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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. 25: Lake Sakakawea, Tobacco Garden.

- Feb. 1: Lake Sakakawea, Van Hook Arm.


- North Dakota Game and Fish Department District game wardens: Lake Audubon remains fair to good for small walleye. Lake Sakakawea producing pike throughout many areas with spearing and hook-and-line success.

- Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Cattail and Beaver bays on Lake Oahe fair but a case of quality more so than quantity. Sweetbriar remains fair to good for walleye and perch. Crown Butte Dam slowed.

- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Try Mossett, McKenzie, and Skunk bays on Lake Sakakawea in 30 to 40 feet for sauger and walleye. Also try Tobacco Garden in those same depths. Patterson Lake producing nice-sized perch and small walleye. Lake Ilo fair for 4- to 15-pound pike using smelt.

- 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: Not many recent reports from Lake Tschida. Some activity at Crown Butte and Sweetbriar dams.

- Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Not much activity on the Missouri River or Lake Oahe. Lake Audubon continues producing walleye.

- Pick City, Scott’s Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Spotty pike and walleye success throughout Lake Sakakawea. Try Wolf Creek for pike and work the islands. Lake Audubon remains good for small walleye.

- New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: A few scattered walleye but overall success is slow in the midsection.

- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Rising Missouri River water levels in the Williston area prompted anglers to move houses off the ice. Blacktail Dam fair to good for perch. Kota-Ray fair for trout. Lake Sakakawea has scattered walleye success with Tobacco Garden the most consistent area.

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

- Cross Ranch, Hensler: Trails open but in poor condition after recent warming spell and wind.

- Fort Stevenson, Garrison: New snow should help conditions but wind blew branches on some areas. Trails groomed and North Loop is now open.

Downhill skiing

- Big Sky Resort, Big Sky, Mont.: 40- to 60-inch machine groomed, packed powder base. 278 runs and all lifts open with 3 jumps and 102 rails on the Terrain Park.

- Bridger Bowl Ski Area, Bozeman, Mont.: 65-inch machine groomed, packed powder base with all runs, lifts, and Terrain Park features open.

- Huff Hills, Mandan: 19- to 22-inch base with 9 runs, 2 lifts, and tow open.

- Red Lodge Ski Area, Red Lodge, Mont.: 47-inch machine groomed, packed powder base with all runs and 6 lifts open.

- Ski Mystic at Deer Mtn., Lead, S.D.: 20- to 42-inch base.

- Terry Peak, Lead, S.D.: 18- to 26-inch base with 27 runs and lifts open.


North Dakota

- East Central Valley (Cass and Richland counties): Fargo East and West trails now open and groomed with 6- to 7-inch base.

- North-central (Benson, McHenry, Pierce, Ramsey, and Towner counties): Trails 1 and 3 open.

- Northeast (Cavalier, Pembina, and Walsh counties: Par Site, Sandhills, Neche, and Pembina trails open and groomed with 4- to 6-inch base.

- Peace Garden (Bottineau and Rolette counties): Trails 4, 4A, 4B, portions of Trail 1 and Trail 5 open with 3-inch base.

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

- Southern Valley (Richland County): Trails open and groomed with 4- to 8-inch base.

- Sno Trails (Bottineau, McHenry, Renville, and Ward counties): Burlington, Deering, Glenburn, Granville, Minot, Surrey, and Towner trails open and groomed with 6- to 9-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