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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.


- Jan. 18: Missouri River, Bismarck-Mandan area.

- Jan. 25: Lake Sakakawea, Tobacco Garden.


- North Dakota Game and Fish Department District game wardens: Lake Audubon fair to good for walleye. Lake Sakakawea hit-and-miss for pike and walleye with some success at Wolf Creek.

- 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. Some activity on Lake Oahe but Cattail Bay is spotty.

- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Look for more anglers on the ice with warm weather. Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea remains good in 30 to 40 feet for sauger and walleye. Good numbers of perch from Indian Creek Dam with a few walleye mixed in. Lake Ilo fair for pike. Camels Hump Dam producing a few trout. Patterson Lake slow.

- Dickinson, Runnings Farm and Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Indian Creek fair for perch and walleye. Continued pike and walleye success on Lake Sakakawea. Try 20 feet and deeper. Lake Tschida remains limited with light activity yet. Patterson Lake slowed somewhat.

- Garrison, Cenex Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: Lake Audubon fair to good for walleye but size varies greatly. Lake Sakakawea producing pike and walleye from Garrison and Douglas bays with Steinke Bay producing pike with hook-and-line and spearing. Some pike spearing in Garrison Bay, as well.

- Glen Ullin, Fitterer’s Inc., Lake Tschida: Look for more activity with warmer weather.

- Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Crown Butte Dam fair to good for bluegill. Try an evening bite for walleye on Lake Audubon. Missouri River slow.

- Pick City, Scott’s Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon producing small walleye. Some pike spearing success from Wolf Creek on Lake Sakakawea. Some activity around Beaver Bay and Sakakawea for walleye.

- New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Continued fair to good walleye success in the Van Hook Arm but fish remain on the small side.

- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Remember to bring ice auger extensions on many area lakes. Missouri River continues producing walleye and sauger around the confluence, pump house, and points. Look for the potential rise in river levels with warmer weather. Steady walleye bite around Tobacco Garden and the guard camp. Perch action remains good on Blacktail Dam. Trenton Lake producing pike and crappie.

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