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Dakota Recreation Report

Outdoor Notes

*Sunday: Paddlefish season opens.

*May 15: Spring turkey season closes.


*May 6: Missouri River, Rifle Range.

*May 7: Missouri River, Marina Bay.


* Lake Sakakawea elevation, Wednesday: 1,846.4 feet above mean sea level; 15,000 cubic feet per second Garrison Dam average daily releases. Water temperature: 36 degrees.

*North Dakota Game and Fish Department District Game Wardens: Missouri River slow for walleye. No reports from southwestern lakes. Some activity along the east end embankment on Lake Audubon. Lake Sakakawea has some shore-fishing activity around Wolf Creek. Look for northern pike activity to start soon.

*Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Missouri River starting to clear with more anglers working from Fox Island to the north. Try smaller Gulp minnows or minnows on long leaders. Also try light jigs. Look for improving northern pike activity in areas with flowing water in creeks. Try casting spoons or bobber fishing from shore.

*Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Lots of northern pike shore-fishing activity around McKenzie Bay of Lake Sakakawea using smelt. Mel's Marina area is muddy with runoff coming in from the Little Missouri River. Missouri River producing walleye around the Bismarck-Mandan area. Improving walleye success from shore downstream of Lake Tschida using jigs and minnows. Bowman-Haley Dam is open and producing a few walleye using nightcrawlers or minnows. Camels Hump Dam is open and producing some trout success.

*Dickinson, Runnings Farm & Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: McKenzie Bay of Lake Sakakawea producing northern pike from shore. Missouri River producing walleye north of Bismarck using jigs and minnows. Lake Patterson open but no fishing reports.

*Garrison, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: Lake Sakakawea shoreline starting to open as water levels rise but not enough for shore-fishing in many areas. Missouri River starting to produce an evening walleye bite in the tailrace and wing walls. No reports from Lake Audubon.

*Glen Ullin, Fitterer's Inc., Lake Tschida: Limited reports from Lake Tschida yet.

*Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Improving walleye success on the Missouri River with most activity around Bismarck-Mandan.

*Pick City, Scott's Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: A few more anglers trying open shoreline areas of Lake Sakakawea for northern pike using herring. Also try casting rattling, jointed or flashy crankbaits. Missouri River tailrace remains fair to good in the morning or evening using minnows or nightcrawlers from boats. Also try casting crankbaits from shore off the rocks or jigging from the wing walls but the time of day seems to be key to success.

*New Town, Van Hook Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: No activity in the midsection of Lake Sakakawea and the Van Hook Arm.

*Watford City, One-Stop, Lake Sakakawea: Some northern pike activity around Tobacco Garden and the New Town area of Lake Sakakawea.

*Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Continued northern pike activity in the Little Muddy River and Missouri River backwaters. Yellowstone River muddied up so work the backwaters. Lake Sakakawea remains iced over except along the shoreline. Some activity at Fort Peck, including Duck Creek.

North Dakota river levels and streamflow, April 19:

*Bear Den Creek, Mandaree gage: Creek stage, 4.45 feet; streamflow, 20 cubic feet per second (cfs).

*Cannonball River, Regent gage: River stage, 5.16 feet; streamflow, 229 cfs.

*Green River, New Hradec gage: River stage, 7.19 feet; streamflow, 20 cfs.

*Heart River, Richardton gage: River stage, 4.86 feet; streamflow, 221 cfs.

*Knife River, Manning gage: River stage, 7.64 feet; streamflow, 61 cfs.

*Little Missouri River, Marmath gage: River stage, 5.09 feet; streamflow, 1,710 cfs.

*Little Missouri River, Medora gage: River stage, 6.33 feet; streamflow, 2,180 cfs.

*Little Missouri River, Long X gage: River stage, 5.42 feet; streamflow, 4,920 cfs.

*Missouri River, Williston gage: River stage, 21.93 feet.

*Missouri River, Stanton: River stage, 9.88 feet.

*Yellowstone River, Sidney, Mont. gage: River stage, 7.85 feet; streamflow, 16,900 cfs.

Numbers to know

*NDGF main Bismarck office: 701-328-6300; website,

*NDGF Dickinson office: 701-227-7431.

*Report All Poachers: 800-472-2121.

*U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bismarck, website: