 26, 1988
Buffalo Species
54 lbs, 0 oz
Heart RiverKeith Huschka
Jun 19, 2011
Buffalo Species (bow)
60 lbs, 8 oz
Heart Butte Reservoir,
Mitch Estabrook
May 16, 2022
2 lbs, 9 oz
Lake Oahe,
Beaver Bay
Jack Fletcher
Feb 28, 2015
Common Carp
31 lbs, 0 oz
Sheyenne RiverAustin Loberg
May 16, 2003
Common Carp (bow)
31 lbs, 9 oz
Etta-Alkaline Complex,
Derek Barnick
Apr 21, 2017
Freshwater Drum
26 lbs, 2 oz
Lake Sakakawea,
Bear Den Bay
Larry Harris
Jul 20, 1988
4 lbs, 3 oz
Lake Audubon,
Three Mile Corn
Brayden Selzler
Jul 25, 2014
Lake Whitefish
8 lbs, 11 oz
Missouri River,
Garrison Dam Tailrace
Bill Mitzel
Mar 29, 1984
Source: North Dakota Game and Fish Department

How to Set a Fishing Record

In order to set a new record for a game or non-game fish caught in North Dakota, it’s best to know what to do before you ever put a hook into that trophy.

Besides being lawfully caught in the state, you’ll need to get an accurate weight on a certified scale (not the hand-held device in your tackle box), which is often easiest to accomplish at a grocery store.

Make sure you have a camera or smart phone handy to snap a good photo to submit to help prove your catch, and you’ll need at least one witness to sign off on the accurate weight.

You should also know that you’ll need to get that fish to a North Dakota Game and Fish Department employee for species verification within a month. So don’t eat it for dinner and call it good.

Finally, you’ll need to fill out the state’s Whopper Club application, or at least get all of that information on another piece of paper. You’ll sign your document before submitting it.

Read the Game and Fish’s State Record Fish page to review the requirements, and also check out this link to the Whopper Club application.