Dakota Recreation Report

Outdoor notes

Saturday: Fall crow season opens.

Wednesday: Swan applications due.

Aug. 15: Early Canada goose season opens.


Saturday: Devils Lake, Creel Bay.

Tuesday: Stump Lake.

Aug. 16: Lake Sakakawea, Indian Hills Resort; Lake Sakakawea, Sakakawea State Park; Upper Missouri River, Lewis and Clark Bridge, Williston; Lake Sakakawea, White Earth Bay.

Aug. 18: Devils Lake.

Aug. 23: Lake Audubon, Totten Trail; Lake Sakakawea, Sakakawea State Park.


Devils Lake elevation, Aug. 6: 1,453.02 feet above mean sea level.

Stump Lake elevation: 1,453.1 feet.

Lake Sakakawea elevation: 1,845.87 feet; 28,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.

N.D. Game and Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Little Missouri Arm of Lake Sakakawea hit-and-miss for walleye in 3 to 30 feet. South shore producing small walleye with bigger fish west around Beaver Bay. Work deeper for bigger fish in 30 to 40 feet with smaller fish running in the 10 to 15 feet. Lake Metigoshe fair at best for bluegill. No reports from other north-central lakes.

Beulah, Dakota Waters, Lake Sakakawea: Best success for bigger walleye generally remains farther west from the resort, including the beacon or north shore along the pumphouse or Nishu Bay. Best success is with leeches with some activity on nightcrawlers.

Bismarck, Dakota Tackle, Missouri River/area lakes: Salmon anglers on Lake Sakakawea are starting to find a few fish showing up along the east end. Lake Audubon steady for walleye. Most activity on the Missouri River remains from Fort Rice to the south down to the border on Lake Oahe.

Bottineau, Four Seasons, Lake Metigoshe: Continued strong bluegill success in the weeds and off the docks. Fair walleye success.

Coleharbor, Totten Trail, Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea: Lake Sakakawea fair for walleye, but inconsistent, and anglers are working harder for fish. Try 26 to 40 feet. Lake Audubon fair for walleye, as well, but sort through for keeper-sized fish.

Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait, Devils Lake: Continued good small walleye success using spinners with leeches or nightcrawlers in 12 to 18 feet. Work points, ridges, or old roadbeds throughout much of lake. Try the Golden Highway using vertical jigs after locating fish. Also try shallow with crankbaits or plastics for bigger fish, although it’s a case of quality more so than quantity in the shallows.

Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Devils Lake: Continued walleye success trolling spinners along weed beds with nightcrawlers in 8 to 15 feet. Also try working deeper in 24 to 35 feet using jigs.

Dickinson, Andrus Outdoors, Lake Sakakawea/area lakes: Continued fair to good walleye success from Mel’s to McKenzie Bay on Lake Sakakawea. Try 7 to 25 feet using spinners or Lindy rigs with nightcrawlers.

Foxholm, Upper Souris NWR, Lake Darling: Decent perch success at the Outlet Fishing Area below Lake Darling Dam. Some walleye success at Grano and around the south end of Lake Darling. Access to Landing 3 is now available and in good condition.

Garrison, Cenex Bait and Tackle, Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea: Lake Sakakawea continues producing eater-sized walleye. Sort through for the keepers. Try the Indian Hills area. Work shallow farther east from 11 to 22 feet. Also try as deep as 40 feet using a variety of presentations. Lake Audubon remains fair for walleye using a variety of presentations outside of the weed lines.

Garrison, Indian Hills Resort, Lake Sakakawea, Good Bear Bay: Fair to good walleye success. Try moving deeper in 20 to 30 feet for walleye using leeches. Locate baitfish and then move a couple of feet deeper for bigger fish. Nice numbers of smaller walleye caught in less than 20 feet using nightcrawlers.

Garrison, 6-Mile Bait and Tackle, Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea: Best success for bigger walleye on Lake Sakakawea is farther west, including from Deepwater Bay to Van Hook Arm. Look for good numbers of smaller walleye on the east end. Work main lake structure for walleye on Lake Audubon.

Mandan, Southside MVP, Missouri River/area lakes: Fair to good walleye success from Beaver Bay and the casino south to the State Lake on Missouri River and Lake Oahe. Try nightcrawlers or crankbaits.

Mandaree, McKenzie Bay Marina, Lake Sakakawea, Little Missouri Arm: Continued fair to good walleye with most activity around the mouth of the Little Missouri Arm. Try 4 to 30 feet.

New Town, Scenic 23, Lake Sakakawea: Continued good walleye success in the Van Hook Arm and river around New Town using a variety of presentations.

New Town, Van Hook Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea, Van Hook Arm: Fair to good walleye success in the Van Hook Arm using Lindy rigs or spinners and nightcrawlers. Also try Shell Creek pitching jigs into the shallows.

Pick City, Scott’s Bait and Tackle, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River: Missouri River has limited walleye success from boats. Try Spillway Channel mouth, cable crossing, or Honey Hole. Other species, with the exception of pike and catfish, also remain slow. A few larger trout are mixed in. Try the chutes for catfish using smelt, crankbaits, or plastics. Shore success is slow with occasional trout, salmon, and walleye. Try variety of presentations. Lake Sakakawea continues producing small walleye in the shallows. Move around to locate baitfish but Douglas Bay remains the most consistent. Also try 14 to 25 feet along main lake points or islands. Overall, though, deeper success is still somewhat slow. A few salmon but some taken have been almost 11 pounds. Try 80 feet over 120 feet along Government Bay, Deadman’s Bay or the face of the dam using flashers and squids, crankbaits, or spoons.

Ruthville, Ruthville Store, Lake Darling and area lakes: Continued fair to good walleye and pike success on Lake Darling and the Grano area.

Williston, Scenic Sports, Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River/area lakes: Kota-Ray Dam fair for bass. Blacktail Dam remains good for all species. Lund’s Landing on Lake Sakakawea improving for walleye. Try the confluence on the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers or the Little Muddy River for catfish.

River height, streamflow

Des Lacs River, Foxholm: River stage, 6.15 feet; streamflow, 29 CFS.

Little Missouri River, Long X Bridge: Streamflow, 147 CFS.

Missouri River, Williston: River stage, 17.28 feet.

Missouri River, Stanton: River stage, 9.79 feet.

Souris River, Foxholm: River stage, 7.52 feet; streamflow, 329 CFS.

Souris River, Minot: River stage, 5.96 feet; streamflow, 400 CFS.

Yellowstone River, Sidney, Mont.: River stage, 5.51 feet; streamflow, 9,250 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 or (701) 328-9921.

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