Dakota Recreation Report
By: Patricia Stockdill, The Dickinson Press
- Sunday: First day of spring.
- March 30: Moose, elk and bighorn sheep applications due.
- April 1: New fishing and furbearer licenses due. Snowmobile North Dakota trail system 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: 1,837.7 feet above mean sea level; 25,000 cubic feet per second Garrison Dam average daily releases.
- North Dakota Game and Fish Department wardens: Fishing has been slow with little activity in the southwest. Spotty success on the Missouri River. Little Missouri Arm of Lake Sakakawea is accessible at boat ramps. Lake Tschida can be accessed at north shore ramp with some perch and walleye being caught. No live baitfish allowed at Indian Creek. Some small perch success on Indian Creek Dam. Look for more activity with warmer weather as access continues to improve.
- Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Eckroth Bottoms slowed but anglers still finding an occasional small northern pike and walleye. Most activity remains around Beaver and Cattail bays on Lake Oahe.
- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Most activity is around the Missouri River tailrace with fair to good success from the wing walls. Try jigs and minnows for small walleye. Try casting Huskee jerks for walleye from shore. Some boat activity but the current is challenging with continued high Garrison Dam releases. Try 40 to 60 feet for sauger or 10 to 19 feet for walleye around Skunk Bay of Lake Sakakawea.
- Dickinson, Runnings Farm & Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Skunk Bay fair for sauger but work deep with jigging spoons and minnow heads.
- Garrison, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: Prior to last week’s storm, the Missouri River was producing walleye. The storm now shut down access onto Lake Sakakawea.
- Glen Ullin, Fitterer’s Inc., Lake Tschida: Limited activity on Lake Tschida. Look for slushy icy conditions to develop.
- Pick City, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Missouri River remains fair for walleye from boats. Wing walls continue producing walleye. Also try casting crankbaits off the rocks at night. Crooked Lake fair for perch and walleye. Some activity at Lake Audubon but no reports.
- New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: No activity on the Van Hook Arm.
- Watford City, One-Stop, Lake Sakakawea: No recent reports.
- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Some walleye activity at Little Beaver and White Earth bays on Lake Sakakawea. Look for the Missouri River to get sloppy and muddy as runoff continues.
- Cattail (Steele, Cass and Traill counties): 9-inch base. Trails open and in fair condition but won’t be groomed.
- East Central Valley (Fargo, Casselton area): 8-inch base. Trails open and in fair to good condition but won’t be groomed.
- Lake Region (Devils Lake area): 7-inch base. Trails open and in fair condition. Trail 3 in fair to good condition. Trail 2 and remaining trails poor to fair condition.
- May-Port (Mayville, Portland area): 5-inch base. Trails open and in poor to fair condition but won’t be groomed.
- Missouri Valley (Bismarck, Linton area): 5-inch base. Trails open and in fair condition but won’t be groomed. Those trails groomed last week held up well.
- North Central (Leeds, Rugby area): 7-inch base. Trails open and in fair to good condition. Some sections may be groomed depending on weather.
- Northeast (Cavalier, Langdon, Edinburg area): 6-inch base. Trails open but not groomed. Trails held up better in the western portion and are in fair to good condition.
- Peace Garden (Bottineau, Rolla area): 6-inch base. Trails open but won’t be groomed. Snow conditions fair with good trail conditions. Several sections re-routed due to thin ice.
- Red River North (Grafton): 5-inch base. Trails open and in fair condition but won’t be groomed.
- Red River South (Grand Forks, Fordville, Manvel area): 6-inch base. Trails open and in fair condition but won’t be groomed.
- Sargent County (Sargent and Richland counties): 9-inch base. Trails open and in good condition. Trails may be groomed, weather permitting.
- Sheyenne Valley (Jamestown, Valley City, Lisbon, Oakes area): 7-inch base. Trails open and in fair to good condition with some sections groomed.
- Sno-Trails (McHenry and Ward counties): 7-inch base. Trails opened and in fair to good condition with some sections groomed.
- Southern Valley (Wahpeton, Mooreton): 7-inch base. Trails open and in good condition. Trails may be groomed, weather permitting.
- Big Sky, Big Sky, Mont.: 63- to 96-inch base with packed powder and machine-groomed conditions. All runs open with 19 lifts operating.
- Huff Hills, Mandan: 22- to 26-inch base with 13 runs open, two lifts and bunny tow operating.
- Red Lodge, Red Lodge, Mont.: 38- to 40-inch with packed powder and machine-groomed conditions. Sixty one runs open; six lifts operating.
- Terry Peak, Lead, S.D.: 24- to 36-inch base with variable conditions. All runs open; all lifts operating.
- State Parks and Recreation Department cross-country trail report. Annual or day use pass needed:
- Cross Ranch, Hensler: 16- to 20-inch base with fair conditions.
- Fort Lincoln, Mandan: 21- to 25-inch base.
- Fort Stevenson, Garrison: Trails remain in fair condition and will be groomed Friday, weather permitting.
- NDGF main Bismarck office: 701-328-6300; website, http://gf.nd.gov.
- NDGF Dickinson office: 701-227-7431.
- Report All Poachers: 800-472-2121.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bismarck, website, www.fws.gov/northdakotafieldoffice.