Water Activities

Choose from the following to find a site: Water Skiing


Eleven reservoirs on the Forest offer a variety of boating opportunities: Deerfield, Horsethief, and Bismarck Lakes allow small-motor (trolling) boats, but "no wake" rules are enforced. Waterskiing is popular at Pactola and Sheridan Lakes. For more information on boating regulations in the State of South Dakota, visit http://dor.sd.gov/Motor_Vehicles/Titling_and_Registration/Boats.aspx.

Marinas at Pactola Reservoir and Sheridan Lake in the central hills offer slip and boat rentals, launch sites, food service, fishing licenses, and boating and fishing supplies. The marinas have fairly consistent operational seasons, but factors such as weather and reservoir water levels can cause dates to change.

Individuals wishing specific marina information may contact the marinas at the following numbers:

  • Pactola Marina- (605) 343-4283
  • Sheridan Marina- (605)574-2169

Reservoir water levels and boat ramp data can be found on the Bureau of Reclamation website for Pactola and Deerfield Reservoir

See also "Does my watercraft need a decontamination" (by SD Game, Fish & Parks)

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities