Dakota Recreation Report
By: Patricia Stockdill, The Dickinson Press
Opening season dates
- Saturday: High Plain Duck Unit.
Closing season dates
- Sunday: Muzzle loader deer.
- Dec. 24: Canada geese statewide with exception of Missouri River Zone.
- Jan. 1: Light geese, Missouri River Zone Canada goose.
- Jan. 3: Pheasant, ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, partridge, tree squirrels, archery deer, High Plain Duck Unit.
- Ice is never completely safe. Use caution, especially in areas with vegetation, moving water and around bridges. Check conditions locally before venturing out.
- Lake Sakakawea elevation Tuesday: 1,841.1 feet above mean sea level; 15,000 cubic feet per second Garrison Dam average daily releases.
- North Dakota Game and Fish Department District Game Wardens: Missouri River tailrace remains good but cold weather limiting activity.
- Bowman, Bowman-Haley Dam Marina, Bowman-Haley Dam: The lake is gaining ice but anglers might want to give it more time before walking on.
- Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Some walking access on the creek at Sweetbriar Dam with occasional panfish and small northern pike. Some anglers walking onto Nelson Bay on Lake Audubon. Missouri River quieted down with cold weather.
- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Some ice fishing activity for northern pike in the back bay of Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea. Anglers finding occasional trout at Camels Hump Dam. Indian Creek producing occasional pike. Use extreme caution, though, on the ice.
- Dickinson, Runnings Farm & Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Weather permitting, Missouri River tailrace continues producing walleye. Look for increasing ice fishing activity as ice depths improve on Lake Sakakawea.
- Glen Ullin, Fitterer’s Inc., Lake Tschida: No reports of activity yet but the lake is gaining ice.
- New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Van Hook Arm starting to ice over. No fishing activity available yet. River portion also iced over but no fishing.
- Pick City, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Cold weather limiting activity on the Missouri River but once anglers can get back out, look for a continued walleye bite.
- Watford City, One-Stop, Lake Sakakawea: Some anglers walking onto Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea with some sauger success with some small northern pike mixed in.
- NDGF District Game Wardens: Waterfowl moved onto the Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea with small lakes and wetlands iced over. Pheasant numbers remain good in many areas of central North Dakota but fewer partridge numbers are around.
- Northwest: Some Canada geese remain on open water areas of the midsection of Lake Sakakawea but birds will move out as water ices over. Little pheasant hunting activity.
- Southwest: Hunters still finding fair pheasant success.
- West-central: Numbers of Canada geese on the open water of Lake Sakakawea and the Missouri River. Not many ducks but those here are mostly mallards. Pheasant numbers remain good.
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.