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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.

- Remember to remove valuables from icehouses when leaving to reduce theft potential.

- Register now for State Historical Society Heritage Outbound Winter Adventure, Feb. 8. Go to ( for information and pre-registration.

- 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: Lake Audubon fair for walleye with a few perch mixed in. Crooked Lake fair for pike and walleye. Good for small perch.

- Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Crown Butte Dam fair for bluegill, perch, and bass. Sweetbriar Dam has a night bite for walleye — about 5 p.m. to midnight in 12 feet. Fish Creek fair for trout and crappie. Nelson Bay on Lake Audubon remains fair for walleye and perch.

- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Skunk, McKenzie, and Mossett bays on Lake Sakakawea producing a mix of walleye and pike in 28 to 40- feet. Patterson Lake remains fair for small walleye with nice-sized perch and crappie mixed in. Lake Ilo continues producing pike in 2 to 10 feet. Try smelt. Indian Creek Dam producing perch in a variety of sizes with occasional walleye mixed in.

- Dickinson, Runnings Farm and Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Indian Creek Dam remains good for perch with occasional walleye. Lake Sakakawea good for walleye and pike. Lake Tschida remains slow.

- Garrison, Cenex Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: Continued good for walleye on Lake Audubon but lots of small fish. Most of the lake is producing some activity. Try Douglas Bay on Lake Sakakawea for walleye with good pike numbers mixed in. A few anglers starting to try Centennial and Steinke bays but access is tough.

- Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Crown Butte Dam good for bluegill. Lake Audubon fair for small walleye.

- Pick City, Scott’s Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: No activity on the Missouri River but anglers are finding small walleye on Lake Audubon. Try the back bays on Lake Sakakawea for pike darkhouse spearfishing.

- New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Van Hook Arm on Lake Sakakawea slow. Lake Darling fair for perch.

- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Continued walleye and sauger success on the Missouri River. Try the pump house and confluence. Trenton Lake fair for crappie with occasional walleye and pike. Small area lakes producing numbers of panfish. Try morning or evening hours at Tobacco Garden and Lund’s Landing for walleye and occasional sauger.

North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department state parks cross-country ski trails

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

- Fort Stevenson, Garrison: Trails open, groomed, and in good condition with 8-inch packed base.

Downhill skiing

- Big Sky Resort, Big Sky, Mont.: 34- and 51-inch machine groomed, packed powder base. 259 runs and all lifts open.

- Bridger Bowl, Bozeman, Mont.: 52-inch base with all runs and lifts open.

- Huff Hills, Mandan: 2 lifts, bunny tow, and 10 runs open with 12- to 18-inch base.

- Red Lodge Ski Area, Red Lodge, Mont.: 37-inch machine groomed base with all runs open.

- Ski Mystic at Deer Mtn., Lead, S.D.:16- to 42-inch machine groomed base. All runs and 4 lifts open.

Snowmobile N.D.

- Red River North (Pembina and Walsh counties): All trails open and groomed with 4- 5-inch base.

- Sno Trails (Bottineau, McHenry, Renville, and Ward counties): Deering, Granville, Minot, Surrey, and Towner trails open and groomed with 6-inch base.

- 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.

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

Patricia Stockdill