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2022-23 Lake Sakakawea, Lake Audubon ice fishing policy announcement

USACE Omaha District
Published Nov. 29, 2022
Updated: Nov. 29, 2022
Lake Sakakawea ice fishing.

Lake Sakakawea ice fishing.

The USACE Garrison Project’s 2022-23 winter access policy for Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon is now available. This year there will be 107 areas/points of entry to Lake Sakakawea and 20 areas/points of entry to Lake Audubon.

These areas/points of entry are a combination of boat ramps, shoreline access sites and freeways located in limited development areas. Some of these points will be foot traffic only, mainly due to terrain. Entry points, defined in the policy, are available for the period of the calendar year in which Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon freeze over, and until April 1 of each calendar year, or until the lake becomes ice-free.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to update and maintain an interactive web application pertaining to ice access locations: https://arcg.is/1DnGy00. The web application displays all approved ice access locations and status that users can access easily from any computer or smart phone. Users can also download the ESRI application to an iPhone or Android –the ArcGIS Explorer application is free. Open the ESRI application and search, ‘Lake Sakakawea ice access’.

Important information to note:

  • Lewis and Clark Magnum Point (will open Dec. 12, 2022, after muzzle loader season closes).
  • Hofflund Bay WMA— new gate access through WMA to lake (will open Dec 12, 2022, after muzzle loader season closes).
  • Woodpecker Bay will remain closed due to safety of terrain.

USACE does not encourage or recommend driving on the ice at any time. For those that do recreate on the ice, the Omaha District urges extreme caution as any winter activity performed on the ice can be hazardous. For instance, thin ice or open water may exist near springs and pressure ridges throughout the winter.

Anglers are required to use only licensed, motorized vehicles and existing authorized public roads for entering and leaving ice fishing access areas. Some public roads often drift closed with snow and will not be plowed open. In these instances, operating a motor vehicle off-road to obtain access is not allowed. Additionally, the public is reminded that access is for ice fishing purposes only and restrictions are in place to prevent using the ice to cross the reservoir.

All Title 36 Regulations apply to the ice fishing access sites. North Dakota Game and Fish WMA Regulations apply within all Wildlife Management Areas located on USACE lands around the reservoir. Additionally, North Dakota Game and Fish has specific regulations pertaining to the use of ice and fish spearing houses within the state of North Dakota and the spread of aquatic nuisance species.

Have fun this winter and remember to be safe: “ALWAYS, KNOW BEFORE YOU GO”. Check-in with someone who is near the body of water where you are accessing. Bait shops, outfitters, game wardens, and public land managers are all valuable sources for ice condition updates.

Please visit the Omaha District and Lake Sakakawea websites and Facebook pages for updates pertaining to ice access. This includes, but is not limited to, closures and openings of access areas.

For additional information contact: USACE Riverdale office (701) 654-7411, or Williston (701) 572-6494; or North Dakota Game & Fish, Riverdale office (701) 654-7475, or Williston (701) 774-4320.

Release no. 22-054