Lake Francis Case on the Missouri River fans out into a bay providing the South Dakota State Park called Platte Creek Recreation Area. The recreation area is located about 14 miles northeast of the town of Platte.
Platte Creek is an outdoor sportsman’s dream with some of the best fishing in the state. Fishing, camping and boating are the big draws to this park. The quiet setting seems to lend itself to successful fishing dating back to its first documents and original name, Fish Creek.
In the late 1880’s the spot was renamed for a man who ran a fur business on the creek banks. Strange as it seems, the man’s name, Bernard Pratte, was never officially noted as the name of the creek. During the translation to paper, someone messed up and spelled his last name Platte instead of Pratte. The misspelled name remained as the official title—Platte Creek.
The campground is open year round as Platte Creek is a hot spot for ice fishing. Fishermen claim some of the best conditions for catching the tastiest fish are in January and February. September and October are also top fishing trip months because the fall water temperatures bring walleye close to the top of the water making those cool days a great time to haul in the limit on walleye. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are also common in Lake Francis Case. Northern pike, crappie, yellow perch, catfish, bluegills, sauger and bullheads are caught on a regular basis. Check out the state’s fishing regulations at
Located in the very southern part of South Dakota in the eastern third of the state, modern camping facilities were first added to give dedicated sportsman a place to stay. The campground is fairly basic with a few trees partially shading some campsites while others are open to the sun. Modern restrooms, showers, a fish cleaning station, boat ramps and a dump station are provided at Platte Creek Recreation Area. There are 54 RV gravel sites and pull through sites but no tent camping spots.
The lake remains in its natural state with no man-made beaches. South Dakota prairie land surrounds the recreation area. The prairie and the river make the perfect habitat for the state’s only poisonous snake, the prairie rattlesnake of the pit viper family. Like most snakes, the rattlesnake is timid. If threatened, the snake produces a rattling sound with the rattles on its tail. A triangle-shaped head is a way to recognize a prairie rattlesnake from other nonpoisonous snakes in the area.
For more information and related links, check the Platte Creek Recreation Area’s website at www.sdgfp.info. Online reservations can be made at www.campsd.com or call 1.800.710.2267 to reserve sites at many South Dakota campsites.