Dakota recreation report for Dec. 13, 2013
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.
It is illegal to run coyotes with snowmobiles, as well as harass and disturb any wildlife.
Dec. 17: Valley City Christmas Bird Count, Valley City Nat’l. Fish Hatchery, 8 a.m.
Dec. 18: Jamestown Christmas Bird Count, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, 7:30 a.m.
Dec. 21: Canada goose season closes except Missouri River Zone.
Devils Lake elevation, Dec. 11: 1,452.24 feet above mean sea level (MSL).
Stump Lake elevation: 1,452.54 MSL.
Lake Sakakawea elevation: 1,833.77 MSL; 16,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Cold and snow slowing fishing but helping make ice. Look for pike activity throughout Barnes, LaMoure, Logan, Richland, and Sargent counties with good numbers of 3- to 5-pound fish along the bays and main water edges. Try dead sticks, tip-ups with smelt, or walleye set ups with jigs and minnows. Red and Bois de Sioux rivers closed to darkhouse spearfishing, although most state lakes are open. Check the fishing guide for closed lakes. Devils Lake and area lakes gaining ice with limited activity and scattered success. Look for anglers out with warmer weather. Lake Audubon fair for walleye but ice depth varies.
Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait & Tackle, Devils Lake: Ice depth improving with snowmobile and 4-wheeler access recommended. Try Fort Totten, Grahams Island, and structure for walleye in 10 to 20 feet. Perch Hog and Creel bays. Some walleye and perch from Lake Irvine, as well.
Devils Lake, Lakeview Lodge, Devils Lake: Lake is gaining ice and anglers are venturing to areas with structure with fair walleye and perch. Some snow is on the lake.
Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Creel Bay, Devils Lake: Anglers walking onto ice and finding fair walleye and perch success. Try Lake Irvine for walleye and perch. Some walleye activity in Creel Bay.
Foster County area lakes, Dry Dock, Carrington: Cold weather limiting activity. Look for perch activity on area lakes with weather breaks and people can get out.
Jamestown Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Anglers walking onto area lakes and the reservoir, weather permitting. Look for walleye success in the morning and evening. Small area lakes producing perch.
Jamestown Reservoir, Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Lots of activity on the reservoir and small area lakes using jigs and minnows.
Lake Ashtabula, Bayshore, Valley City: Lake is gaining ice but cold temperatures are limiting activity. The lake also has snow with limited areas to drive. No reports from small area lakes, even though there was success prior to the cold weather.
Lake Sakakawea, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Lake Audubon gaining ice with some fishing activity. Limited reports, however, with cold weekend weather. Lake Sakakawea icing over in the back bays with a few anglers walking on for a mix of perch, walleye, and pike. Ice depth varies greatly.
Lake Sakakawea, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Pick City: Weather limiting activity. Lake Audubon producing walleye.
Lonetree WMA area lakes, Harvey: Goose Lake good for perch, fair for walleye. Hurdsfield Lake fair for perch and walleye. Antelope Lake fair for perch. Clear Lake fair for walleye.
Missouri River, Dakota Tackle, Bismarck: Nelson Bay on Lake Audubon producing walleye. Lake Josephine producing a mix of walleye, pike, and perch. Pearl and Mud lakes OK for perch.
Pipestem Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: No activity yet.
Pipestem Reservoir, Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Limited reports.
Red River, River Keepers, Fargo: Ice houses starting to move onto Bois de Sioux and Red Rivers with pike and walleye success, typical for early-season action. Beware of swifter river current areas and thinner ice.
Spiritwood Lake, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: No report.
Spiritwood Lake, Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Limited reports.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. game warden: Weather limiting activity.
East-central N.D.: No reports.
West-central N.D.: Canada geese still on the open water of the Missouri River. Geese are feeding late. Limited pheasant hunting due to cold weather.
N.D. Parks & Recreation Dept. state parks cross-country ski trails:
Fort Ransom: Trails open and groomed with about 5-inch base. Fair condition.
Grahams Island, Devils Lake: Trails open and groomed with 8- to 10-inch base.
Icelandic, Cavalier: Trails open and in good condition with 3- to 5-inch base.
Lake Metigoshe, Bottineau: Trails open but in poor condition with 4-inch.
Turtle River, Arvilla: Trails groomed and in good condition with 10- to 12-inch base.
Bears Den Mtn., Fort Ransom: Ski area not open yet.
Bottineau Winter Park, Bottineau: Ski area not open yet.
Frostfire Ski Area, Walhalla: Ski area is open with 12- to 15-inch base. Cold weather limiting snowmaking recently, however, but most runs, tubing area, and Terrain Park are open. Open Saturday and Sunday and daily through Jan. 5 beginning Dec. 20.
Huff Hills, Mandan: Ski area open with 10 to 18-inch base. Blue lift and bunny run and 5 runs 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).