Dakota Recreation Report
By: Patricia Stockdill, The Dickinson Press
- Lake Sakakawea elevation, Wednesday: 1,841.5 feet above mean sea level; Garrison Dam average daily releases of 12,500 cubic feet per second.
- North Dakota Game and Fish Department District Game Wardens: Continued walleye activity below the dam at Lake Tschida.
- Bowman, Bowman-Haley Dam Marina, Bowman-Haley Dam: No activity.
- Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Mixed reports from the Missouri River with activity around Hazelton and Fort Rice. Try crankbaits but be ready to switch to nightcrawlers or minnows if the bite isn’t on and vice-versa. Some activity in the tailrace with reports of bigger walleye taken. Try fly-fishing at McDowell Dam.
- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Some walleye activity from the former Mel’s Marina on Lake Sakakawea. Water is clear. Try Lindy rigs and minnows. Lake Tschida improving for walleye. Try vertical jigs in 15 to 30 feet.
- Dickinson, Runnings Farm & Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Missouri River producing mix of walleye and northern pike around Bismarck-Mandan with continued walleye success in the tailrace. No reports from Lake Sakakawea.
- Glen Ullin, Fitterer’s Inc., Lake Tschida: A few anglers finding some small walleye on Lake Tschida.
- Pick City, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/
Missouri River: Lake Sakakawea quiet for walleye activity. Occasional salmon taken from the spillway area and Government, Intake or Scoria bays. Try spoons, crankbaits, salmon eggs or nightcrawlers. Missouri River continues producing walleye activity during the day from boat using minnows. Activity continues from the rocks with crankbaits early in the morning or late evening.
- Watford City, Tobacco Garden Resort & Marina, Lake Sakakawea: Limited activity but those going are finding continued walleye success.
- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea: Missouri River is dirty. Try the backwaters, including the Little Muddy and Trenton Lake. A few anglers going to Lake Sakakawea but no report.
- NDGF District Game Wardens: Don’t shoot toward occupied buildings. Despite cool and damp weather, there’s a fair amount of waterfowl hunting activity in central North Dakota watch identification with some whooping cranes moving through with sandhills. Waterfowl numbers are good in some areas of central and west-central North Dakota but in other places, there’s good water and little to no birds. Weather could change bird movement. Mountrail County fairly slow for pheasants. More geese starting to move into the area with some ducks coming in while others moved out earlier with the cold weather. Hunters need to move around in west-central North Dakota to locate localized pockets of pheasants. A few geese coming off the lake but overall waterfowl success is slow south of Lake Sakakawea.
- Northwest: Bird numbers aren’t great but are still OK in some pockets. Cranes moving through earlier in the week. Good numbers of waterfowl, especially snow geese, just north of the border. More Canada geese moving into the mid-section area of Lake Sakakawea along with good duck numbers. Pheasant and grouse success remains fair in that area. Improving pheasant reports from the western region.
- Southwestern: Hunters finding fair to good pheasant success, although there’s still lots of row crops west river yet. Far southwestern hunters also finding fair numbers but working harder for any limits. Good bird numbers around Mott-Regent with scattered populations farther north in Stark County. Deer hunting outlook appears good but hunters should locate their licenses prior to the season.
- West-central: Continued good numbers of waterfowl, including cranes, throughout area. Fair to good, but mixed reports, on pheasant numbers. Lots of standing row crops.
Numbers to know
- NDGF main Bismarck office: 701-328-6300; Web site, http://gf.nd.gov.
- NDGF Dickinson office: 701-227-7431.
- Report poachers: 800-472-2121.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bismarck, Web site, www.fws.gov/northdakotafieldoffice.