Dakota Recreation Report

Outdoor notes

Be prepared with insect repellent for ticks and mosquitoes.

Wednesday: Deer gun and muzzleloader applications due.

June 7-8: Free Fishing Weekend.

June 11-15: Potholes & Prairie Birding Festival, Jamestown. Call 650-9002 for information or email (


Saturday: Buffalo Lodge Lake.

June 6: Devils Lake, Grahams Island.

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

June 7: Lake Darling Special Needs Fishing Day, 10 a.m., Devils Lake; East Bay, Lake Audubon; 3-Mile Corner, Missouri River tailrace; Upper Missouri River.


Devils Lake elevation, May 28: 1,453.19 feet above mean sea level.

Stump Lake elevation: 1,453.24 feet.

Lake Sakakawea elevation: 1,838.92 feet; 30,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.

N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: No reports from north-central or northwestern area lakes. Spotty walleye success on Lake Sakakawea with generally good success once they’re located. Some success around Pochant Bay, Mallard Island, and the east end in general. Also try Douglas Bay. New Town and White Earth Bay fair to good for walleye with fair success at Van Hook Arm. Lake Audubon fair for walleye. Missouri River tailrace still slow with best success farther south of Bismarck-Mandan around the state line and Beaver Bay.

Beulah, Dakota Waters, Lake Sakakawea: Improving walleye success. Try Beaver Bay in 25 feet.

Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Lots of activity on the Missouri River, including shore-fishing success.

Bottineau, Four Seasons, Lake Metigoshe: Good bluegill success along the weed beds using nightcrawlers with walleye activity along the docks with minnows.

Bottineau, Lake Metigoshe State Park, Lake Metigoshe: Improving fishing success. Park trails and campground are all open with courtesy and fishing docks in place.

Coleharbor, Totten Trail, Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea: Improving success on Lake Audubon. Try the east end in the morning using a variety of presentations for walleye. Work 7 to 10 feet on Lake Sakakawea for walleye with generally fair to good success. Fish are looking good.

Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait, Devils Lake: Walleye starting to become active with warming water temperatures. Try the bridges in the evening or locate the warmest water possible using crankbaits in 3 to 5 feet. Good numbers of pike yet.

Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Devils Lake: Good for pike throughout the lake. Walleye are starting to move back into the lake but some fish are still being taken around 6-Mile, Pelican Lake Bay, and Mauvais Coulee area bridges. Try slip bobbers and jigs or try plastics.

Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Lots of activity on Lake Sakakawea with minnows and nightcrawlers producing walleye in 9 to 20 feet. Try the New Town area. Water temperatures are finally warming.

Foxholm, Upper Souris NWR, Lake Darling: Fair pike and perch success on the Souris River below the dam. Lake Darling fair for occasional walleye.

Garrison, Cenex Bait and Tackle, Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea: Lake Audubon fair to good for walleye from both boat and shore using spinners and nightcrawlers. Lake Sakakawea turning on along the east end using jigs and minnows in 8 to 15 feet. Also try as shallow as 2 to 5 feet in the back bays.

Garrison, Indian Hills Resort, Lake Sakakawea, Good Bear Bay: Improving walleye activity with some sauger mixed in. Work shallow around 2 to 8 feet in the back bays. Move around searching for warm water using jigs and minnows or nightcrawlers.

Garrison, 6-Mile Bait and Tackle, Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea: Lake Sakakawea improving for walleye from U.S. Highway 83 to Douglas Bay using jigs and minnows. Try 2 to 26 feet. Pike activity remains good in the bays. Lake Audubon good for walleye in the back bays using spinners and nightcrawlers or jigs and minnows. Missouri River remains slow.

Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Lots of small walleye throughout the Missouri River south of Bismarck-Mandan.

Mandaree, McKenzie Bay Marina, Lake Sakakawea, Little Missouri Arm: Fair to good with most activity in the Little Missouri Arm. Work 3 to 12 feet with jigs or Lindy rigs and variety of bait for walleye. Continued good pike success.

New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Fair but spotty walleye success in the Van Hook Arm. Fish are starting to move a little more shallow. Try jigs and minnows or crankbaits.

New Town, Van Hook Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea, Van Hook Arm: Van Hook Arm is fair but inconsistent for walleye. Try 12 to 20 feet with Lindy rigs and minnows or 20 to 24 feet with jigs and minnows. Try the north end or south around Fox Island.

Pick City, Scott’s Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Missouri River producing some success. Try crankbaits shallow along the sandbars for walleye or nightcrawlers or minnows with Lindy rigs. Look for some catfish and salmon from boat and shore. Lake Audubon good for walleye. Move around in 6 to 20 feet using spinners or Lindy rigs with a variety of bait. Lake Sakakawea producing good numbers of male walleye throughout the east end and Douglas Bay working shallow or deep. Look west around Indian Hills and farther for bigger fish. Pike continue biting on the lake and tailrace.

Ruthville, Ruthville Store, Lake Darling and area lakes: Baker’s Bridge producing small walleye with nice-sized pike at Grano.

Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River/area lakes: Good walleye success on Lake Sakakawea throughout the midsection and west to Red Mike’s and throughout much of the west end. Try jigs and minnows, spinners, or crankbaits. Not many reports from small area lakes. Look for continued pike success on the tributaries and the Little Muddy River.

River gauge height, streamflow

Des Lacs River, Foxholm: River stage, 7.07 feet; streamflow, 103 CFS.

Little Missouri River, Long X Bridge: River stage, 0.56 feet; streamflow, 455 CFS.

Missouri River, Williston: River stage, 21.91 feet.

Missouri River, Washburn: River stage, 11.61 feet.

Souris River, Foxholm: River stage, 7.44 feet; streamflow, 319 CFS.

Souris River, Minot: River stage, 6.2 feet; streamflow, 435 CFS.

Yellowstone River, Sidney, Mont.: River stage, 13.58 feet; streamflow, 51,100 CFS.

Numbers to know

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

Report All Poachers: (800) 472-2121 or (701) 328-9921.

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