Dakota Recreation Report
Sept. 28, 2012
Beware of dry grass conditions.
Nonresidents can’t hunt N.D. Game & Fish Dept. WMAs and PLOTS Oct. 13-19.
Saturday: Tundra swan season opens.
Saturday: Nonresident waterfowl season opens.
Oct. 5 & 6: Youth pheasant season.
Oct. 13: Pheasant, fall turkey seasons open.
Devils Lake elevation, Sept. 25: 1,451.51 feet above mean sea level (msl).
Stump Lake elevation, Sept. 25: 1,451.44 msl.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Walleye success slowed on Lake Sakakawea. Devils Lake continues producing small walleye with better fishing at times around 6-Mile Bay and other scattered areas throughout the lake. It’s a matter of timing and being in the right spot when the bite is on with overall success becoming somewhat spottier. Limited fishing reports from southeastern lakes. The Red River is low but dry, open banks could be a shore-fishing option below lowhead dams. Maple River is extremely low in some areas but the Sheyenne River is running higher.
Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait & Tackle, Devils Lake: Try trolling the moon bars on Pelican Lake, refuge island, Pelican ridge or the railroad tracks for walleye. Also try the Golden Highway, Doc Hagen’s or any structure on the main lake in 15 to 25 feet with crankbaits or spinners and bottom bouncers with nightcrawlers or leeches for walleye.
Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Creel Bay, Devils Lake: Continued strong walleye bite in various locations throughout the lake. Try a combination of trolling or jigging.
Jamestown Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Limited reports.
Jamestown Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Limited reports but some crappie success. Anglers also trying small area lakes.
Lake Sakakawea, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Lake Sakakawea has light walleye activity although salmon anglers are finding good success. A few anglers on Lake Audubon are finding fair walleye success. No reports from the Missouri River.
Lonetree WMA area lakes, Harvey: Harvey Dam slow with little fishing pressure. Hurdsfield Lake good for walleye, fair for perch. Goose Lake fair to good for walleye and pike. Antelope Lake fair to good for walleye and perch.
Missouri River, Dakota Tackle, Bismarck: Some activity at Alkaline, Green and Rice lakes. Continued OK salmon success on the south side of Lake Sakakawea. Try No. 4 or 5 Mepps or spoons from shore. Some activity on the Missouri River from Double Ditch working north to the tailrace.
Pipestem Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Not much activity.
Pipestem Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Slow.
Red River, River Keepers, Fargo: Red River is low, exposing more sand bars and snags but allowing for new shore-fishing areas to explore.
Spiritwood Lake, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Limited reports.
Spiritwood Lake, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Not many anglers but those going are finding fair smallmouth bass success with a mix of perch and walleye.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. game wardens: Be careful with waterfowl identification. Southeastern local duck and goose numbers were strong for the opening weekend but many seasonal and temporary wetlands are drying up. Hunters working field decoys or over water found a nice mix of teal, gadwall and mallards and exposed shorelines are also another good option. Harvested small grain fields drew in a geese and a mix of ducks, as well. Duck numbers remain in good shape throughout much of northeastern N.D. although cooler weather could help teal move out. Doves are becoming scarce. A few cranes have moved into northeastern N.D. Mixed success for the resident waterfowl opener in the northeast with few limits. Goose numbers are increasing with a few snow geese starting to trickle in from Canada. Be sure to review 2012 waterfowl regulations with some changes this year. J. Clark Salyer NWR has fair to good numbers of local waterfowl in the region.
Lonetree WMA, Harvey: Good numbers of local ducks and Canada geese in the region but relatively light hunting pressure. Fair to good grouse success. Some doves still in the area but those numbers will rapidly decline soon.
North-central N.D.: Not much waterfowl movement other than local birds.
Northeast N.D.: Good numbers of local ducks but pressure could move them out early. Ducks more concentrated with wetlands drying up.
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.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bismarck, website: (www.fws.gov/northdakotafieldoffice).