Heart Butte Dam on the Heart River in south central North Dakota is a uniform earth fill structure completed in 1949. Heart Butte Reservoir (Lake Tschida) currently provides water primarily for irrigation & flood control.

Other authorized uses include recreation & fish & wildlife benefits. The Heart Butte Unit irrigation lies in scattered tracts along the Heart Butte River to the Missouri River. There are approximately 13,100 acres of irrigable land.

Lake Tschida derives its name from Michael Tschida Sr. born in Vienna, Austria, in 1866. He immigrated to the United States in 1890 settling in Mandan, North Dakota. In 1900, he moved to Glen Ullin. He was elected the first Mayor of Glen Ullin in 1906. He was one of the most vocal local leaders promoting the construction of the Heart Butte Dam. He saw the completion of the Heart Butte Dam in 1949 & passed away in 1956.


The 7,575 acres of public land & 3,400 acres of water at the Heart Butte Reservoir offer an abundance of wildlife for hunting, fishing, & viewing opportunities year round. Heart Butte is well known for its Walleye & northern pikes. A fish cleaning station is provided at the North Shore Concession, Rimrock area near the office and at Schatz's Point. In addition to the abundant fishing, Heart Butte is a popular destination for hunting ring-necked pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, white-tailed deer & mule deer.


Ten recreation areas provide numerous campsites. Some campsites offer picnic tables, grills, shelters, restrooms, & potable water. An RV dump station is provided above the Rimrock Recreation Area at the Schatz Point Area. A fish cleaning station is provided at the North Shore Concession, Rimrock area near the office and at Schatz's Point.

Advance reservations are available for all campgrounds. Online reservations must be made at least 7 days or more in advance of your arrival. If making a reservation less than 7 days in advance you must call the office for assistance in completing your reservation. Otherwise all unreserved sites are available on a first come first serve basis. Self-registration Kiosks are conveniently located close to all camping areas.

The Boy Scout area will continue to be open to public use while the scouts are not at camp. However, the area will be for day use only to allow easier access to the fishing pier and bird watching opportunities. No overnight camping will be allowed to the general public.

Lake Tschida recreation areas observe a quiet time from 11PM to 6AM Mountain Time.


Lake Tschida is the only sizeable body of water in the area & has become a popular recreation center. Picnicking, swimming, boating, camping, water skiing, & fishing are popular summer activities. Fall & winter activities include hunting, cross country skiing, trapping, & ice fishing.


Take pictures, make drawings, look, but do not remove archaeological artifacts, fossils, & other geological specimens: it's against federal & state law. The past is for everyone. Archaeological artifacts & geological specimens are part of the heritage of this region, state, & nation.


Gizzard Shad

Northern Pike


Smallmouth Bass

Tiger Muskellunge (Tiger Muskie)


White Crappie

Yellow Perch