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Lake Sakakawea Access and Water Levels a Concern

Fall walleye fishing on Lake Sakakawea has traditionally been good, and this fall should be no exception. However, due to low and declining lake levels, North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists are concerned with boating access.

A number of boat ramps have become marginal or unusable during the past month, thus anglers are urged to reference the department's website at discovernd.com/gnf to determine the status of particular ramps before venturing to Lake Sakakawea.

"We have been losing at least a couple ramps per week due to declining water levels," said Bob Frohlich, fisheries development coordinator. "So anglers need to be aware of this by checking our website for weekly updates."

Another concern is lack of water depth in the upper portion of Lake Sakakawea. The low water level and sedimentation have combined to make a 20-mile reach of the reservoir now nearly impossible to boat or fish.

According to district fisheries biologist Fred Ryckman, Williston, virtually all of the area from about five miles upstream of Tobacco Garden Bay to just downstream of Williston varies in depth from only a few inches to a few feet. "It's an area that boaters should avoid," Ryckman said. "Otherwise, they'll likely end up stranded in the shallow water."

Downstream of the Tobacco Garden Bay/Lunds Landing area, Ryckman noted, is where anglers should generally find adequate water depths and good fishing for the remainder of the fall.

 

 

 

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