Dakota Recreation Report
By: Patricia Stockdill, The Dickinson Press
- Friday: Missouri River Zone Canada goose, light goose seasons close.
- Sunday: 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: 1,841.7 feet above mean sea level; 20,000 cubic feet per second Garrison Dam average daily releases.
- North Dakota Game and Fish Department District Game Wardens: Lake Tschida fair for northern pike. Sheep Creek Dam producing trout and bluegill. North Lemmon Lake has perch activity. Access remains fair on most southwestern lakes. Not much access on Lake Audubon but anglers can get on north of Coleharbor. Missouri River tailrace remains fair to good for walleye, weather permitting. Sort through for the keepers. Use caution at the ramp with icy conditions.
- Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Some walleye activity at Sweetbriar Dam with some perch mixed in. Most activity on Lake Oahe remains at Beaver and Cattail bays with a mix of northern pike spearing and hook-and-line fishing. Snow remains a problem with best access on snowmobiles. Continued activity at Lake Tschida.
- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Indian Creek Dam remains good for nice-sized perch and smaller walleye. Some bass mixed in. Try wax worms or dead minnows. Lake Sakakawea has lots of snow with limited access. Snowmobiles needed to get around. Camels Hump Dam remains good for trout. Odland Dam good for perch with some northern pike mixed in. Larson Lake fair for small northerns.
- Dickinson, Runnings Farm & Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea remains good for sauger. Try 40 feet using buckshots tipped with minnows or dead sticks. Indian Creek Dam continues producing small walleye and perch. Try 18 to 22 feet with Swedish pimples or Cast Master’s.
- Garrison, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: Some access onto Lake Audubon off the East Totten boat ramp but little activity because it’s difficult to get around on the ice. Ice conditions remain questionable in some areas. Missouri River tailrace slowed somewhat for walleye.
- Glen Ullin, Fitterer’s Inc., Lake Tschida: Not much activity on Lake Tschida.
- Pick City, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Missouri River fair for walleye. Wing walls remain fair to good. Some activity from the rocks at night, weather permitting. No reports from Lake Sakakawea or Lake Audubon.
- New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: A few anglers walking onto the ice on the Van Hook Arm but there’s lots of slush and water on the ice. Limited success at best.
- Watford City, One-Stop, Lake Sakakawea: Some activity continues at Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea but snow is limiting mobility.
- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Continued sauger and walleye activity on the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers, Best success is mid-morning and evening. Lots of activity at Springbrook Dam for perch and northern pike. No recent walleye reports. The lake has good access. McGregor Dam slow. Not many reports from Blacktail Dam but look for some perch success.
Snowmobile trails report
- East Central Valley (Fargo, Casselton area): Trails open and groomed with good condition. 13-inch snow depth and 7 inches of snow recently.
- Lake Region (Devils Lake area): 12-inch snow depth. Trails open, groomed, and in good condition.
- Missouri Valley (Bismarck, Linton area): 7-inch snow depth. Trails open, groomed, and in good condition.
- North Central (Leeds, Rugby area): 12-inch snow depth. Western portion of the system is open and groomed with good conditions. Easter portion closed due to trail preparation.
- Northeast (Cavalier, Langdon, Edinburg area): 5-inch snow depth. Sections of the southwest trail are open and groomed but the northern and eastern portions remain closed due to lack of snow.
- Red River North (Grafton): 5-inches snow depth. Trails open, groomed, and in good condition.
- Red River South (Grand Forks, Fordville, Manvel area): Trails are being opened with plans to groom all trails the week of Dec. 27.
- Sheyenne Valley (Jamestown, Valley City, Lisbon, Oakes area): Trails are in the process of opening and are being groomed.
- Sno-Trails (McHenry & Ward counties): 18-inch snow depth. Trails opened, groomed, and in good condition.
- Southern Valley (Wahpeton, Mooreton area): Trails are in the process of opening and will be groomed.
- Other trails are closed with several in preparation to open soon.
Downhill skiing report
- Big Sky, Big Sky, Mont.: 38- to 58-inch base with powder and packed powder conditions. Several inches new snow in recent days. All trails open with 19 lifts operating.
- Huff Hills, Mandan: All runs open with 20- to 28-inch base. 2 lifts and the Bunny Tow operating.
- Red Lodge, Red Lodge, Mont.: 20- to 22-inch base with packed powder and machine-groomed conditions. 47 trails open and 6 lifts operating.
- Terry Peak, Lead, S.D.: 12- to 24-inch base with machine-groomed and packed powder conditions. 9 trails open with 4 lifts operating.
Cross-country skiing report
- Annual or day use pass needed
- Cross Ranch, Hensler: Trails open and in good condition. Warming house/visitor center open Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Fort Lincoln, Mandan: Park doesn’t groom its trails but they have good snow and are in good skiing condition.
- Fort Stevenson, Garrison: Light dusting of new snow last weekend with 4- to 5-inch base. 3 miles of trails are packed, tracked, groomed, and in good condition.
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.
r Report poachers: 800-472-2121.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bismarck, website: www.fws.gov/northdakotafieldoffice