Dakota Recreation Report

Outdoor notes

Paddlefish season now closed.

Registration now open for Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Maah-Daah-Hey hike June 21 & 22. More information available on the N.D. Game & Fish Department website, (

Thursday-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.

June 4: Deer gun and muzzleloader applications due.

June 7 & 8: Free Fishing Weekend.


May 31: Buffalo Lodge Lake.

June 6: Devils Lake, Grahams Island.

June 7: Missouri River, Devils Lake; East Bay, Lake Audubon; 3-Mile Bay, Upper Missouri River, Williston.

June 7 & 8: Lake Sakakawea; Indian Hills Resort, Lake Sakakawea; Parshall Bay.


Devils Lake elevation, May 21: 1,453.12 feet above mean sea level.

Stump Lake elevation: 1,453.3 feet.

Lake Sakakawea elevation: 1,838.17 feet; 30,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.

N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: No reports from Lake Sakakawea. Lake Audubon producing walleye and good numbers of smallmouth bass throughout much of the lake. Missouri River remains slow.

Beulah, Dakota Waters, Lake Sakakawea: Success is light yet but try Nishu or Beaver bays for walleye. Water temperatures remain cold yet.

Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Some walleye activity on the Missouri River but on the smaller size. The spawn is winding down.

Bottineau, Four Seasons, Lake Metigoshe: Some boat activity but reports remain limited yet.

Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait, Devils Lake: Improving walleye success with a morning and evening bite along the bridges using jigs and minnows. Pelican Lake, 6-Mile Bay, and other areas with warmer water have continuing pike success with a start of a walleye bite. Try pitching crankbaits.

Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Devils Lake: Good pike success with improving walleye activity. Work shallow, warm water around 6-Mile Bay and Pelican Lake with a slow presentation.

Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Continued pike success from shore on Lake Sakakawea using smelt. Try 20 to 25 feet for walleye but water temperatures are still cold and limiting success.

Garrison, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea: Lake Audubon fair from boat and shore. Try North Lake, east end embankment, Velva Point, or U.S. Highway 83 embankment. Look for a mix of walleye, pike, and bass. Lake Sakakawea starting to produce a few walleye along the east end. Try sunken islands or points in 5 to 18 feet using jigs and minnows or live bait rigs. Try Indian Hills for pike and bass. No reports from the Missouri River.

Garrison, Indian Hills Resort, Lake Sakakawea, Good Bear Bay: More anglers on the water but walleye activity is slow yet.

Garrison, 6-Mile Bait & Tackle, Lakes Audubon & Sakakawea: Lake Sakakawea good for pike on the east end using smelt or smelt rigs from shore. East end of Lake Audubon producing walleye from both boat and shore.

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

Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Missouri River producing a few small walleye. Limited activity on area lakes, however.

Mandaree, McKenzie Bay Marina, Lake Sakakawea, Little Missouri Arm: Not many anglers on the water yet but those going into the shallower water back in the Little Missouri Arm are finding walleye in 8 to 12 feet using jigs and minnows. Good pike success from shore.

New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Fair to good for walleye in the Van Hook Arm and the river portion, working shallow in the river using jigs and minnows or spinners.

New Town, Van Hook Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea, Van Hook Arm: More anglers are on the water with better weather with a few walleye starting to up.

Pick City, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Missouri River producing a few walleye but nothing steady or consistent. Pike success from both boat and shore. Some trout mixed in. Best success is from the rocks at night. Lake Sakakawea producing some success but walleye are spread out and inconsistent. Pike remain good. Some salmon along the face of the Garrison Dam and look for sauger along the Riverdale Bluffs.

Ruthville, Ruthville Store, Lake Darling & area lakes: More anglers on the area lakes with some success at Baker’s Bridge and Grano.

Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River/area lakes: Lake Sakakawea fair to good from Little Knife to Lund’s Landing. Try a variety of presentations for walleye in 8 to 12 feet. Limited reports from small area lakes. Look for pike success on the Little Muddy River and backwater areas.

River height, streamflow

Des Lacs River, Foxholm: River stage, River stage, 7.28 feet; streamflow, 129 CFS.

Little Missouri River, Long X Bridge: River stage, 1 foot; streamflow, 729 CFS.

Missouri River, Williston: River stage, 17.73 feet.

Missouri River, Stanton: River stage, 10.54 feet.

Souris River, Foxholm: River stage, River stage, 7.41 feet; streamflow, 313 CFS.

Souris River, Minot: River stage, 6.35 feet; streamflow, 470 CFS.

Yellowstone River, Sidney, Mont.: River stage, 10.11 feet; streamflow, 30,300 CFS.

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: (