Lake Sharpe flows for 80 miles from the Capital City of Pierre to the Big Bend Dam at Fort Thompson. With its fairly narrow channel, this reservoir more closely resembles a river, and it consistently provides solid numbers of walleye, sauger, catfish and even some trout.
North of Big Bend Dam, the river makes a large, loose curve, nearly creating a full circle. This "Big Bend" is responsible for the dam's name. Explorers Lewis and Clark were aware of the bend when they came up the Missouri River in 1804.
The thin strip of land between the two ends of the Big Bend is known as the Narrows. When Lewis and Clark passed through, they noted an abundance of wildlife here. It's no different today. The rugged bluffs that line Lake Sharpe harbor many species of waterfowl and wildlife. Hunting opportunities include Canada geese, duck, grouse, pheasant, deer and antelope.
Two Indian reservations the Crow Creek and Lower Brule border Lake Sharpe as it winds its way towards Chamberlain. You can experience the raw beauty of this landscape by driving the Native American Scenic Byway. The 101-mile route takes you to the edge of river bluffs, down to the river bottom, and up onto the High Plains where you may catch a glimpse of a tribal buffalo herd.
When you reach Chamberlain, be sure to visit the Akta Lakota Museum for an insightful journey into Lakota culture. Exhibits of traditional ceremonial dress, weaponry and tools tell the story of this fascinating people.
Other Chamberlain highlights are the Lewis and Clark Information Center and the South Dakota Hall of Fame.
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