State officials say that fishing on Lake Sakakawea should be as good as ever this season, but the Missouri River and Lake Oahe will be iffy at best.
Dave Fryda of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department says Lake Sakakawea is in great shape for walleyes, smallmouth bass and other species. He says that northern pike are "through the roof," but things don't look as good for rainbow smelt. Acoustic surveys show a 40 percent decline in smelt numbers. Fryda says it's a hit the lake can take for at least a year.
The Missouri River and Lake Oahe are still trying to come back from the 2011 flooding that flushed smelt downstream. Fewer species are thriving in the system because of that flooding.
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