Northern Sentry Outdoors Report

Sept. 24, 2021

Patricia Stockdill

Outdoor Notes:

*Be aware of proper waterfowl identification with most ducks not in full fall plumage yet.

*Go to the N.D. Game & Fish Dept. website, ( for information regarding North Dakota’s new electronic posting regulations and assistance.

*East Totten Recreation Area boat ramp is only available ramp on Lake Audubon during a lake draw-down to allow for facility maintenance work along the U.S. Highway 83 embankment.

*Do not release any fish caught from water 25 feet and deeper because their swim bladder likely won’t allow them to survive when coming up from deep water.

*Sept. 25: Resident waterfowl and woodcock seasons open.

*Sept. 25: Sakakawea Pheasants Forever banquet, 5:30 p.m., Garrison City Auditorium.

*Sept. 26: Youth deer season closes.

*Sept. 27: Muddy Buck Beers for Deer Mule Deer Foundation, Rivers Edge Bar & Grill, Williston, 6 p.m.

*Oct. 2 & 3: Youth pheasant season.

*Oct. 2: Tundra swan season opens.

*Oct. 2: Nonresident waterfowl season opens.

*Oct. 2: MonDak Pheasants Forever banquet, Raymond Family Community Center, Williston, 5 p.m.

*Oct. 9: Pheasant and turkey seasons open.

*Oct. 9: McKenzie Co. Pheasants Forever banquet, Roughrider Event Center, Watford City, 5 p.m.


*Oct. 1 & 2: Lake Sakakawea, Sakakawea State Park.


Lake Sakakawea elevation, Sept. 20: 1,831.52 feet above mean sea level (MSL); 16,100 cubic feet per second (CFS) Garrison Dam average daily releases.

Devils Lake elevation: 1,447.07 feet above mean sea level (MSL).

Stump Lake elevation: 1,447.07 MSL.

*N.D. Game & Fish Dept. game wardens: No northcentral area lake reports, Devils Lake, or Missouri River System.

*Devils Lake, Ed’s Bait Shop, Devils Lake: Fair to good white bass and perch success in East Bay. Pelican Lake remains fair for walleye. Overall fewer anglers on the water.

*Devils Lake, Woodland Resort, Devils Lake: Anglers finding lots of small walleye with a transition to jigs and minnows. Also try crankbaits in deeper water. Work along the highways or power lines in the middle of the lake. Also try Mauvais Coulee.

*Lake Darling, Karma C-Store, Ruthville: Limited reports.

*Lake Metigoshe, Four Seasons, Bottineau: Fair bluegill success but fewer anglers on the water. Walleye slow.

*Lake Sakakawea/Lake Audubon, Cenex Bait & Tackle, Garrison: Not many anglers out although there is still a little activity yet along the west end of Lake Audubon along the U.S. Highway 83 embankment with water being transferred into Lake Sakakawea. Work deeper on the east end of Lake Sakakawea in 30 to 40 feet for walleye with slowing success. Better success remains west from Deepwater Bay to Independence Point with some activity on the east end along the embankment where water is going through the intake from Lake Audubon. No new Missouri River reports.

*Lake Sakakawea, Indian Hills Resort, Garrison: No new reports. General store closed for the season but camping and lodging available until mid-October.

*Lake Sakakawea, New Town: Hit-and-miss walleye success, although fair overall. Try 30 to 40 feet with heavy jigs and minnows or deep-diving crankbaits.

*Lake Sakakawea, Van Hook Bait & Tackle, New Town: Bait shop closed for the season but boat ramp still open.

*Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, Pick City: Missouri River tailrace water levels low with less Garrison Dam releases, which slowed walleye, trout, and salmon activity. Good catfish numbers, however. Use caution when fishing the tailrace rocks from shore because they’re extremely slippery. Some success at night for walleye from boats but day bite is generally producing catfish. Also try the wing walls for catfish. Lake Sakakawea producing salmon from the top of the water all of the way down with fish scattered throughout much of the water column. Try crankbaits or even flashers and squids from boats or spoons from shore in the bays. Continue working deep for walleye using nightcrawlers with better success farther west of Pick City.

*Lake Sakakawea/northwest N.D. lakes, Scenic Sports, Williston: Best bite on the west end of Lake Sakakawea remains around Tobacco Garden. Try jigs and minnows. Missouri and Yellowstone rivers producing a few sauger with limited walleye numbers. Water is unusually clear for this time of year.

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

*North-central/central N.D. lakes, Towner Hdwe. Hank, Towner: Little activity on the Souris River and area lakes.


*Doves: Many birds moved out with cool night temperatures but a few remain scattered in areas.

*Deer: Fair archery success. Some are still active during the day but trending towards more nocturnal movement. Nice numbers around central N.D.

*Upland: Grouse seem to be in pockets scattered in areas with cover. A few hunters around central N.D. with mixed success.

*Waterfowl: Nice numbers of local Canada geese with fair duck numbers around Devils Lake. Williston area, east end of the Missouri River System, and northcentral N.D. also have good local Canada goose numbers. Not many local geese around the Lonetree WMA area, though, with just a few scattered flocks. Ducks will be concentrated on what limited wetlands are available.

Numbers to know:

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

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

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