Dakota Recreation Report
By: Patricia Stockdill, The Dickinson Press
- Dec. 23: Canada goose season closes, except Missouri River Zone.
- Dec. 31: Missouri River Zone Canada goose, light goose seasons close.
- Jan. 2: Archery deer, partridge, ruffed grouse, High Plains Duck Unit, sharp-tailed grouse, pheasant, swan and squirrel seasons close.
- Ice is never completely safe. Use caution, especially around bridges and areas with vegetation. Check local conditions before venturing onto ice. Let someone know your location and estimated return time.
- Lake Sakakawea elevation, Dec. 14: 1,842.1 feet above mean sea level; 16,000 cubic feet per second Garrison Dam average daily releases.
- North Dakota Game and Fish Department District Game Wardens: Limited reports from the midsection of Lake Sakakawea. Increasing activity on Lake Audubon with some walleye success. No reports from southwestern lakes.
- Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Cattail and Beaver bays continue producing the most walleye activity on Lake Oahe. Some spearing activity for northern pike.
- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Cold weather limited activity on Lake Sakakawea and area lakes. Snow could also limit access.
- Dickinson, Runnings Farm & Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Odland Dam producing decent-sized perch. Try wax worms with Swedish pimples. Indian Creek Dam continues producing good numbers of small walleye and perch. Try 18 to 20 feet using small Frostees or buckshot rattle spoons. Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea fair to good for sauger with some sauger mixed in. Try 20 to 35 feet using rattle spoons tipped with minnows. Also try dead sticks with bobbers and regular jig head. Look for slush on the lake.
- Garrison, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: Lots of snow on the ice on Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon with limited activity. No recent reports.
- Glen Ullin, Fitterer’s Inc., Lake Tschida: Limited activity with few reports.
- Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Lake Oahe continues producing walleye and northern pike around Beaver and Cattail bays. Look for perch and walleye around 1-Mile Bay. Fish Creek continues producing trout. Sweetbriar Dam fair for northerns. Lake Audubon fair to slow with most activity around Nelson Bay.
- New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea producing sauger although snow making access difficult. Weight of snow is also pushing water up through the holes so ice conditions aren’t the best. No reports from the Van Hook Arm yet.
- Watford City, One-Stop, Lake Sakakawea: Tobacco Garden producing activity.
- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Snow limiting access on Lake Sakakawea with reports of occasional walleye.
- Southwest N.D.: Pheasant success continues along with lots of predator hunting.
- West-central N.D.: Good numbers of pheasants but birds are bunched in winter cover. Some geese remain on the open water of Lake Sakakawea and the Missouri River but access is getting difficult in many rural areas due to heavy snow.
Cross-country trail report
- Cross Ranch, Hensler: Trails packed and tracked and in good condition. Trails will be groomed again Friday, weather permitting. Visitor Center/Warming House open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
- Fort Lincoln, Mandan: Trails open and in good condition with about 10 to 12 inches of snow. Trails aren’t groomed, however,
- Fort Stevenson, Garrison: Trails have good snow and groomed, weather permitting.
- Big Sky, Big Sky, Mont.: 29- to 45-inch base with powder, packed powder conditions and recent snowfall. 95 trails and 12 lifts open.
- Huff Hills, Mandan: Open Saturday and Sunday with 15- to 20-inch base. 3 lifts operating and 15 runs open.
- Red Lodge, Red Lodge, Mont.: 34- to 38-inch base with packed powder and machine-groomed conditions. 40 trails and 7 lifts open.
- Terry Peak, Lead, S.D.: 12- to 24-inch base with machine-groomed conditions. 6 trails and 3 lifts open.
Snowmobile trail report
- Sno-Trails, Ward and McHenry Counties: Portions of the trail are open with about 5-inch snow base and 2 inches new snow. Open trails include Deering, Deering East, Granville, Minot, and Surrey.
Numbers to know
- North Dakota Game and Fish Department main Bismarck office: 701-328-6300, website gf.nd.gov.
- N.D. Game and Fish Department Dickinson office: 701-227-7431.
- Report poachers: 800-472-2121.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bismarck, website: www.fws.gov/northdakotafieldoffice