Dakota Recreation Report

Outdoor notes

Deer applications are now available. Remember to include driver’s license number on paper applications.

Paddlefish anglers are reminded to check paddlefish regulation changes.

Sunday: Spring turkey and light goose seasons close.

May 24-26: Sky Fest over Fort Stevenson Kite Festival, Fort Stevenson State Park, Garrison. Call (701) 337-5576 for information.

May 29-June 1: 11th annual Turtle Mountain Birding Festival, Bottineau. Call (701) 228-5470 for information.

May 30-June 1: Theodore Roosevelt Nat’l Park 60th Annual Birdwalk Birding Festival, Medora. Call (701) 623-4884 for information.

May 31: Paddlefish season closes (unless it has an early closure).


Saturday: Devils Lake; Pelican Lake Bay, Nelson Lake.

May 31: Buffalo Lodge Lake.


Devils Lake elevation, May 14: 1,453.12 feet above mean sea level.

Stump Lake elevation: 1,453.24 feet.

Lake Sakakawea elevation: 1,838.06 feet; 28,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.

N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Best Missouri River success seems to be around Bismarck-Mandan. A few small pike from Lake Sakakawea but success slowing down for larger fish. Water temperatures remain cold. Goose and Hurdsfield lakes fair but inconsistent success. Other area lakes also hit-and-miss. Try the lowhead dams on the Sheyenne River for walleye and pike. Coulees feeding Devils Lake are producing some nice-sized walleye. Try Mauvais Coulee, Channel A, and around Cando.

Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Some fair walleye success in the Bismarck-Mandan area with bigger fish farther south around Hazelton or Eckroth Bottoms. Try minnows and jigs.

Bottineau, Four Seasons, Lake Metigoshe: Lake Metigoshe is ice-free with a few anglers out. Limited reports, however.

Bottineau, Lake Metigoshe State Park, Lake Metigoshe: Ice is off Lake Metigoshe but water temperatures remain cold. Some pike success with a few walleye mixed in but over success remains light yet.

Coleharbor, Totten Trail, Lakes Audubon & Sakakawea: Missouri River is slow in the Bismarck-Mandan area with limited reports from Lake Sakakawea, Lake Audubon and the Missouri River tailrace.

Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait, Devils Lake: Try the bridges in the morning and evening for walleye using jigs and Twister Tails or work areas with flowing water. Activity remains light, however, with ongoing cooler water temperatures.

Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Devils Lake: Weather continues limiting lake activity with generally slow success. Best success is from shore for those going out. Water temperatures remain in the mid-40s. Look for a turn-around with improving and stable weather.

Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: A few more anglers are heading onto Lake Sakakawea Try 25 to 35 feet using jigs and minnows for sauger and walleye. Bite is light, however. Pike bite remains good using smelt from shore.

Foxholm, Upper Souris NWR, Lake Darling: Fair for a mix of walleye, pike, and perch. Work shallow. Ramps are usable and docks are in place, although Landing 1 parking lot is still soft and squishy.

Garrison, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea: Weather continues limiting activity but on the days when anglers can get out, they’re finding some nice-sized walleye on Lake Sakakawea. Try the east end using jigs and minnows. Fair to good for pike from shore. Try the east end of Lake Audubon for walleye from both boat and shore.

Garrison, 6-Mile Bait & Tackle, Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea: Lake Audubon starting to produce some walleye from shore. Try floating jigs and minnows. Fish are spawned out. Boat anglers are moving too fast so try shore-fishing around Velva Point.

Harvey, Coal Mine Lake and area lakes: Limited activity on area lakes with ongoing cool and windy weather.

Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Missouri River improving for walleye with anglers working from Double Ditch south to the border. Fish remain on the small side, however.

New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Improving walleye success in the Van Hook Arm from boats. Try 5 to 16 feet using Lindy rigs and minnows. Look for the bite to improve with stable weather.

Pick City, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Missouri River tailrace producing a mix of rainbow and brown trout. Try plastics, live bait, or crankbaits from boat or shore. A few catfish and pike mixed in but limited walleye success. Not many anglers out, however. Some pike and catfish activity from shore on Lake Sakakawea. Limited walleye success.

Ruthville, Ruthville Store, Lake Darling & area lakes: Some activity at Lake Darling but overall reports are limited.

Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River/area lakes: Lake Sakakawea starting to produce a few walleye on the west end. Move around. Fair paddlefish success. Limited reports from small area lakes, although look for some pike from Trenton Lake.

River elevation and streamflow

Des Lacs River, Foxholm: River stage, 7.44 feet; streamflow, 152 CFS.

Little Missouri River, Long X Bridge: River stage, 0.72 feet; streamflow 547 feet.

Missouri River, Williston: River stage, 19.85 feet.

Missouri River, Stanton: River stage, 10.29 feet.

Souris River, Foxholm: River stage, 8.75 feet; streamflow, 634 CFS.

Souris River, Minot: River stage, 8.05 feet; streamflow, 863 CFS.

Yellowstone River, Sidney, Mont.: River stage, 8.28 feet; streamflow, 25,900 CFS.

Numbers to know

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

Report All Poachers: (800) 472-2121.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bismarck, website: (www.fws.gov/