Dakota Recreation Report
Aug. 26, 2011
Usable Devils Lake ramps: Round Lake, Pelican Lake, 6-Mile Bay, Creel Bay, Spirit Lake Casino. Grahams Island State Park ramp is usable but access is day-to-day. Call (701) 766-4015 for updates.
Usable Missouri River ramps: Tailrace, Stanton, UPA Washburn, Steckel. 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:
Sept. 1: Dove season opens.
Sept. 1: Youth deer season (ages 14 and 15 - regular license) and antlerless white-tailed deer season (ages 12 and 13) application deadline.
Sept. 2: Deer archery, Zone 1early mountain lion, Zone 2 regular mountain lion, elk bow (Units E-1, E-2), elk regular (Unit E-5), any elk September (Units E3, E4) & moose bow (Units M4, M5, M6, M8, M9, M10, M11) seasons open.
Sept. 7: Canada geese early season Missouri River Zone closes.
Sept. 10: Sharptail and ruffed grouse, partridge, and squirrel seasons open.
Devils Lake elevation, Aug. 24: 1,454.14 feet above mean sea level (msl).
Stump Lake elevation, Aug. 24: 1,454.07 msl.
Lake Sakakawea elevation, Aug. 24: 1,846.28 msl; 80,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Devils Lake continues producing small walleye. Dry Lake fair for small walleye and perch. Scattered rain and increased flows creating unpredictable catfish activity on area rivers with the Red, James and Wild Rice rivers continuing to rise. Sheyenne River is holding steading with some good walleye reports coming downstream of Valley City near bridges. However, don’t fish directly off of bridges and block traffic. Area small reservoirs continue producing some panfish success with occasional walleye mixed in. Try spinners with live bait along the weed edges or bobber in an open pocket. Missouri River fair to good for walleye but inconsistent, possibly because there’s lots of boat traffic. Lake Sakakawea fair for walleye.
Coal Mine Lake, Anamoose: Fair for northern pike.
Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait & Tackle, Devils Lake: Continued good for walleye throughout much of the lake. Lots of activity around Pelican Lake, Golden Highway, Howard’s Bay in the Minnewaukan Flats or try humps around Fort Totten, New Mil Bay or towers on the main lake with spinners and bottom bouncers in 10 to 25 feet. Also try trolling crankbaits in that same depth or pitching them shallow in less than 10 feet. Northern pike and white bass scattered throughout the lake.
Devils Lake, Lakeview Lodge, Devils Lake: Continued good for small walleye using variety of presentation with Golden Highway producing some bigger fish. Northern pike, perch and white bass mixed in.
Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Creel Bay, Devils Lake: Continued strong walleye bite. Try trolling spinners or crankbaits in 18 to 25 feet scattered throughout the lake.
Goose Lake, Harvey: Good for northern pike and walleye.
Harvey Dam, Harvey: Fair for northern pike.
Jamestown Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Jamestown Reservoir fair to good but spotty for walleye. Access remains limited. Lots of activity at Dry, Eckelson and Fox lakes.
Jamestown Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Activity below the spillways of Jamestown Reservoir along with walleye success on the reservoir itself. Ypsilanti Dam fair for northern pike. Alkaline Lake remains good for walleye.
Lake Ashtabula, Bayshore, Valley City: Good for perch with many nice filet-sized fish. Steady walleye success. Occasional northern pike with some up to 10 pounds. Limited reports of smallmouth bass but white bass are active about sundown. Lake levels are back to normal elevations.
Lake Sakakawea, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Missouri River remains good for walleye. Lake Sakakawea slowed somewhat. Work variety of depths from shallow to down to 40 feet hitting main lake points and drop-offs.
Lake Sakakawea, Indian Hills Resort, Garrison: Nice numbers of walleye in the 4-pound range and bigger with fish scattered throughout the area. Move around using Lindy rigs with nightcrawlers in 15 to 20 feet.
Lake Sakakawea, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Pick City: Lake Sakakawea producing some walleye in 18 to 22 feet using a slow Lindy rig presentation with nightcrawlers or crankbaits in deeper water. Better success is farther west of Pick City. Salmon slow but try 65 to 85 feet using flashers and squids or herring. Also try crankbaits in 30 feet in the morning. Missouri River tailrace and river is decent for walleye but fish are running a bit smaller. Good numbers of salmon mixed with some catfish and trout. Try jigs and minnows or nightcrawlers or crankbaits. No reports from Lake Audubon with anglers focusing on the river.
Missouri River, Dakota Tackle, Bismarck: Increasing boat activity on the Missouri River along with increasing activity on Lake Oahe at Hazelton and Fort Rice. Tailrace good for walleye with some salmon mixed in. Lake Sakakawea slow but producing an occasional salmon.
Red River, River Keepers, Fargo: Red River slow for walleye with reports of occasional nice-sized catfish using cut bait. Slow success using frogs. Most Fargo-Moorhead ramps still closed with water still high.
Pipestem Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Continued good crappie success.
Pipestem Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Continued good crappie success along with activity below the spillway.
Spiritwood Lake, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Fair to good for smallmouth bass with an evening perch and walleye bite.
Spiritwood Lake, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Fair to good for nice smallmouth bass.
North Dakota river levels and streamflow, Aug. 24:
Baldhill Creek, Dazey gauge: Creek stage, 8.48 feet; streamflow, 463 CFS.
James River, Jamestown gauge: River stage, 12.12 feet; streamflow, 2,060 CFS.
James River, Grace City gauge: Streamflow, 515 CFS.
Pipestem Creek, Pingree gauge: Creek stage, 8.97 feet; streamflow, 533 CFS.
Red River, Fargo gauge: River stage, 19.63 feet; streamflow, 4,870 CFS.
Sheyenne River, Cooperstown gauge: River stage, 12.92 feet; streamflow, 1,130 CFS.
Sheyenne River, Valley City gauge: Streamflow, 2,030 CFS.
Early season Canada goose: Geese are starting to bunch in bigger flocks. Small grain harvest is starting to open up for fields for hunting so conditions are improving somewhat. Try scouting areas near flooded soybean fields or stubble fields to set decoy spreads. Look for improving success as harvest continues. Hunters finding fair to good success in the Devils Lake area with good bird numbers.
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).