Dakota Recreation Report
Don’t harass wildlife, including coyotes, with snowmobiles.
Mountain lion Zone 1 closed.
Dec. 21: Canada goose season closes except Missouri River Zone.
Dec. 27: Missouri River Canada Goose Zone closes.
Dec. 29: High Plains Duck Unit, tundra swan, light goose, merganser seasons close.
Devils Lake elevation, Dec. 17: 1,452.27 feet above mean sea level (MSL).
Stump Lake elevation: 1,452.54 MSL.
Lake Sakakawea elevation: 1,833.37 MSL; 16,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Perch and walleye success throughout many southeastern and south-central lakes using a variety of presentations — simple hook and minnow, buckshot rattling spoons, and dropper rigs tipped with wax worms. Minnow heads producing, as well. However, there doesn’t seem to be any real pattern perhaps because of inconsistent weather. Best bite typically starts right before sunrise, tapering off during the day, and improving again before sunset. Try areas off the mid-range depths near transition zones of drop-offs in sloughs and reservoir channels. Pike continue hitting walleye rigs or tip-ups with smelt and even deer steak chunks. Barnes, LaMoure, and McIntosh area sloughs had better reports but Richland, Sargent and Ransom county anglers had a few good reports, as well. Antelope Lake improving for walleye and perch. Devils Lake continues producing walleye and perch. Lake Audubon fair to good for small walleye. Stump Lake also good for walleye and perch.
Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait & Tackle, Devils Lake: Continued good for walleye and perch. Try Creel Bay, Black Tiger Bay, the towers, Stromme’s Addition, or west side of the Minnewaukan Flats for perch. Locate structure throughout the lake for walleye. Lake still has access but is gaining snow.
Devils Lake, Lakeview Lodge, Devils Lake: Good for nice walleye with good numbers of pike and perch mixed in. Water is clear enough so darkhouse spearing is underway for pike. Lots of activity and success at Lake Irvine.
Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Creel Bay, Devils Lake: Fair to good for perch around the north side of the lake. Decent walleye success, as well, around Rocky Point. Lake Irvine remains good. Some snow on the ice but access is OK yet.
Foster County area lakes, Dry Dock, Carrington: Lots of activity throughout most area lakes for a mix of walleye and perch.
Jamestown Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Lots of activity on small area lakes and the reservoir with fair to good success for small walleye. Access is OK yet on the reservoir.
Jamestown Reservoir, Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Lots of activity the reservoir and small area lakes with a mix of species using minnows for walleye and wax worms for perch.
Lake Ashtabula, Bayshore, Valley City: Anglers starting to move houses onto the lake with most congregating in areas with access. Some areas of the lake have snow so watch for the potential of slush beneath the snow.
Lake Sakakawea, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Lake Audubon has lots of activity for both angler numbers and walleye. Sort through small walleye for the keepers, though. Move around with no one location out-producing another. A few anglers working the back bays of Lake Sakakawea but ice conditions vary greatly.
Lonetree WMA area lakes, Harvey: Hurdsfield and Antelope lakes fair for perch and walleye. Goose Lake fair for a mix of pike, perch, and walleye.
Pipestem Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Little activity. Watch the springs.
Pipestem Reservoir, Sooper Stop, Jamestown: No reports.
Red River, River Keepers, Fargo: Red River walleye success in the evening hours.
Spiritwood Lake, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: No activity yet.
Spiritwood Lake, Sooper Stop, Jamestown: No reports yet.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. game wardens: Late season pheasant hunters continue to report spotty and sometimes better than expected bird numbers from Richland and Sargent counties were snow isn’t quite as deep, but birds get wilder every week. The heavier cover in deeper sloughs or near windblown food — corn — or spotting during the morning sunrise are a couple of tips. Little waterfowl activity along the Missouri River.
West-central N.D.: Fair pheasant numbers remain in areas. Lots of geese below the tailrace.
N.D. Parks & Recreation Dept. state parks cross-country ski trails:
Fort Ransom, Fort Ransom: Trails groomed and in fair condition.
Grahams Island, Devils Lake: Trails open, groomed, and in fair condition with 8- to 10-inch base.
Turtle River, Arvilla: Trails open, groomed, and in fair condition with 10- to 12-inch base.
Bears Den Mtn., Fort Ransom: Ski area not open yet.
Bottineau Winter Park, Bottineau: Check for opening date.
Frostfire Ski Area, Walhalla: All runs, 2 chairs, and Magic Carpet open with 12- to 15-inch base.
Huff Hills Ski Area, Mandan: 12- to 18-inch base with 5 runs, Blue Lift, and Bunny Tow open.
Numbers to know:
N.D. Game & Fish Department, main Bismarck office: 328-6300; website: (http://gf.nd.gov).
N.D. Game & Fish Department, Jamestown office: 253-6480.
RAP, Report All Poachers: (800) 472-2121.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bismarck, website: (www.fws.gov/northdakotafieldoffice).