Dakota Recreation Report
May 4, 2012
Saturday: Red River, Vince Herding Youth Fishing Derby, Kidder Recreation Area, Wahpeton, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Missouri River, Southport/Lakewood.
May 11: Missouri River, Hazelton.
Devils Lake elevation, May 2: 1,453.47 feet above mean sea level (msl).
Stump Lake elevation, May 2: 1,453.31 msl.
Lake Sakakawea elevation, May 2: 1,835.8 msl; 26,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Unstable weather created sporadic success throughout much of the southeast. Red River is dropping steadily. Fargo ramps opened early in the week but docks will have mud and debris, which could limit access. Water clarity is probably better than expected. Fair for catfish using floating jig heads and minnows with most fish in the 1- to 3-pound, eater-size range. Occasional walleye mixed in. Sheyenne River continues producing walleye throughout much of the system with best action at low-head dams and feeder stream inlets. Try brightly colored jig with minnows or nightcrawlers. Smaller Cass and Richland county reservoirs generally slow for panfish but most docks and piers are in and usable so there’s shore-fishing access. No reports from north-central area lakes or Devils Lake. Limited reports from Lake Sakakawea although a few northern pike are still showing up from shore. Try casting crankbaits. Walleye remain slow and water temperatures remain cool. Missouri River slowed down.
Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait & Tackle, Devils Lake: Most activity remains the bridges, feeder creeks and shallow areas with cattails. Try slip bobbers and leeches. Also try pitching crankbaits but success is still somewhat slow as water temps remain cool.
Devils Lake, Lakeview Lodge, Devils Lake: Not many anglers but those going out are finding fair walleye success. Work shallow, warm water in areas with structure.
Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Creel Bay, Devils Lake: Good for pike in shallow bays. Pelican Lake good for walleye. Also try 6-Mile Bay bridge using slip bobbers and leeches or plastics. Some success starting with crankbaits. Look for fish to start moving out to the main lake with warmer water temperatures.
Jamestown Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Fair success below the spillway.
Jamestown Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Continued activity on the river with some nice-sized walleye showing up. A few more anglers on the water but success is still somewhat slow, although some smallmouth bass are being taken.
Lake Ashtabula, Bayshore, Valley City: Limited reports with activity light throughout much of the lake.
Lake Sakakawea, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Missouri River remains fair to good for walleye. Wind and weather limited angler activity late last week but look for more pike success as more anglers get out.
Lake Sakakawea, Indian Hills Resort, Garrison: Docks and ramp in place with on-the-water gas available May 25. Limited fishing so far.
Lake Sakakawea, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Pick City: Continued fair to good for pike on Lake Sakakawea using smelt, spoons or crankbaits. Good numbers of smaller fish. Missouri River remains fair to good for eater-sized walleye from boats with a few trout and salmon mixed in. Some pike success from the wing walls using jigs and minnows.
Missouri River, Dakota Tackle, Bismarck: Lots of activity continues on the Missouri River. Limited reports from small area lakes although there’s some pike activity along area backwaters and creeks. Try smelt.
Pipestem Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Fair success below the spillway.
Pipestem Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: The lake is still low so activity is limited.
Red River, Fargo/Wahpeton: Lots of activity on the Red River in the Fargo area with good success, including some 20-pound catfish and large walleye. Good numbers of anglers shore-fishing around North Dam and lots of boats accessing the river at Convent Landing.
Spiritwood Lake, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Limited reports.
Spiritwood Lake, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Fair for smallmouth bass.
Missouri River boat ramps:
All ramps open, although Hoge’s Island ramp is marginal, Sibley Park and Maclean Bottoms ramps are closed. Kimball Bottoms ramp is slide-in metal.
Devils Lake boat ramps:
All ramps usable.
N.D. rivers streamflow and river stage, May 2:
Baldhill Creek, Dazey: Creek stage, 6.85 feet; streamflow, 50 CFS.
James River, Jamestown: River stage, 4.32 feet; streamflow, 171 CFS.
James River, Grace City: River stage, 4.97 feet; streamflow, 39 CFS.
Pipestem Creek, Pingree: River stage, 5.51 feet; streamflow, 72 CFS.
Red River, Fargo: River stage, 15.74 feet.
Sheyenne, Cooperstown: River stage, 11.1 feet; streamflow, 419 CFS.
Sheyenne River, Valley City: River stage, 6.1 feet.
Turkey hunters continue seeing better response from jakes more so than older toms. Look for improving late season success with hens starting to sit on nests.
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).