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) current 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.

Fishing & Hunting

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. 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.


Nine 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.

Advance reservations are available for all Rimrock campsites. Advance reservations are also available for the electrical campsites at the Downstream Campground. Rimrock Campground offers 26 campsites with electrical hookups & 22 primitive sites.

The Downstream Campground offers 22 campsites with electrical hookups & 10 primitive sites of which 2 are handicapped accessible.

All the remaining campgrounds & un-reserved campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis.

The campgrounds & facilities are seasonally maintained from March 1st through November 30th.

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.

Fish Species Present

> Gizzard Shad
> Northern Pike
> Saugeye
> Smallmouth Bass
> Tiger Muskellunge (Tiger Muskie)
> Walleye
> White Crappie
> Yellow Perch

Free Access Recreation Areas

> Koehler's Point Recreation Area
> Rattlesnake Point Recreation Area
> Sled Creek Recreation Area
> Schatz's Point Recreation Area
> Hawebesi Recreation Area
> Boy Scout Reserve (When open to public camping)
> Crappie Creek Recreation Area
> Downstream Recreation Area

Lake Access Information

> The reservoir has a surface area of 7,575 acres & 3,400 acres of water.
> Open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
> 9 campgrounds, 8 with vault toilets, & 4 with potable water are available.
> Bait, food, fishing supplies, and gas concessions open Memorial day through Labor Day.
> 26 electrical campsites & 27 primitive campsites including 2 accessible electrical campsites are located at the Rimrock Recreation Area.
> 22 electrical campsites including 2 accessible campsites & 10 primitive campsites including 2 accessible campsites are located at the Downstream Recreation Area.
> A Comfort Station with showers & flush toilets is located at the Rimrock Recreation Area.
> A vehicle access fee is required to enter the Rimrock Recreation Area.