The refuge is open 5:00am to 10:00pm. Portions of Lake Ilo are open for fishing from the shoreline or boats. Boat fishing is open May 1 - September 30. Motors are restricted to idle speed only. Shoreline fishing is open year-round. Popular game fish are northern pike, yellow perch, carp, and bluegill. An accessible fishing pier is located at the Park and the boat ramp is immediately west of the Park on the north shore. The concrete spillways on the Lake Ilo Dam, and islands are closed to all public use.
Lake Ilo hosts Kid's Fishing Day each year on the first Saturday in June in conjunction with free fishing weekend in North Dakota which means that residents may fish without a license. This event invites kids and their families to the refuge to fish along the shoreline of Lake Ilo, on the Lake Ilo Dam, and from the fishing pier in the Lake Ilo Park. They can bring their own fishing equipment if they wish. A limited supply of rods and reels are available for loan from the Refuge, and bait is provided for all participants. Fishing takes place in the morning and is followed by a picnic lunch and prizes!