Spring Creek, the Premiere Outdoors Destination in the Midwest.
28229 Spring Creek Place
Pierre, SD 57501
Aerial photo of Spring Creek Resort and Deep Water Marina
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Spring Creek Resort & Deep Water Marina
Spring Creek Resort is situated in the heart of South Dakota’s finest fishing and hunting territory. Overlooking beautiful Lake Oahe just 17 miles north of Pierre, SD. Spring Creek Resort specializes in fully guided fishing and pheasant hunting, goose hunting adventure. We are also the destination of choice for family reunions, corporate retreats, special occasion gatherings, and nationally known fishing tournaments.
Oahe baitfish continue to rebound, walleye conditions improve.
By Nick Lowrey firstname.lastname@example.org
The conditions in Lake Oahe continue to improve for walleyes and other game fish, said Game Fish and Parks Senior Fisheries Biologist Mark Fincel.
Baitfish populations devastated by the 2011 floods are rebounding, according to 2014 fish survey data Fincel presented at the GFP Commission meeting Friday. Fincel estimates there were about 20 million rainbow smelt in the lake last year, or about double the number from 2013.
That number is important because rainbow smelt are one of the biggest reasons Lake Oahe produces large walleyes. Smelt have a high fat content, which bigger fish need to survive.
Another piece of good news for the lake was the estimated 167.2 million cool water baitfish Fincel’s survey’s found. Most of those were lake herring he said. Herring aren’t as fatty as smelt but they can help fill in nutrition gaps and take pressure off the smelt so they can recover more quickly.
“This year was a very good year for lake herring,” Fincel said.
Last year was also another record-setting year for warm water baitfish production, Fincel said. Warm water baitfish species include minnows and juvenile game fish such as perch, crappie and white bass.
The solid baitfish population seems to have translated into a healthier walleye population. Fincel’s data show the walleye population is growing and the condition of each fish is improving.
Fish larger than 20 inches long are the exception. The number of big fish is a fraction of what it was before 2011, Fincel said. However, the number of fish between 15 inches and 20 inches long increased in 2014, he said. The average size of the walleyes anglers caught in 2014 was 14.8 inches.
The abundance of baitfish didn’t exactly make things easier for anglers, though, Fincel said. Catch rates on Oahe were well below average in 2014.
“That’s actually a very good sign,” Fincel said, explaining that the fish were harder to catch because they weren’t quite as hungry this year. That means they were better fed and healthier on average.
Lake Sharpe, for its part, produced an average number of fish that were also about average as far as health.
“Lake Sharpe is really a rock,” Fincel said.
Populations of the reservoir’s main baitfish, gizzard shad, don’t crash as rainbow smelt populations have been known to do. But shad aren’t as fatty either. That makes Lake Sharpe a more consistent fishery than Lake Oahe, while at the same time means it doesn’t produce as many fish or as many big fish.
LAKE OAHE OFFERS PHENOMENAL FISHING!! With nearly 30 fish species that provide anglers with a variety of fishing adventures. The most popular fish include walleye, salmon, small mouth bass, trophy northern pike, and channel catfish. We are also home to a handy convenience store/bait shop offering the freshest bait of the season and tackle necessary to catch the "Big One"! Read more at our Spring Creek fishing page.