Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Dakota Recreation Report: Jan. 1, 2024

Outdoor notes:

Time seems to move so quickly nowadays and after more than three decades of freelance writing, it's time to move on to different adventures. This week's report signals an end of my work with as the creator of the Transcript's Dakota Recreation Report, although I will still continue doing some writing.

Thank you, readers, for taking time to check out what's happening each week; sponsors for supporting it; Craig (the first publisher to pick up the report when I contacted newspapers in November 2004) and Amy for understanding that outdoor recreation is important to many North Dakotans; and the people I checked in with on a regular bases. Thanks again – and please get out, enjoy our Great Outdoors and take a moment to thank those that provide the opportunities we enjoy.

*Ice is never completely safe. Avoid areas with vegetation, moving water, pressure ridges and springs. Check conditions as you go along on the ice and don't move around at night.

*Jan. 7, 2024: Grouse, partridge, pheasant, turkey and archery deer seasons close.


*Devils Lake elevation, Dec. 19: 1,449.24 feet above mean sea level (MSL).

*Stump Lake elevation: 1,449.17 MSL.

*Lake Sakakawea elevation: 1,839.11 MSL; 17,200 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.

*N.D. Game and Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: No reports from area lakes or Devils Lake.

*Devils Lake, Ed's Bait Shop, Devils Lake: Good success for nice-sized perch in Creel Bay but walk-on access only yet.

*Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Devils Lake: Not many walleye showing up yet but look for fair to good perch success with most activity around Creel Bay. Ice depths vary.

*Foster County area lakes, Dry Dock, Carrington: Ice conditions remain marginal with a few anglers walking on and testing some small area lakes but ice conditions vary and remain questionable in many locations.

*Jamestown Reservoir, Pioneer Bait & Tackle, Jamestown: Activity remains light throughout area lakes but those going are finding occasional walleye success.

*Jamestown Reservoir, Sooper Stop, Jamestown: No report.

*Lake Ashtabula, Bayshore, Valley City: No new reports.

*Lake Sakakawea, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Walleye success slowed and is less consistent on the east end of Lake Audubon. Use extreme caution with varying ice conditions.

*Lakes Audubon and Sakakawea, Hwy. 83 Lawn & Leisure, Garrison: Continued fair walleye success on Lake Audubon in 10 to 15 feet around the old church and Velva Point on the east side. Use extreme caution with varying ice depths.

*Lake Sakakawea/Lake Audubon/Missouri River, Scott's Bait and Tackle, Pick City: Missouri River tailrace remains ok for walleye from both boat and shore. Try a variety of presentations although weather can change access and success quickly. Some walleye activity from the wing walls, as well.

*Lonetree WMA area lakes, Harvey: No new reports.

Downhill ski trails (conditions can vary):

*Bottineau Winter Park, Bottineau: 12- to 24-inch base with Bunny and Pony hills open and two trails. 2 Magic Carpets and T-bar, and tubing park open.

*Buena Vista Ski Area, Bemidji, Minn., (218) 843-2231: 24- to 48-inch machine groomed base. 14 trails open with Terrain Park features set up on Snowflake.

*Huff Hills Ski Area, Mandan: Closed.

*Frostfire Ski Area, Walhalla: Open through Jan. 2. Contact the ski area, (701) 549-3600, for upcoming schedule.

Snowmobile N.D. trail system:

*All trails closed until snow conditions allow for grooming.

Numbers to know:

*N.D. Game and Fish Department, Devils Lake office: (701) 662-3617.

*Report All Poachers: (701) 328-9921.