Dakota Recreation Report
Aug. 12, 2011
Usable Devils Lake ramps: Round Lake, Pelican Lake, 6-Mile Bay, Creel Bay, Spirit Lake Casino. Grahams Island State Park ramp open but access is day-to-day. Call (701) 766-4015 for updates.
Marginal Missouri River ramps: Stanton, UPA, Steckel, Fort Rice. All other ramps closed. Idle speed only from 1,000 feet south of the Steckel boat ramp on the Missouri River to MacLean Bottoms, including MacLean Bottoms. No boating from sunset to sunrise in that same area.
Usable Lake Oahe ramps: Hazelton, Beaver Bay, Walker Bottoms, Cattail Bay, Langelier’s Bay.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. expected to mail deer licenses sometime in mid-August.
Saturday: Early Canada goose; fall crow seasons open.
Aug. 17: Swan applications due.
Aug. 17: Leftover fall turkey licenses go on sale, first-come, first-served. Apply online at the N.D. Game & Fish Dept. website, (gf.nd.gov).
Saturday: Devils Lake, Grahams Island State Park; Lake Audubon.
Aug. 20: Lake Sakakawea, Sakakawea State Park; Indian Hills Resort.
Devils Lake elevation, Aug. 10: 1,454.28 feet above mean sea level (msl).
Stump Lake elevation, Aug. 10: 1,454.24 msl.
Lake Sakakawea elevation, Aug. 10: 1,849.5 msl; 100,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. Game Wardens: Most area rivers, including the Red, Sheyenne, Maple and Wild Rice, remain higher than normal for August. However, even with limited access and usable ramps and docks anglers are seeing fair to good action. Use spring fishing techniques for high water on the Red River with the best walleye and catfish success near the mouths of tributaries, feeder streams and even ditches. Nightcrawlers remain best for catfish with nice-sized fish showing up. Also try frogs, which are producing better than cut goldeye or sucker. Evening hours around sundown are better than mid-day. Area lakes steady but not spectacular with high water still making lake access and shore-fishing difficult. Try a hook and bobber with nightcrawler just outside the weed edges or open pockets for bluegill or bullheads. Walleye moved deeper. Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon slowed. The walleye taken around Hazen and Beulah bays and west are nice-sized but limited numbers. Good numbers of perch and smallmouth bass with a few northern pike mixed in. Good fishing opportunities for children. Most walleye success is on the Missouri River with anglers accessing at UPA and working north around the honey hole and chutes. Fair numbers of small walleye. Also try south around Washburn.
Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait & Tackle, Devils Lake: Continued good for small walleye around Stromme’s Addition working shallow. Work deeper trolling spinners and bottoms or crankbaits in 20 to 28 feet for bigger fish. Pelican Lake producing good numbers of northern pike around Refuge Island. Try Brown or Dead Cow bays for white bass.
Devils Lake, Lakeview Lodge, Devils Lake: Continued good for small walleye with a few bigger fish mixed in working the weeds. A few perch showing up from Penny Bay or the north end of 6-Mile Bay. Scattered white bass success but those taken are big.
Devils Lake, West Bay Resort, Minnewaukan: Fair for small walleye around the Minnewaukan Flats.
Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Creel Bay, Devils Lake: Continued good for small walleye using a variety of presentations. Anglers can get dozens of small 10- to 11-inch fish but only few a 15-inch and bigger ones are showing up. Success is scattered throughout most of the lake but the challenge is finding bigger fish.
Goose Lake, Harvey: Fair to good for northern pike and walleye.
Harvey Dam, Harvey: Fair for northern pike.
Jamestown Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Spotty walleye success, probably driven in large part by inconsistent weather. No one location is producing consistently.
Jamestown Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: A good number of anglers on the water but move around to find walleye.
Lake Ashtabula, Bayshore, Valley City: The lake is starting to drop but boat access remains limited. Those going out are still finding fair success for a mix of species.
Lake Sakakawea, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Lake Sakakawea transitioning to main lake points and rock structure for walleye. Try 8 to 25 feet, depending on wind and sun, with spinners and leeches or nightcrawlers. Also try crankbaits. Lake Audubon still producing walleye working the humps using spinners and nightcrawlers. Also try Lindy rigs or crankbaits.
Missouri River, Dakota Tackle, Bismarck: Increasing salmon anglers on the face of Garrison Dam but success remains limited so far. Lots of anglers on Lake Oahe with most activity around Cattail Bay using spinners and bottom bouncers with nightcrawlers. Also try crankbaits. Lake Audubon spotty for walleye.
Red River, River Keepers, Fargo: High water continues leaving Red River ramps underwater with few boats on the water. A few anglers trying their luck shore-fishing but catfish success is limited. Some nice carp and goldeye action, however.
Pipestem Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Most walleye and crappie activity is farther north.
Pipestem Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Fair to good for crappie but the lake is high with recent rainfall.
Spiritwood Lake, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Continued evening bite for nice-sized smallmouth bass.
Spiritwood Lake, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Fair for bass in the evening.
North Dakota river levels and streamflow, Aug. 10:
Baldhill Creek, Dazey gauge: Creek stage, 9.71 feet; streamflow, 1,090 CFS.
James River, Jamestown gauge: River stage, 11.33 feet; streamflow, 1,730 CFS.
James River, Grace City gauge: Streamflow, 734 CFS.
Pipestem Creek, Pingree gauge: Creek stage, 10.46 feet; streamflow, 1,150 CFS.
Red River, Fargo gauge: River stage, 22.16 feet; streamflow, 6,640 CFS.
Sheyenne River, Cooperstown gauge: River stage, 12.32 feet; streamflow, 911 CFS.
Sheyenne River, Valley City gauge: Streamflow, 3,640 CFS.
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).