Dakota Recreation Report for March 2, 2012
By: Doug Leier, North Dakota Outdoors, The Jamestown Sun
March 2, 2012
March 10: Ransom county Pheasants Forever banquet, 6 p.m., Lisbon Eagles.
March 10: Spring crow season opens.
March 11: Bobcat, mink and weasel seasons close.
March 15: Permanent fish houses must be removed from lakes but can still be used if removed daily.
March 15: Darkhouse spearing closes.
Saturday: Devils Lake, Minnewaukan Flats.
Ice is never completely safe. Use caution, especially in areas with vegetation and around bridges. Check conditions locally before venturing out.
Devils Lake elevation, Feb. 29: 1,453.37 feet above mean sea level (msl).
Stump Lake elevation, Feb. 29: 1,453.39 msl.
Lake Sakakawea elevation, Feb. 29: 1,838.1 msl; 22,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Prior to the weather change and recent storms, fishing and access was still as good as it’s been all winter. Look for slower action, though, until stable weather patterns develop. However, before the snow perch success remained fair to good in area lakes. Work mid-range depths and deeper. Barnes County lakes were producing smaller perch with a few keepers mixed in. Try Minnows or minnow heads, mixing it up depending on the bite. Be versatile and move around on lakes throughout Barnes, Stutsman, LaMoure, Sargent and Richland counties. Continued northern pike success in the shallows on many lakes using smelt or hot dogs on tip-ups in back bay areas. Spearing is slowing down with many lakes becoming cloudy. Unsafe ice conditions continue limiting river fishing in the southeast. Shore-fishing anglers might want to try the opening of dam sites along the Red River at Hickson or in the Fargo area but use caution along the shoreline. Devils Lake continues producing perch and walleye. Weather slowed activity, although Lake Audubon still producing a few walleye and pike. Goose Lake producing perch. Centennial Bay on Lake Sakakawea is producing some nice-sized walleye with a few northern pike mixed in. Missouri River remains fair for walleye, weather permitting.
Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait & Tackle, Devils Lake: Pelican Lake fair to good for walleye. Also try the west side of the Minnewaukan Flats, Doc Hagen’s, Grahams Island, Mission Bay, Stromme’s Addition or Penny Bay, working structured areas in 8 - 20 feet using rattling jigs with minnow heads. Continue working East Devils Lake or Black Tiger Bay for perch with some now showing up in scattered areas of the main lake, including the casino, towers or mouth of Creel Bay. Work 30 to 60 feet using small jigs with minnow heads or wax worms. Work shallow water for pike in Lake Irvine or 6-Mile Bay.
Devils Lake, Lakeview Lodge, Devils Lake: Access remains good.
Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Creel Bay, Devils Lake: Access remains good. Continued fair to good perch bite in East Devils Lake or around the towers in the Main Lake. Fort Totten area slowed. Lake Irvine remains fair to good for walleye and pike. Look for some perch to start biting there, too. A late afternoon and evening walleye bite remains throughout much of the lake. Pike remain good in the shallows.
Jamestown Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Limited activity due to snow and cold.
Jamestown Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Weather front slowed activity.
Lake Ashtabula, Bayshore, Valley City: Limited activity with more snow on the ice and fewer anglers out. Those going are finding an occasional perch.
Lake Sakakawea, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Recent snowfall limited activity on Lake Audubon, although weather permitting, a few anglers are still going out. Prior to the snow, Douglas Creek on Lake Sakakawea was producing a mix of pike, perch and walleye. Ice conditions vary greatly, however, throughout the bay.
Lake Sakakawea, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Pick City: Weather permitting, Missouri River tailrace continues producing walleye during the day using minnows and jigs or plastics. Try honey hole, coal veins or cable crossings. Try jigs and minnows from the rocks from shore but success has slowed. Fair to good for pike from both shore and boat. Lake Sakakawea producing some pike around Wolf Creek or Sakakawea State Park, spearing or hook-and-line. Lake Audubon spotty for walleye.
Missouri River, Dakota Tackle, Bismarck: Anglers still finding walleye, pike and perch with occasional crappie from Beaver Bay on Lake Oahe. Missouri River tailrace remains fair for walleye, including as far down as the cable crossing. Some activity at Carlson Bottoms. Alkaline Lake fair for pike and walleye. Cameras are showing fish on Goose Lake but the bite has slowed.
Pipestem Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Activity slowed with snow and weather fronts.
Pipestem Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Limited activity after cold and snow moved through.
Spiritwood Lake, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Not many recent reports.
Spiritwood Lake, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Not much activity due to weather.
Downhill skiing, Feb. 29:
Bears Den Mountain, Fort Ransom: Trail preparations underway but ski area remains closed until grooming is possible.
Buena Vista Ski Area, Bemidji, Minn.: 18- to 34-inch base with at least 6 inches new snow. 12 runs and Terrain Park open.
Bottineau Winter Park, Bottineau: 8- to 16-inch base with 3 inches new snow and powder in protected areas. All runs and lifts open, with 3 Tube Park runs and several jumps and rails in the Terrain Park.
Frostfire Ski Area, Walhalla: 8 to 10 inches of new snow. 25-inch base. All runs open. Open Thursday through Sunday.
Huff Hills, Mandan: 12- to 38-inch base with packed powder conditions and 3 inches new snow – 6 inches over the past week. 14 runs, 2 lifts and Bunny tow open.
N.D. Parks & Recreation Dept. cross-country ski trails, Feb. 29:
Fort Ransom, Fort Ransom: About 7 inches snow last week. Trails groomed and in fair condition.
Icelandic, Cavalier: 10 to 12 inches of new snow but it’s dry. Trails are packed and will be groomed, if possible.
Lake Metigoshe, Bottineau: Trails are in poor skiing condition but are good for hiking. Sledding hill in fair condition.
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).