Dakota Recreation Report

Outdoor notes

Remember to have adequate lifejackets and proper safety equipment for the number of people on a boat.

Boat registrations are now due.

Turkey hunters must have new small game, hunting certificate, and general game and habitat stamp.

Please report any winter fish kill sightings to the Game and Fish Dept.

Saturday: Dunn County Ducks Unlimited (DU) banquet, Killdeer, Buckskin Bar & Grill, 5 p.m.

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

Thursday: Paddlefish snagging season opens.

May 3: Sakakawea Chapter of DU banquet, Washburn Memorial Hall, 6 p.m.


May 10: Lake Darling.


Devils Lake elevation, April 23: 1,452.62 feet above mean sea level.

Stump Lake elevation: 1,452.71 feet.

Lake Sakakawea elevation: 1,836.92 feet; 24,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.

N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Shorelines are opening up on Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon.

Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Try Moffit Creek for carp bowfishing. Some pike success with smelt or herring with a bobber or casting lures. Missouri River clearing up with more activity and somewhat improving walleye success.

Bottineau, Four Seasons, Lake Metigoshe: Little activity due to deteriorating ice conditions.

Bottineau, Lake Metigoshe State Park, Lake Metigoshe: No activity on Lake Metigoshe with ice rapidly deteriorating. Park hiking trails are now open.

Coleharbor, Totten Trail, Lakes Audubon & Sakakawea: Limited reports with ice breaking up on Lake Audubon and Lake Sakakawea. Improving walleye success downstream of the Missouri River tailrace. The river is clearing around Bismarck-Mandan so look for improving walleye activity.

Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait, Devils Lake: Sheyenne River producing walleye. A few pike from shore around many of the Devils Lake inlets. Small boats can be launched from the rocks by hand but no docks are in and ramps aren’t usable yet with the lake largely iced over.

Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Devils Lake: Bridges and coulees have open water with fair to good pike success. Lake is still iced over but there is open water along the shoreline and bridges.

Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Lake Sakakawea good for pike from shore throughout much of the midsection. Try smelt.

Garrison, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea: Ice is breaking up on Lake Sakakawea with some shore-fishing opportunities now available.

Garrison, 6-Mile Bait & Tackle, Lakes Audubon & Sakakawea: Try the east side of Lake Audubon for walleye from shore. Douglas and Steinke bays producing pike from shore on Lake Sakakawea. Try smelt and predator rigs.

Harvey, Coal Mine Lake & area lakes: Improving pike success along areas of the Sheyenne River with good shoreline access, as well as small area pike lakes.

Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Missouri River improving for small walleye north and south of Bismarck-Mandan.

New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Some pike success from shore in the Van Hook Arm.

Pick City, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Some pike success on Lake Sakakawea in areas where ice pulled away from the shoreline. Try smelt, spoons, herring, or crankbaits. Ice is moving so open areas could change day-to-day. Fish are in various spawning stages. Missouri River remains somewhat slow from both boat and shore for catfish, trout, and walleye. Try evening hours from shore for walleye, though.

Ruthville, Ruthville Store, Lake Darling & area lakes: Weather permitting, more anglers are out with improving success at Grano. Try Baker’s Bridge but Lake Darling Dam releases may create fast water.

Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River/area lakes: Missouri and Yellowstone rivers producing a mix of walleye and sauger. Little Muddy River still has pike activity. Small lake access remains limited to shore-fishing only with some ice still floating on the lakes. Lake Sakakawea starting to open but limited activity yet.

Spring migration

Good numbers of light geese remain in the Devils Lake area with some migrants still moving through in north-central N.D.

Spring turkey hunting

Decent success around the Williston area. North-central area hunters finding limited success so far.

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: (