Bowman Haley Lake, North Dakota, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - North Dakota - Southwest -

Also known as:  Bowman-Haley Lake

Bowman Haley Lake, located in Southwestern North Dakota, was once a Sioux hunting ground. Bowman Haley Lake is now a 1,740-acre lake surrounded by rolling grasslands. Year-round recreational opportunities include camping, fishing, hunting, boating, and picnicking.

Bowman Haley Lake, which is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was created by impounding the North Fork Grand River. Construction of Bowman Haley Dam was completed in 1970 and was designed for flood control, municipal and industrial water supply, fish and wildlife management, and recreational purposes. The dam stretches 5,730 feet long and is 79 feet from the stream bed to the top of the dam.

In recent years the Watershed Board and a local Anglers Club have worked together to enhance the beauty and accessibility of the lake. A tree farm has been established to provide trees around the lake, in addition o the thousands of trees already planted. After Christmas each year the Anglers Club collects discarded evergreens and throws them into the lake to provide fish habitat. Fish such as brown trout and rainbow trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye all make their home in Bowman Haley Lake, and anglers enjoy a chance at trying to catch their share of fish. Each year Bowman Haley Lake offers a free fishing day sponsored by the Tri-State Peace Officers Organization. During the first weekend of June, about 1,000 youth and adults come out to participate in the free fishing day. The upkeep of Bowman Haley Lake has also resulted in an increase in the deer population, making the lake area an excellent place to hunt.

There are three recreation areas at Bowman-Haley Lake: North Shore, South Shore, and the Point. All three recreation areas have a picnic area, while only North Shore has a camping area. Both North and South Shore have boat ramps.

For visitors who would like to do some local sightseeing, the nearby town of Bowman is the place to visit. Bowman County is the home of Pioneer Trails Regional Museum. It is open year round and is a regional research and repository for history within 100 miles of Bowman. The museum also displays art from local artists as well as traveling displays. One of the main attractions of the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum is their one-day field tours. Visitors can spend the day with museum personnel to search for and collect specimens for the museum. Visitors will be allowed to dig in certain sites, but all artifacts collected will remain with the museum. These tours give individuals opportunities to experience the life of a paleontologist.

Because Bowman Haley Lake borders South Dakota, Custer National Forest is an easy day trip. The Sioux Ranger District of this 1.2 million acre national forest is located in northwestern South Dakota and southeastern Montana. Year round recreational activities include hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. Although this District does not have designated hiking trails, the open ridges provide breathtaking panoramic views. The District also includes two National Landmarks. “The Castles,” in the Slim Buttes Unit of South Dakota, is a massive limestone structure that resembles a medieval castle. “Capitol Rock,” in the Long Pines Unit of Montana, is a limestone structure that resembles the Capital building in Washington, DC.

North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park, referred to as The Badlands, is an easy day trip north of Bowman Haley Lake. The Little Missouri River flows through this 70,448-acre park. The South Unit offers a 36-mile scenic drive starting at Medora, an “Old West” style town. Visitors are frequently treated to sightings of grazing bison along this scenic drive. The South Unit also provides two campgrounds: Cottonwood and Roundup. Cottonwood Campground accommodates tents, trailers, RVs, and a group campsite. Roundup Campground accommodates groups with or without horses.

Upon returning from area day trips, visitors can enjoy a cool refreshing swim or an exciting boat ride in Bowman Haley Lake. Lake visitors will not be disappointed with all the beauty and fun activities Bowman-Haley Lake has to offer.

Things to do at Bowman Haley Lake

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Park
  • National Forest
  • Museum

Fish species found at Bowman Haley Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Bowman Haley Lake Photo Gallery

    Bowman Haley Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Water Level Control: US Army Corps of Engineers

    Surface Area: 1,740 acres

    Shoreline Length: 17 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 2,755 feet

    Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

    Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 2,777 feet

    Average Depth: 39 feet

    Water Volume: 18,765 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1970

    Drainage Area: 446 sq. miles

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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