- Ice is never completely safe. Avoid areas with vegetation, moving water, pressure ridges, and springs. Check with local bait shops for any ice condition information.
- Saturday: High Plains Duck Unit and merganser seasons open. Remainder of state closed to duck hunting.
- Dec. 15: Bismarck Christmas Bird Count, Meet at Hardees, 7:30 p.m.
- Dec. 16: Muzzleloader deer season closes.
- Dec. 16: Medora/Theodore Roosevelt National Park South Unit Christmas Bird Count. Meet at South Unit Visitor Center, 8 a.m.
- Dec. 20: Canada goose season closes, except Missouri River Zone.
- Dec. 22: TRNP North Unit Christmas Bird Count. Meet at North Unit Visitor Center, 8:30 a.m.
- North Dakota Game and Fish Department District game wardens: Freeze-thaw weather conditions could vary ice on area lakes. Ice fishing is starting on small southwestern lakes with variable ice. Small northwestern area lakes starting to get a little activity but no reports. A little activity around White Earth Bay on Lake Sakakawea but parts of Van Hook Arm are still open.
- Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Missouri River remains slow, although a few anglers are shore fishing. Tailrace is fair. Some activity on Nelson Bay of Lake Audubon.
- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Indian Creek Dam producing perch using wax worms. Look for some walleye success, as well. Lake Ilo producing a few 5- to 7-pound pike using smelt, along with some perch. Lake Tschida remains unsafe. Missouri River tailrace producing a few walleye from shore using crankbaits. Lake Sakakawea producing sauger and walleye at Tobacco Garden.
- Dickinson, Runnings Farm and Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Anglers heading out to Tobacco Garden on Lake Sakakawea. Lake Audubon fair for walleye in the back bays. Some activity on Patterson Lake and Indian Creek but ice conditions vary and extreme caution is necessary.
- Garrison, Cenex Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: Lake Audubon producing walleye using jigs and minnows along the east end embankment, 9-Mile Bay, Nelson Bay and Velva Point. Ice depths varies greatly and walk-on access only yet.
- Glen Ullin, Fitterer’s Inc., Lake Tschida: Limited activity.
- Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Activity is light on Lake Oahe, although a few anglers are finding some walleye success near the casino or Beaver Bay.
- Pick City, Scott’s Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Missouri River tailrace remains good although shore fishing is more sporadic with best success at night. Try crankbaits. Boat success remains good.
- New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Ramps are icing on Lake Sakakawea but if the Deepwater Bay ramp is open, anglers are still finding walleye success.
- Watford City, One-Stop, Lake Sakakawea: Fair to good walleye success around Tobacco Garden.
- Watford City, Tobacco Garden Resort, Lake Sakakawea: Ice fishing activity starting to increase with most anglers working east of the resort.
- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Area lakes starting to gain some ice. McGregor Dam producing a few perch. Trenton Lake and Lake Sakakawea fair for walleye and pike. Try Tobacco Garden or Lund’s Landing. Missouri River near Williston has open water yet with some shore fishing. Most landings iced in.
- NDGF Department: Southwestern pheasant hunting continues producing birds although they’re flighty and scattered in crop fields and open cover. Some waterfowl remain around the midsection of Lake Sakakawea with a few hunters still pursuing pheasants.
- Northwest North Dakota: Continued fair pheasant success. Limited goose activity with birds limited to the Missouri River open water near Williston. Canada geese are also on the Missouri River around Bismarck-Mandan. Limited activity around the Van Hook Arm.
- Southwest North Dakota: Continued pheasant success with more predator hunters in the field.
- West-central North Dakota: Good numbers of Canada geese remain along the east end of Lake Sakakawea. Continued pheasant success but birds remain spooky.
- Big Sky Ski Resort, Big Sky, Montana: 20- to 30-inch base with machine groomed, packed powder. 36 runs and 8 lifts open but early season conditions exist so be cautious.
- Red Lodge Resort, Red Lodge, Montana: 12- to 24-inch base, machine groomed conditions. 8 runs and 3 lifts open.
Numbers to know
- NDGF Department main Bismarck office: 701-328-6300; website (http://gf.nd.gov).
- NDGF Department Dickinson office: 701-227-7431.
- Report All Poachers: 800-472-2121.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bismarck, website: (www.fws.gov/northdakotafieldoffice).