Dec. 21, 2012
Ice is never completely safe. Avoid areas with vegetation, moving water, pressure ridges, and springs. Check with local bait shops for ice condition information.
Zone 1 mountain lion season now closed.
Canada goose season now closed except for the Missouri River Zone.
Registration now open for winter Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops, Jan. 6 at Upper Souris Nat’l. Wildlife Refuge for darkhouse spearing and 3-day Lake Metigoshe State Park workshop Feb. 22-24. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Dec. 28: Missouri River Canada Goose Zone closes.
Dec. 30: High Plains Duck Unit, swan, and merganser seasons close.
Jan. 6: Ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, pheasant, partridge, and squirrel seasons close.
Jan. 6: Archery deer season closes.
Devils Lake elevation, Dec. 19: 1,451.36 feet above mean sea level (MSL).
Stump Lake elevation, Dec. 19: 1,451.34 MSL.
Lake Sakakawea elevation, Dec. 19: 1,829.9 MSL; 16,000 cubic feet per second average (CFS) Garrison Dam daily releases.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: Mixed bag of fishing reports but ice conditions are improving. However, all waters on the Sheyenne River System, including Lake Ashtabula, could have varying ice conditions with steady flows still going out of Baldhill Dam north of Valley City. Northern pike are hitting tip-ups with smelt in shallow bays across much of Barnes, LaMoure, Sargent, and Richland County lakes. Pike spearing continues but many potential lakes in Barnes County iced over with cloudy conditions. A few lakes in Stutsman and LaMoure counties have better water clarity with some small pike success in 5 to 7 feet. Lake Audubon producing small walleye.
Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait & Tackle, Devils Lake: Try the north end of 6-Mile Bay or Creel Bay for walleye with East Bay producing perch. Try 10 to 15 feet for walleye and down to 18 feet for perch.
Devils Lake, Lakeview Lodge, Devils Lake: Good numbers of perch around Creel Bay and the eastern end around Black Tiger Bay. Ice conditions are improving.
Devils Lake, West Bay Resort, Minnewaukan: Continued success for a mix of pike, walleye, and perch around the bridges, Mauvais Coulee and Pelican Lake.
Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Creel Bay, Devils Lake: Fair to good perch and walleye bite. North end of 6-Mile Bay slowed a little but try Pelican Lake and Lake Irvine. Access with 4-wheelers yet but conditions are improving.
Jamestown Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Good for walleye and crappie with most activity around 5-Mile Corner. Lots of activity on small lakes northwest of Jamestown.
Jamestown Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Try area lakes northwest of Jamestown for perch success. Access is generally good but always check ice conditions. Most activity is on small lakes.
Lake Ashtabula, Bayshore, Valley City: The lake is gaining ice with a few more vehicles going out. However, there could be thin spots from areas left open from geese and now icing over. Anglers are finding nice numbers of small walleye but limited perch numbers. Look for good perch success on some of the small area lakes that were stocked a few years ago.
Lake Sakakawea, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Lake Audubon has activity with most anglers fishing the back bays. Use caution because the main lake only recently iced over. Lake Sakakawea producing boat fishing success for walleye in 18 to 25 feet last week. Check ramp conditions locally prior to going out because back bays are icing in, however.
Lake Sakakawea, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Pick City: Limited activity on the Missouri River with spotty success when anglers are venturing out. No reports from Lake Sakakawea.
Lonetree WMA area lakes, Harvey: Coal Mine Lake fair for pike. Goose Lake continues producing walleye and perch with fair pike success. Antelope and Hurdsfield lakes fair to good for perch and walleye. Harvey Dam has little activity.
Missouri River, Dakota Tackle, Bismarck: Small area lakes still have activity but success slowed. Lake Audubon OK for walleye. Try the northeast corner or Nelson Bay. Work 25 feet and deeper in the day and shallower in the evening in 12 to 15 feet at night.
Pipestem Reservoir, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: Fair to good for crappie along the west side.
Pipestem Reservoir, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Not many reports.
Red River, River Keepers, Fargo: Spear fishing underway in southeast N.D. with water generally clear in most lakes. Some walleye ice fishing success on the Bois de Sioux River, where lack of current results in better ice.
Spiritwood Lake, Dan’s Sooper Stop, Jamestown: No new reports.
Spiritwood Lake, Pioneer Bait Shop, Jamestown: Quiet.
N.D. Game & Fish Dept. Dist. game wardens: More seasonal weather is pushing deer to feed a little more with some bunching up starting. Snow cover is also helping archery hunters spot deer and late season hunters are seeing more deer. Lots of predator hunting activity with abundant coyote numbers.
West-central N.D.: Good numbers of pheasants remain but birds are extremely challenging. Lots of coyotes for predator hunting.
Bottineau Winter Park, Bottineau: 8- to 12-inch base with powder conditions. Several inches new snow last week. I chair and 2 handle lifts open with 8 runs and tubing park open.
Frostfire Ski Area, Walhalla: 90 percent of runs open with manmade snow conditions on 20-inch base. About 3 inches new snow over the past week. Open daily Saturday through Jan. 6 except Christmas Day.
Huff Hills Ski Area, Mandan: 8- to 12-inch base with powder conditions. Several inches new snow last week. I chair and 2 handle lifts open with 8 runs and tubing park open.
N.D. Parks & Recreation Dept. cross-country ski trails:
Icelandic, Cavalier: Trails are packed and will be groomed after the next snow.
Lake Metigoshe, Bottineau: Trails open and in good conditions.
Snowmobile North Dakota:
Trails remain closed.
Numbers to know:
N.D. Game & Fish Department, main Bismarck office: 328-6300; website: (http://gf.nd.gov).
N.D. Game & Fish Department, Jamestown office: 253-6480.
RAP, Report All Poachers: (800) 472-2121.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bismarck, website: (www.fws.gov/northdakotafieldoffice).