Weather Forecast


Dakota Recreation Report, March 23

Dakota Recreation Report

March 23, 2012

Patricia Stockdill

Outdoor Notes:

Saturday: Central Dakota Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation banquet, Jamestown; Pothole Paradise Ducks Unlimited (DU) banquet, 6 p.m., Kulm Community Center.

Wednesday: Moose, elk and bighorn sheep application deadline.

March 30: Prairie Pothole DU banquet, Woodworth Community Center.

March 31: James Valley Pheasants Forever banquet, Jamestown.

March 31: Zone 2 mountain lion season closes.

April 1: New fishing and furbearer licenses due.


Devils Lake elevation, March 21: 1,453.47 feet above mean sea level (msl).

Stump Lake elevation, March 21: 1,453.48 msl.

Lake Sakakawea elevation, March 21: 1,838.1 msl; 17,500 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.

N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: No reports from Devils Lake Southeastern rivers opening up and running but success is disappointing so far. The Red River crested. Try shore-fishing along retrofitted former low head dam sites although success remains slow yet. Look for the Sheyenne and Maple rivers along with other creeks to start producing action soon. Missouri River fair for walleye and northern pike with most success from boats. Bismarck-Mandan area also producing walleye. Lake Sakakawea fair for pike.

Devils Lake, Ed's Bait & Tackle, Devils Lake: Ice-fishing is done for the season. Some walleye and pike success around the bridges with open water from shore along N.D. Highway 19 using jigs and twister tails.

Devils Lake, Lakeview Lodge, Devils Lake: Open water fishing starting around bridges and culverts.

Devils Lake, West Bay Resort, Minnewaukan: The lake is opening up with the best activity from shore.

Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Creel Bay, Devils Lake: Shore-fishing starting to pick up in the upper bays and coulees of Devils Lake. Best success is around Channel A.

Jamestown Reservoir, Dan's Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Anglers starting to test open water shorelines of the reservoir and small area lakes but limited reports.

Jamestown Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Lake is ice-free. Most activity is on area rivers below dams. Lots of activity on the Missouri River.

Lake Ashtabula, Bayshore, Valley City: Lake elevations are about a foot below normal. Ice is off the lake. Some shore-fishing along the crossing from the rocks but no reports on success.

Lake Sakakawea, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Missouri River remains good for walleye with better success from boat. Lake Sakakawea opening along the shorelines but limited pike activity from shore yet. Look for more action with warm weather and wind.

Lake Sakakawea, Scott's Bait & Tackle, Pick City: Continued Missouri River walleye success from boats anchoring with jigs and minnows or plastics. 3-way swivels producing a few walleye in the chutes. Not many catfish or ling but a few trout. Limited crankbait bite off the rocks from the shore. Best success is with jigs or bobbers with bait. Limited pike activity from shore on Lake Sakakawea but look for it to start soon.

Missouri River, Dakota Tackle, Bismarck: Missouri River has walleye activity up and down the river from the tailrace past Bismarck. Best success seems to be around the Washburn area. Some shore-fishing pike activity on area lakes with open water around culverts, such as Lake Etta.

Pipestem Reservoir, Dan's Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Some open water fishing but no reports.

Pipestem Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: No reports.

Red River, River Keepers, Fargo: Bois de Sioux ice broke free with pike and walleye starting to bite on the Red River in the Wahpeton area. Water remains cold but ice is breaking up in the Fargo area. No local fishing reports yet, however.

Spiritwood Lake, Dan's Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Limited reports.

Spiritwood Lake, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: No reports.

Open Missouri River boat ramps:

Tailrace, Stanton, Washburn, Sanger, Steckel, Little Heart, Kimball Bottoms (slide-in metal), Graner's Bottoms (limited parking), Fort Rice. Grant Marsh and Fox Island docks in.

Light goose migration:

North Dakota: Lots of snow goose in a line from Rugby to Grand Forks. The rapid transition into spring with no snow line and little sheet water is allowing birds to spread out as they move north. Snow goose reports coming from South Dakota up into Saskatchewan and farther west than usual with birds moving through along the Missouri River corridor over the past weekend up to Minot and over to Devils Lake. A few stragglers in the northwest but most moved through. Lots of birds around and north of Devils Lake. Birds are tough pattern and decoy. Scouting and ability to move are key to any success.

South Dakota: Smaller flocks of birds continue moving through intermittently northeastern S.D.

Numbers to know:

N.D. Game & Fish Department, main Bismarck office: 328-6300; website: (

N.D. Game & Fish Department, Jamestown office: 253-6480.

RAP, Report All Poachers: (800) 472-2121.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bismarck, website: (