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Dakota Recreation Report

Outdoor notes

- Oct. 4: Upper Missouri Basin Friends of the NRA banquet, 4:30 p.m., Williams County Fairgrounds.

- Oct. 4: Van Hook Ducks Unlimited banquet, 4:30 p.m., New Town, 4 Bears Casino.

- Oct. 5 and 6: Youth pheasant season.

- Oct. 10: Bismarck DU banquet, 5:30 p.m., Ramkota Inn.

- Oct. 11: Southwestern Friends of the NRA, 4:30 p.m., Scranton Community Center.

- Oct. 12: Pheasant and fall turkey seasons open.

- Oct. 12: Dunn County Pheasants Forever banquet, 5 p.m., Killdeer, Buckskin Bar and Grill.

- Oct. 19: Bakken Friends of the NRA banquet, 4:30 p.m., Watford City, Outlaw Barand Grill.

- Oct. 20: Fall crow season closes.


- Oct.5: Lake Sakakawea, Tobacco Garden; Missouri River, Bismarck-Mandan area.

- Oct. 19: Upper Missouri River, Lewis and Clark Bridge.


- North Dakota Game and Fish Department District game wardens: No reports from southwestern area lakes. Lake Sakakawea slow.

- Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Access onto the Missouri River is becoming difficult. Try Hazelton and to the south. Lake Sakakawea producing a few salmon from shore. Try casting No. 5 Mepps spinners or spoons.

- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Not much activity with limited reports.

- Dickinson, Runnings Farm and Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Limited activity on Lake Sakakawea and small area lakes.

- Garrison, Cenex Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: Not much activity on Lake Sakakawea but those going west of Douglas Bay are finding a few walleye in 20 to 25 feet using a variety of presentations. A few anglers on Lake Audubon.

- Glen Ullin, Fitterer's Inc., Lake Tschida: Occasional walleye with somewhat improving success.

- Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Missouri River remains slow.

- Pick City, Scott's Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Access down river from the Missouri River tailrace can be challenging at times with low water levels. Try a variety of presentations around the mouth of the spillway channel, second coal vein, or stumps for a mix of species, including small walleye. Chutes and honey hole have limited success for most species but look for better numbers of catfish. Try 3-way swivels in the morning and evening. Use extreme caution with water levels, though. Shore-fishing producing a mix of species in the morning and evening from the rocks or boat ramp. Overall success is limited, though, from boat and shore. Lake Sakakawea producing walleye in the bays and off main lake points. Try 20 to 40 feet using Lindy rigs or spinners with bottom bouncers and nightcrawlers. Also try jigs with minnows and nightcrawlers. Try mixing up patterns. Most fish in the shallows are small. Try Silo Bay on the south shore, Alcatraz Island, Sakakawea State Park, or Douglas Bay. Some salmon success longlining along the face of the dam with walleye mixed in. Salmon success is spotty and inconsistent, though. Look for improving success from shore.

- New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Van Hook Arm slow with limited activity. Those going out are finding an occasional walleye, however.

- New Town, Van Hook Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: Limited reports with limited activity.

- Watford City, One-Stop, Lake Sakakawea: Some anglers going to Tobacco Garden with OK walleye success but others are finding more pike. Try crankbaits in 30 feet for walleye.

- Watford City, Tobacco Garden Resort, Lake Sakakawea: Not many anglers but those going out are finding a few nice walleye.

- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Missouri River improving for walleye using minnows. A few catfish mixed in using smelt. Lake Sakakawea slow.


- West-central N.D.: Fair waterfowl success. Birds are scattered and not concentrated in any particular area.

- Northwest N.D.: Fair to good waterfowl numbers around the midsection of Lake Sakakawea and good numbers of local birds in the northwest.

- Southwest N.D.: Fair duck success east of Bismarck-Mandan. Bow hunters are finding fair success. Fair grouse success in the Badlands.

Numbers to know

- NDGF Department main Bismarck office: 701-328-6300; website (

- NDGF Department Dickinson office: 701-227-7431.

- Report All Poachers: 800-472-2121.

- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bismarck, website: (

Patricia Stockdill