Northern Sentry Outdoors Report


Feb. 28, 2020


Outdoor Notes:

*Ice is never completely safe. Avoid areas with vegetation, moving water, pressure ridges, and springs. Check conditions as you go along on the ice.

*March 7: Souris Valley Mule Deer Foundation banquet, Sleep Inn, Minot, 5 p.m.

*March 15: Earth Day Patch contest deadline. Go to the N.D. Game & Fish Dept. website, ( for details.


*March 7: Devils Lake, Carpenter Lake.


Lake Sakakawea elevation, Feb. 24: 1,837.96 feet above mean sea level (MSL); 24,400 cubic feet per second (CFS) Garrison Dam average daily releases.

Devils Lake elevation: 1,448.98 feet above mean sea level (MSL).

Stump Lake elevation: 1,448.91 MSL.

*N.D. Game & Fish Dept. game wardens: No new reports from Devils Lake or the Missouri River System. Use extreme caution with warm weather creating variable, slushy, and generally poor ice conditions on small lakes in some areas.

*Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait Shop, Devils Lake: Fair walleye and perch success. Continue working deep for perch from 25 feet out to 50 feet depending on location. Try 18 to 25 feet for walleye using rattling presentations. Try tungsten jigs and spikes for perch. Most activity is in front of the casino, Creel Bay, or East Bay Campground.

*Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Devils Lake: Continued small walleye success working 17 to 25 feet. Try Lake Irvine for a mix of perch and walleye. Work deeper for perch starting around 20 feet. Try East Bay or East Devils Lake. Bigger perch seem to be coming from Lake Irvine, however.

*Lake Darling, Karma C-Store, Ruthville: Lake Darling still somewhat slow for walleye with better success around Grano. Lake Audubon fair at best. Look for some improving walleye activity on Parshall Bay on Lake Sakakawea.

*Lake Metigoshe, Four Seasons, Bottineau: Continued good bluegill success along with pike spearing. Occasional walleye but look toward evening for any bite.

*Lake Sakakawea/Lake Audubon, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Lake Audubon spotty for walleye. Anglers marking fish on the east end of Lake Sakakawea but the bite is finicky. Try the Honey Hole, stumps, or coal veins on the Missouri River for walleye.

*Lake Sakakawea, Scenic 23, New Town: Spotty walleye success in the Van Hook Arm working shallow out to 20 feet using tip-ups with some jigs and minnows.

*Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Pick City: Missouri River tailrace continues producing walleye from boats using jigs and minnows. Some ling mixed in. Hit-and-miss success from the wing walls with OK shore success from along the boat ramp. Try casting crankbaits. Continued pike success from the river, as well, but Lake Sakakawea remains slow.

*Lake Sakakawea/northwest N.D. lakes, Scenic Sports, Williston: Lake Sakakawea continues producing walleye around White Earth Bay with pike activity in the back bays, Skunk Hollow, and the Little Muddy River. Blacktail Dam remains fair for a variety of panfish.

*Lonetree WMA area lakes, Harvey: Area lakes remain slow.

*North-central/central N.D. lakes, Towner Hdwe. Hank, Towner: Buffalo Lodge Lake slowed for walleye with scattered small pike success. Island Lake producing pike but a case of quality more so than quantity. No reports from other area lakes or the Souris River.

Downhill skiing (conditions can vary):

*Bottineau Winter Park, Bottineau: 10- to 25-inch base with all runs open and in good condition. Chair and carpet lifts open. 3 Sunny Side and 4 Backside tubing runs and lift open with snow jumps and rollers open in the Terrain Park.

*Frostfire Ski Area, Walhalla: 6 trails, Harebell beginner trail, and Terrain Park open Friday through Sunday.

*Huff Hills Ski Area, Mandan: 24- to 30-inch machine groomed base. 9 runs, bunny hill, and all lifts open. Open daily.

*Terry Peak, Lead, S.D.: 36- to 54-inch base with all lifts and runs open.

N.D. Parks & Recreation Dept. cross-country ski trails (conditions can vary):

*Fort Stevenson, Garrison: Trails icy with many exposed grassy areas. Good opportunity to try kick-sledding with rentals available at the park. Call (701) 337-5576 for information.

Snowmobile N.D. (conditions can vary):

*Cattail (Barnes, Cass, Steele, & Traill counties): 5- to 9-inch base with trails open and in good condition.

*East-Central Valley (Cass & Richland counties): 6 - to 12-inch base with all trails open and in good condition.

*Lake Region (Nelson & Ramsey counties): All trails open except Trail 6 with 4- to 8-inch base.

*Missouri Valley (Burleigh & Emmons counties): Sterling, Moffit, & Zeeland trails open with 3- to 6-inch base. Watch for possible water on lakes and sloughs. Snow removal operations along highways 83 and 11 created large drop-offs and deep cuts. Slow down and beware of changing conditions. Thin ice west of McKenzie on Sterling Trail by culvert on large slough. Stay on shoulder. Open water on Moffit Trail along highway north of Moffit. Chevrons in place directing traffic to shoulder. Zeeland to Strasburg fair but poor to fair conditions Strasburg to Linton with some bare spots.

*Northeast (Cavalier, Pembina, & Walsh counties): 5- to 8-inch base with all trails open and in fair to good condition.

*Red River North (Pembina & Walsh counties): All trails open with 4- to 8-inch base. Good conditions in ditches, marginal in open areas.

*Red River South (Grand Forks and Walsh counties) West Loop closed but other trails open and in fair to good condition. 4- to 8-inch base.

*Sheyenne Valley (Barnes, Dickey, LaMoure, Ransom, & Stutsman counties): 8- to 12-inch base. J1, V2, V5, V6, L1, & M1 trails open but hard-packed and in poor to fair condition. McKinnes Trail moved to Hwy. 46.

*Southern Valley (Richland County): 8- to 14-inch base with all trails open and in fair condition.

*All other trails closed until there are better snow conditions.

Numbers to know:

*N.D. Game and Fish Dept., main Bismarck office: (701) 328-6300, website: (

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

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