Weather Forecast


Dakota Recreation Report

Jamestown Sun

Dakota Recreation Report

Feb. 17, 2016

Patricia Stockdill

Outdoor Notes:

Ice is never completely safe. Avoid areas with vegetation, moving water, pressure ridges, and springs. Check conditions as you go along on the ice.

Never chase, harass, or pursue wildlife, including coyotes, with snowmobiles.

Snowmobile and tracked vehicles prohibited on N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Wildlife Management Areas and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service WPAs and refuges.

Feb. 18: Light goose season opens.

Feb. 25: Dakota Valley Delta Waterfowl chapter banquet, Valley City Eagles, 5 p.m.

Feb. 25: Lake Region Longbeards Nat'l. Wild Turkey Federation banquet, Devils Lake KC Club, 5 p.m.

Feb. 25: Pothole Paradise Ducks Unlimited banquet, Kulm Fire Hall, 6 p.m.

Feb. 25: Northern Badlands MDF banquet, Bismarck AMVETS, 5 p.m.

Feb. 25-26: WOW (Wild Outdoor Women) Weekend, Lake Metigoshe State Park. Call (701) 263-4514 or email Amy Schimetz, (, to see if space is still available.


Feb. 18: Jamestown Reservoir, Stump Lake, Devils Lake, Lake Audubon, Lake Sakakawea (darkhouse spearfishing event).

Feb. 25: Coe Lake.

Feb. 26: Silver Lake.


Jamestown Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Warmer weather bringing a few more anglers onto area lakes but overall success is somewhat slow.

Jamestown Reservoir, Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Eckelson Lake fair to good for pike. Try area lakes west of Jamestown for perch. Lots of activity on Jamestown Reservoir.

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

Pipestem Reservoir, Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Increasing activity.

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

Spiritwood Lake, Sooper Stop, Jamestown: No new reports.

Devils Lake elevation, Feb. 13: 1,450.35 feet above mean sea level (MSL).

Stump Lake elevation: 1,450.12 MSL.

Lake Sakakawea elevation: 1,837.51 MSL; 13,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.

N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Warm weather is creating treacherous ice conditions across many southeastern lakes for access and mobility. Permanent house could freeze down so anglers need to check them and consider relocating. Richland, Sargent, LaMoure, and Barnes County lakes producing some panfish but the key is to move around to find active fish and the most productive depths. Try mid-range depths for perch, not deep holes, but move up and out of channels and holes to locate them. Try smaller buckshot rattling spoons, Halis and dropper rigs tipped with small hooks or tungsten jigs. Look for walleye on the edge of morning and evening daylight hours in 6 to 10 feet using rattling spoons, blade baits, or jigging raps. Some pike success using tip-ups with smelt. Also try jigging. Access improving on Lake Sakakawea with fair at best walleye success.

Devils Lake, Ed's Bait & Tackle, Devils Lake: Move around to locate fish, although tracked vehicles are still necessary with better access around Creel Bay and the casino area. Try 13 to 25 feet for walleye with perch in deeper water.

Devils Lake, Lakeview Lodge, Devils Lake: Devils Lake remains inconsistent for walleye with some perch success, although also somewhat inconsistent. Better perch activity is on East Devils Lake.

Devils Lake, West Bay Resort, Minnewaukan: Tracked vehicles remain the best way to access Devils Lake. Continued walleye success in the flats and Pelican Lake.

Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Creel Bay, Devils Lake: Try working 35 to 40 feet in the flats for perch. Locate structure for walleye with a better morning and evening bite.

Foster County area lakes, Dry Dock, Carrington: Reports remain light on area lakes.

Lake Ashtabula, Ashtabula Crossing, Luverne: Last weekend's tournament drew nice angler numbers with good perch success, some small walleye, and nice-sized pike mixed in.

Lake Ashtabula, Bayshore, Valley City: Access continues improving on the lake allowing anglers to move throughout the area. Overall fair success, at best.

Lake Audubon, 6-Mile Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Lake Sakakawea remains slow for walleye although increasing activity with improving access. Lake Audubon remains fair to good for walleye in deep water. Keep any caught that deep, though. Good numbers of 9- to 11-inch perch, too.

Lake Sakakawea, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Improving access on Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon. Spotty walleye success on Lake Sakakawea on the east end. Watch varying ice depths because of areas of heavy snow cover. Audubon also inconsistent for walleye. Look for better success when mobile to locate fish.

Lake Sakakawea, Scott's Bait & Tackle, Pick City: Missouri River, Lake Audubon, and Lake Sakakawea remain spotty.

Lonetree WMA area lakes, Harvey: No new reports.

Missouri River, Dakota Tackle, Bismarck: Fair pike success at Lake Helen. Mudd Lake producing some perch. Beaver Bay slow on Lake Oahe.

Snowmobile N.D. trails:

Conditions could change with warm weather.

Cattail (Barnes, Cass, Steele, & Traill counties): 4- to 6-inch base. East trail open & in fair condition. Watch for drifts from blowing snow.

Lake Region (Nelson & Ramsey counties): 10-inch base with Trails 1, 2, & 3 (Webster to Nekoma junction) open. Beware of thin ice.

Missouri Valley (Burleigh & Emmons counties): 8- to 10-inch base. Trails open.

North-central (Benson, McHenry, Pierce, Ramsey, & Towner counties): 8- to 10-inch base. All trails open but Trail 3 closed from Penn to Leeds.

Northeast (Cavalier, Pembina, & Walsh counties): 6- to 10-inch base. All trails open except Border.

Peace Garden (Bottineau & Rolette counties): Trails 1, 3, 7, 7A, & 7B open. 3-inch base. Many trails lack enough safe ice to open.

Red River North (Pembina & Walsh counties): 6-inch base. Trails open.

Red River South (Grand Forks & Walsh counties): 6- to 10-inch base. Trails open.

Sno-Trails (Bottineau, McHenry, Renville, Ward counties: Trails open with 10- to 20-inch base.

East-central Valley, Southern Valley, & Southern Valley, Sargent County: Closed.

Downhill skiing:

Bottineau Winter Park, Bottineau: 12- to 24-inch base. All runs, 1 chair, 2 carpet lifts, tow, 7 Tube Park, and 3 Terrain Park jumps open.

Buena Vista Ski Area, Bemidji, Minn.: 24- to 32-inch base. 13 runs open.

Frostfire Ski Area, Walhalla: Tube Park open.

Huff Hills, Mandan: 18- to 3-inch machine groomed base. All runs, lifts, & tow open.

Hyland Ski Area, Bloomington, Minn.: 18 to 36-inch base.

N.D. Parks & Recreation Dept. cross-country ski trails:

Trail conditions deteriorating with warm weather and crusty surfaces.

Numbers to know:

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

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

RAP, Report All Poachers: (800) 472-2121 or (701) 328-9921.

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