Dakota Recreation Report
By: Patricia Stockdill, The Dickinson Press
- Today: 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, & squirrel seasons close.
- Jan. 9: Fall turkey season closes.
- 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, Wednesday: 1,842 feet above mean sea level; 18,000 cubic feet per second Garrison Dam average daily releases.
- North Dakota Game and Fish Department District Game Wardens: Reminder: Check fishing regulations to know which lakes have live bait restrictions. Most southwestern lakes have 10 to 12 inches of ice but use caution because it can vary. Access generally OK earlier in the week on most lakes, as well. Larson Lake producing some northern pike. Mott Watershed has trout activity. Lake Tschida and Indian Creek remain fair for walleye. Limited activity on Lake Audubon and Lake Sakakawea due to heavy snow and limited access.
- Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Some walleye activity at Lake Tschida with occasional perch. Most activity on Lake Oahe remains around Beaver and Cattail bays. Also try Langeliers Bay.
- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Lots of activity at Indian Creek with good perch success using jigs with wax worms. Some walleye success, as well, using dead minnows. Camels Hump Dam good for nice-sized trout with a few bass mixed in. Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea producing walleye in about 45 feet around the Beacon. Try minnows. McKenzie and Mossett bays have limited access with snowmobiles the only access. Some northern pike success at Skunk Bay.
- Dickinson, Runnings Farm & Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Indian Creek continues producing small perch and walleye with some keepers mixed in. Try small Frostee spoons tipped with minnow heads. Lake Tschida fair for walleye and northern pike. Try Kahlor’s Point in 18 to 20 feet using buckshot spoons with minnow heads or tip-ups with plain hook and minnow. Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea producing sauger in Tobacco Bay in 25 to 40 feet using buckshot spoons or Frostees with minnows.
- Garrison, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: A few anglers accessing Lake Audubon with snowmobiles but access to and around the lake is difficult at best. Use extreme caution because of varying ice depths and heavy snow cover. Weight of the snow is pushing water through ice holes in some areas. Those going are finding a light mix of walleye and perch. Missouri River tailrace producing walleye from boats, weather permitting.
- Glen Ullin, Fitterer’s Inc., Lake Tschida: A few more anglers on the lake but limited reports.
- Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Continued walleye and perch activity at 4-Mile and 1-Mile bays of Lake Oahe. Froehlich and Sweetbriar dams fair for small northern pike and perch.
- Pick City, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Nelson Bay on Lake Audubon has fair walleye success. Snow is making access difficult. Weather permitting, anglers continue going to the Missouri River tailrace. Sort through for keeper walleye. Try jigs and minnows. Also try the wing walls.
- New Town, Van Hook Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: No activity on the Van Hook Arm with snow limiting access and poor ice conditions yet. Most activity is around Tobacco Garden with some sauger and walleye success along the river channel.
- Watford City, One-Stop, Lake Sakakawea: Continued fair to good for walleye and northern pike at Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea.
- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Improving walleye and sauger reports from Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea and the Yellowstone River.
- N.D. Game and Fish Department District Game Wardens: Areas are limited for Canada goose hunting access in the Missouri River Zone but those going are finding some success. Weather permitting, hunters are still finding fair pheasant success but access is difficult. A few coyote hunters out.
- Southwest N.D.: Still good archery deer and pheasant opportunities in the area.
Snowmobile trail report
- Sno-Trails (McHenry and Ward counties): Eastern portion of the trails are open with 15-inch snow depth prior to snow earlier this week.
- Other trails are closed with several in preparation to open soon.
Downhill ski report
- Big Sky, Big Sky, Mont.: 38- to 57-inch base with powder and machine-groomed conditions. Several inches of new snow. All runs open along with 19 lifts.
- Huff Hills, Mandan: 15- to 20-inch base with Blue Lift and Bunny Tow operating. Fifteen trails open. New snow early in the week. Open daily over Christmas break except closed Christmas Day.
- Red Lodge, Red Lodge, Mont.: 26- to 34-inch base with packed and machine-groomed conditions. Forty-one runs open and 4 lifts operating.
- Terry Peak, Lead, S.D.: 12- to 24-inch base with machine-groomed, packed powder conditions. Six trails open and three lifts operating.
Cross-country ski trail report
- Cross Ranch, Hensler: No updates available.
- Fort Lincoln, Mandan: No updates available.
- Fort Stevenson, Garrison: Several inches new snow earlier in the week.
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