WHITE EARTH - Getting there takes a person through a mixture of cropland surrounded by rough country. It is a landscape that is both beautiful and forbidding, as rugged as the cowboys who have ridden through the storied history of the White Earth Valley.
About six miles north of the tiny town of White Earth lies the White Earth Reservoir. The cool surface of the impoundment fills a portion of the valley, its blue surface blending perfectly with the mixture of greenery and exposed clay that gave the valley its name. It is a perfect compliment to the region.
The reservoir covers about 140 acres and has a maximum depth of about 20 feet. Those who frequent it know it as a beautiful setting for camping and a productive fishery.
A concrete boat ramp serves White Earth Reservoir. Anglers can pursue northern pike, walleye, perch and crappie amidst the high ridges that form the picturesque White Earth Valley.
Fred Ryckman, Northeast District Fisheries Supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, regularly samples water quality and fish populations in White Earth reservoir. He says the impoundment has some issues with too many nutrients in the water but, overall, he rates the fishery "fairly good."
"It's an interesting one. There's been some low levels of dissolved oxygen but we don't have any record of a fish kill occurring there," said Ryckman. "It's got pike, walleyes, perch and crappies. It is really a nice setting down in there."
Since 2007, nearly 75,000 northern pike have been stocked by NDG&F into White Earth Reservoir. During that same time period records show the reservoir has also received 113,500 walleye fingerlings. An additional 15,000-20,000 walleye fingerlings are scheduled to be released into the reservoir in the coming days. Adult perch were stocked there fairly recently as well.
Camping is allowed at the reservoir. There are tables, a picnic shelter and trash containers. For those who enjoy shore fishing, there is ample shoreline to choose from. The facility also has a concrete boat ramp, dock, fishing pier and playground equipment. It is mowed and maintained regularly.
It is a marvelous setting for camping, fishing, or a combination of both, in one of the most scenic sections of the White Earth Valley.