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Dakota Recreation Report

Outdoor notes

- May 1: Paddlefish snagging season opens.

- April 26: Dunn County Ducks Unlimited banquet, Buckskin Bar and Restaurant, Killdeer, 5 p.m.

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- April 26: Muddy Buck Mule Deer Foundation banquet, Grand Williston Hotel, Williston, 5:30 p.m.


- April 26: Missouri River, Graner’s Bottoms.


- North Dakota Game and Fish Department District game wardens: Some pike activity from shore on the Little Missouri Arm of Lake Sakakawea. Try smelt. Southwest area lakes are largely ice-free with some shore-fishing activity. Heart, Cannonball, and Grand rivers are producing walleye and pike using jigs and lures. Some activity downstream of Lake Tschida dam depending on water levels. Open water along many areas of Lake Sakakawea’s shoreline. Look for pike activity.

- Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Lots of shore-fishing pike activity along the open water shorelines of Lake Sakakawea. Try smelt. Find an open water shoreline bay and you’ll likely find pike.

- Dickinson, Runnings Farm and Fleet, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Lake Tschida has some open water but success is slow yet. Releases are creating high downstream river levels below the dam. Indian Creek Dam has open water. Lake Sakakawea has some open water along some shoreline areas.

- Garrison, Cenex Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea: Some pike success from the open water shorelines along the east end of Lake Sakakawea.

- Glen Ullin, Fitterer’s Inc., Lake Tschida: Limited reports yet.

- Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Missouri River remains muddy in the Bismarck-Mandan area with local runoff. Tailrace still somewhat slow.

- Pick City, Scott’s Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Lake Sakakawea producing good numbers of pike in areas where there is open water. Try herring or smelt. Missouri River is still somewhat slow but boat and shore anglers are finding an occasional catfish, walleye, and pike.

- New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Limited activity, although the shorelines are opening up.

- Watford City, One-Stop, Lake Sakakawea: Limited activity as anglers wait for more open water.

- Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Continued walleye and pike success from the Little Muddy River. Lake Sakakawea is opening up as far east as Lund’s Landing so look for boat activity soon. Small area lakes remain partially ice-covered with some shore-fishing along the open water edges.

Spring migration

- North Dakota: Not many reports from areas around the Missouri River. Light geese still in portion of east-central N.D. early in the week with the biggest concentrations from Glenfield over to Harvey. Spotty numbers in many areas of North Dakota with some reports coming early in the week from southwestern Cass County, Barnes, Sargent, and LaMoure counties. Light geese moved into the Devils Lake area over the past week. Look for a few stragglers, as well, in some areas.

Turkey hunting

- Heavy turkey hunting pressure in Dunn County with sporadic activity elsewhere. A few turkeys were taken over opening weekend. Some success in McKenzie County and along the Yellowstone and Missouri river bottoms.

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