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Dakota Recreation Report

Outdoor notes

- Ice is never completely safe. Avoid areas with vegetation, moving water, pressure ridges, and springs. Check with local bait shops for any ice condition information.

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- Harassing wildlife and chasing coyotes with snowmobiles is illegal.

- Dec. 29: Light goose, High Plains Duck Unit, swan, coot, and merganser seasons close.

- Jan. 5: Archery deer, pheasant, ruffed grouse, turkey, sharp-tailed grouse, partridge, and tree squirrel seasons close.


- North Dakota Game and Fish Department District game wardens: No reports from small area lakes, Lake Audubon, or Lake Sakakawea.

- Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Try 12 to 15 feet in the evening and night on Sweetbriar Dam for walleye. Crown Butte Dam fair for small bluegill and bass. Nelson Bay fair for walleye on Lake Audubon.

- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea producing walleye in 8 to 12 feet and 20 to 28 feet for sauger. Try 30 to 40 feet for walleye around Skunk and Mossett bays. Indian Creek producing nice-sized walleye using jigs and dead minnows Some small perch mixed in. Patterson Lake fair for small walleye, crappie, and perch. Camels Hump Dam, fair for nice rainbow trout. Try Lake Ilo for 4- to 15-pound pike using smelt. Lake Tschida fair for small walleye on the west side of the lake.

- Dickinson, Runnings Farm and Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Lots of activity on Lake Sakakawea and small area lakes.

- Garrison, Cenex Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: Lake Audubon continues producing walleye but more smaller ones are showing up.

- Glen Ullin, Fitterer’s Inc., Lake Tschida: Limited reports.

- Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Lots of success on Nelson Bay on Lake Audubon with an evening walleye bite. Better Missouri River success is quite far south on Lake Oahe. Limited reports from small area lakes around Bismarck-Mandan.

- Pick City, Scott’s Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Cold weather limiting activity.

- Watford City, One-Stop, Lake Sakakawea: Continued fair to good walleye and sauger success at Tobacco Garden.

- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Continued good walleye success on Lake Sakakawea with most activity around Tobacco Garden. Try the pump house or confluence on the Missouri River for walleye and sauger. Blacktail Dam fair for perch.


- Northwest N.D.: Limited activity with hunting seasons winding down.

- Southwest N.D.: Continued predator hunting activity.

- West-central N.D.: Limited activity with ongoing cold weather.

ND Parks and Recreation Department state parks cross-country ski trails

- Cross Ranch, Hensler: Trails open and in fair condition.

Downhill skiing

- Big Sky Resort, Big Sky, Mont.: 39- to 59-inch machine groomed, powder base with 170 runs, 22 lifts, and 9 Terrain Park features open.

- Bridger Bowl, Bozeman, Mont.: 65-inch machine groomed base with all runs and lifts open.

- Huff Hills, Mandan: 3 lifts and 9 runs open with 12- to 18-inch base.

- Red Lodge Si Area, Red Lodge, Mont.: 32- to 34-inch machine groomed base with 64 runs and all lifts open.

- Terry Peak, Lead, S.D.: 16- to 24-inch base with 19 runs and all lifts open.

Snowmobile in North Dakota

- Sno-Trail (Bottineau, McHenry, Renville, Ward counties): 5-inch base with Deering, Minot, and Surrey trails open.

- All other trails closed.

Numbers to know

- NDGF Department main Bismarck office: 701-328-6300; website (

- NDGF Department Dickinson office: 701-227-7431.

- Report All Poachers: 800-472-2121.

-V U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bismarck, website: (

Patricia Stockdill