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, 15,000 cubic feet per second.
- North Dakota Game and Fish Department District Game Wardens: Remember to register for those planning to darkhouse spearfish. Southeastern lakes don’t have enough good ice for ice-fishing yet. Walleye success continues on the Missouri River tailrace but it seems fewer anglers are out. Continued fair success near Williston, as well, weather permitting.
- Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Several ramps are out of the water on the Missouri River so anglers should be prepared. Continued activity around Bismarck-Mandan on the river from boat, weather permitting, as well as from shore at the Heskett Plant.
- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Missouri River tailrace continues producing walleye from boat and shore. Try casting crankbaits after dark from shore. Lake Tschida remains fair for walleye. A mix of smallmouth bass and walleye from Lake Sakakawea using jigs and minnows but look for limited activity until the lake ices over.
- Dickinson, Runnings Farm & Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Missouri River tailrace remains good for walleye, weather permitting. Try No. 13 Husky Jerks. Try light jigs in the slack water, too. A few northern pike mixed in. No reports from Lake Sakakawea.
- Glen Ullin, Fitterer’s Inc., Lake Tschida: No recent reports from the lake or below the dam.
- Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Small area lakes transitioning into ice fishing but no walking access available yet. Missouri River continues producing walleye but fewer anglers out with colder weather.
- New Town, Van Hook Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: No activity on the Van Hook Arm with anglers focusing on the Missouri River tailrace, weather permitting.
- Pick City, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Missouri River continues producing walleye using jigs and minnows or Lindy rigs with plastics, weather permitting, from boats. Try the honey hole or down river along the coal veins. Wing walls producing some small fish with somewhat limited success. Continued activity from shore at night casting crankbaits.
- Watford City, One-Stop, Lake Sakakawea: Limited reports from Lake Sakakawea.
- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea: Weather will limit activity on the Missouri River near Williston. A few anglers walking onto backwater areas iced over.
- NDGF District Game Wardens: As of Monday, two mountain lions left to harvest in Zone 1. Light pheasant hunting pressure in the southwest. Good numbers of pheasants and sharptails but birds are quite spooky, though weather is still allowing hunters to get into field. A mix of light hunting activity with central and west-central wetlands icing over and waterfowl concentrating on open water of the Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea.
- Northwest: Excellent Canada goose hunting around the midsection of Lake Sakakawea with good numbers of birds in the area. More pheasant hunters are getting out with generally fair success. Birds are a little spooky but hunters are still getting fair numbers. Poor furbearer prices limiting interest in furbearer hunting.
- Southwest: A few more predator hunters starting to go out and more pheasant activity now underway with the close of deer season. Try south of Dickinson for better numbers. Colder weather should help move deer for muzzleloader and archery hunters.
- West-central: Good goose numbers remain around Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon but snow geese may have moved a little farther west. Increasing numbers of Canada geese along the eastern end of Lake Sakakawea. Pheasant numbers remain strong.
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 & Wildlife Service, Bismarck, Web site, www.fws.gov/northdakotafieldoffice.