Dakota Recreation Report

Outdoor notes

New fishing and furbearer licenses now due.

New boat registrations due.

Saturday: Missouri River Longbeards Nat’l Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) banquet, Washburn Memorial Hall.

Tuesday: Mouse River Ducks Unlimited (DU) banquet, Gallows Hall, Towner, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: N.D. Game & Fish Dept. spring advisory board meeting, Lake Region Community College, Devils Lake, 7 p.m.

April 11-12: Nat’l Archery in the Schools state meet, Bismarck VFW Sports Arena.

April 11: Badlands Toms NWTF, Watford City, Outlaws Steakhouse.

April 12: Spring turkey season opens.

April 12: High Plains Waterfowlers Delta Waterfowl banquet, Grand Williston Hotel, Williston, 5:30 p.m.

April 14: N.D. Game & Fish Dept. (rescheduled) spring advisory board meeting, Turtle Lake Wildlife Club, 7 p.m.

April 14: N.D. Game & Fish Dept. (rescheduled) spring advisory board meeting, Williston MDU meeting room, 7 p.m.

April 19: Garrison DU Hunter’s Party, Garrison City Auditorium, 5:30 p.m.


Devils Lake elevation, April 2: 1,452.38 feet above mean sea level.

Stump Lake elevation: 1,452.54 feet.

Lake Sakakawea elevation: 1,835.89 feet; 16,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.

N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Cottonwood Lake, Camp Lake (south of Towner), and Buffalo Lodge lake slow, although few anglers are venturing out on area lakes in general. Lake Audubon remains good for walleye. Lake Sakakawea producing pike but use caution with rising lake elevations and freezing and thawing ice conditions. Makoti Lake good for pike. Mixed results from northeastern lakes with Stump Lake and Devils Lake producing the most consistent perch and walleye success.

Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Some activity on the open water stretches of the Missouri River around Bismarck-Mandan and Washburn.

Bottineau, Four Seasons, Lake Metigoshe: Continued fair to good bluegill success with some walleye and pike mixed in.

Bottineau, Lake Metigoshe State Park, Lake Metigoshe: Lake Metigoshe has continued good bluegill success throughout many areas of the lake. Look for a pike bite on other area lakes. Devils Lake good for perch.

Coleharbor, Totten Trail, Lakes Audubon & Sakakawea: Continued spotty pike and walleye success on Lake Audubon. Look for renewed bite with stable weather.

Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait, Devils Lake: Inconsistent weather patterns are creating inconsistent walleye and perch success. Ice remains OK but watch edges with thawing and freezing conditions.

Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Devils Lake: Continued good perch and walleye success but more snow drifted onto the ice. Pelican Lake remains the most active area, as well as other areas throughout Devils Lake. Look for good success depending on ice conditions. Ice depth is still OK.

Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Limited reports with little activity on Lake Sakakawea.

Foxholm, Upper Souris NWR, Lake Darling: No vehicle access onto Lake Darling but a few anglers are walking on and finding an occasional small walleye.

Garrison, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea: Lake Sakakawea is starting to honeycomb throughout its ice depth. Lake Audubon remains fair to good for walleye, although use caution with freezing and thawing conditions.

Garrison, 6-Mile Bait & Tackle, Lakes Audubon & Sakakawea: Continued walleye activity on Lake Audubon. Try the east end in 20 feet. Lake Sakakawea producing pike from shore.

Harvey, Coal Mine Lake & area lakes: Look for ice conditions to deteriorate soon, although Goose Lake remains good for pike and pike and fair for walleye. Antelope and Hurdsfield lakes fair to good for perch and walleye.

Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Fair to good walleye activity from the Bismarck-Mandan bridges south to Hazelton.

New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Parshall Bay good for pike. Edges are marginal in many areas along Lake Sakakawea but the ice itself is still OK. Conditions could vary and change quickly, though.

Pick City, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Lake Audubon continues producing an evening walleye bite. Try jigs and minnows. Lake Sakakawea access isn’t good. Missouri River producing a smattering of some species, including walleye, trout, pike, and catfish using a variety of presentations. No consistent numbers of fish, however, and it’s a matter of being in the right location when the bite is on.

Ruthville, Ruthville Store, Lake Darling & area lakes: Continued perch success on Lake Darling.

Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River/area lakes: A few areas on the Little Muddy River have open water and anglers are finding some pike success. Limited activity on the Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea. Small area lakes have questionable ice. Look for good beaver hunting opportunities along the Missouri River.

Spring migration

North Dakota: Snow geese moving into north-central portions of N.D. last weekend. Birds also moved into central N.D. but weather could push them back – or hold them, so it’s hard to plan a hunt.

Upper Souris NWR: A big push in light geese earlier in the week with little hunting pressure. Birds are feeding and then pushing on north. The refuge is closed to spring turkey hunting. Grouse blinds are available and look for bird activity with warmer weather.

Numbers to know

N.D. Game and Fish Dept., main Bismarck office: 328-6300, website: (

Report All Poachers: (800) 472-2121.

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