Dakota Recreation Report
April 20, 2012
Saturday: Lake McKenna Pheasants Forever banquet, Napoleon.
Sunday: Earth Day.
April 27: Great Plains Regional Office Ducks Unlimited 75th Anniversary, Bismarck.
May 1: Paddlefish snagging season opens.
April 28: Missouri River, Graner’s Bottoms.
Devils Lake elevation, April 18: Unavailable.
Stump Lake elevation, April 18: 1,453.43 feet above mean sea level.
Lake Sakakawea elevation, April 18: 1,836.8 msl; 28,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Devils Lake continues producing northern pike and walleye around the bridges. Try jigs and twister tails or minnows. Pike are still shallow. Lower water levels on area rivers are allowing access at dams, bridges and feeder streams. Bite slowed down but look for improved activity as shorelines dry out and levels stabilize after recent rains. Best walleye success continues to be with jigs and minnows. Try Dardevles for northern pike and brightly colored jigs for panfish. Continued good walleye success on the Missouri River south of Mandan using jigs or crank baits. Lake Sakakawea’s Little Missouri Arm is producing various sizes of pike for shore anglers.
Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait & Tackle, Devils Lake: Best walleye success remains around the bridges or coulees using jigs and minnows. Coulees also producing pike but try shallow bays of the main lake, as well, pitching crankbaits.
Devils Lake, Lakeview Lodge, Devils Lake: Work structure or current and look for improved walleye success with warming water temperatures. Continued good pike success.
Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Creel Bay, Devils Lake: Weather fronts continue slowing activity but weather permitting, area lakes north of Devils Lake remain fair to good for walleye and pike.
Jamestown Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Limited reports.
Jamestown Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Some activity but cooler weather slowing success.
Lake Ashtabula, Bayshore, Valley City: Some smallmouth bass activity from area fishing piers with overall fair shore-fishing success. No pike reports but boat activity was limited with cool, windy weather.
Lake Sakakawea, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Lake Sakakawea fair for walleye and sauger jigging deep in 20 to 70 feet off the south side bluffs, Mallard Island or Wolf Creek. Look for pike from shore at Douglas or Steinke bays using smelt or casting smelt. Missouri River remains fair.
Lake Sakakawea, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Pick City: Lake Sakakawea back bays continue producing pike with most under 10 pounds. Bigger fish seem to be farther from Hazen Bay and west. Missouri River tailrace remains fair to good for walleye from boats using jigs and minnows or pulling crankbaits. Good numbers of eater-sized fish. Shore anglers still finding some walleye from the wing walls or rocks using live bait or plastics. Lake Audubon producing activity from shore. Try Velva Point or the East Totten Recreation Area pier.
Lonetree Wildlife Mgmt. Area local lakes: Pike fishing remains fair to good along the Sheyenne River. Goose Lake, Round Lake and Harvey Dam fair to good for pike. Walleye success remains slow on area lakes.
Missouri River, Dakota Tackle, Bismarck: Missouri River remains good for walleye using jigs and minnows with most activity south of Bismarck. A little activity on small area lakes but no reports. Look for some pike activity yet in warmer, shallow waters casting spoons or smelt.
Pipestem Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Not much activity.
Pipestem Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Fewer reports from below the spillway.
Red River, River Keepers, Fargo: Fluctuating weather slowed fishing success over the past week in the Wahpeton area. Boats with slow presentations are catching walleye and pike.
Spiritwood Lake, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Not much activity with cooler weather over the past week.
Spiritwood Lake, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Limited reports.
Usable Missouri River boat ramps:
All ramps open except Hoge’s, Sibley Park and Maclean Bottoms. Kimball Bottoms ramp is slide-in metal.
Devils Lake ramps:
All ramps usable.
N.D. rivers streamflow and river stage, April 18:
Baldhill Creek, Dazey: Creek stage, 6.96 feet; streamflow, 66 CFS.
James River, Jamestown: River stage, 4.21 feet; streamflow, 164 CFS.
James River, Grace City: River stage, 5.06 feet; streamflow, 47 CFS.
Pipestem Creek, Pingree: Creek stage, 3.63 feet; streamflow, 56 CFS.
Red River, Fargo: River stage, 16.71 feet.
Sheyenne River, Cooperstown: River stage, 11.18 feet; streamflow, 486 CFS.
Sheyenne River, Valley City: River stage, 5.73 feet.
Early season hunters finding birds cooperative to calling and drier conditions making for a better start than in recent years.
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).