Dakota Recreation Report

Outdoor notes

Saturday: Garrison Ducks Unlimited Hunter’s Party, Garrison City Auditorium, 5:30 p.m.

April 26: Muddy Buck Mule Deer Foundation banquet, Grand Williston Hotel, Williston, 5:30 p.m.

May 1: Paddlefish snagging season opens.


Devils Lake elevation, April 16: 1,452.57 feet above mean sea level.

Stump Lake elevation: 1,452.67 feet.

Lake Sakakawea elevation: 1,836.84 feet; 24,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.

N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Open water along many areas of Lake Sakakawea’s shoreline. Look for pike activity. Ice receding from Devils Lake with open water out about 20 feet. OK success around the bridges. Questionable at best ice conditions with small area lakes transitioning into open water.

Bottineau, Four Seasons, Lake Metigoshe: Anglers still walking onto Lake Metigoshe are finding some bluegill and walleye success. Look for open water along shorelines, however.

Bottineau, Lake Metigoshe State Park, Lake Metigoshe: Lake Metigoshe slowed.

Coleharbor, Totten Trail, Lakes Audubon & Sakakawea: Lake Audubon and Lake Sakakawea have poor conditions with open water along the shorelines along Lake Sakakawea bays. Anyone venturing out needs to be prepared and carry safety equipment in the event they break through. Missouri River has muddy conditions down river with higher releases and tributary inflows. Look for improving success once water clears.

Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait, Devils Lake: A few anglers starting to fish the open water along the bridges of Devils Lake.

Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Devils Lake: Poor ice conditions on Devils Lake, even with the cooler temperatures of the week, so access isn’t recommended.

Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Lots of shore-fishing pike activity along the open water shorelines of Lake Sakakawea. Try smelt. Find an open water shoreline bay and you’ll likely find pike.

Garrison, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea: Some pike success from the open water shorelines along the east end of Lake Sakakawea.

Garrison, 6-Mile Bait & Tackle, Lakes Audubon & Sakakawea: Lake Sakakawea producing pike from shore. Missouri River producing a few more walleye down river within the first couple of miles below the tailrace. Ice conditions are deteriorating on Lake Audubon although there is still some walleye success.

Harvey, Coal Mine Lake & area lakes: Look for improving Sheyenne River activity as water temperatures warm up and access dries out.

Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Missouri River remains muddy in the Bismarck-Mandan area with local runoff. Tailrace still somewhat slow.

New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Limited activity, although the shorelines are opening up.

Pick City, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Lake Sakakawea producing good numbers of pike in areas where there’s open water. Try herring or smelt. Missouri River is still somewhat slow but boat and shore anglers are finding an occasional catfish, walleye, and pike.

Ruthville, Ruthville Store, Lake Darling & area lakes: Some limited activity at the bridges at Grano but otherwise anglers are generally just waiting for spring.

Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River/area lakes: Continued walleye and pike success from the Little Muddy River. Lake Sakakawea is opening up as far east as Lund’s Landing so look for boat activity soon. Small area lakes remain partially ice-covered with some shore-fishing along the open water edges.

Spring migration

North Dakota: Not many reports from areas around the Missouri River. Light geese still in portion of east-central N.D. early in the week with the biggest concentrations from Glenfield over to Harvey. Spotty numbers in many areas of North Dakota with some reports coming early in the week from southwestern Cass County, Barnes, Sargent, and LaMoure counties. Light geese moved into the Devils Lake area over the past week. Most birds are north of Interstate-94. Look for a few stragglers, as well, in some areas.

Turkey hunting

No report from north-central area hunters. Some success in McKenzie County and along the Yellowstone and Missouri river bottoms.

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: (