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2013 Statistics

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  • The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s 2013 midwinter bald eagle survey along the Missouri River from Bismarck to Garrison Dam revealed 61 bald eagles, slightly above-average since the survey started in 1986.
  • The Game and Fish Department’s midwinter waterfowl survey indicated nearly 160,000 ducks and geese wintering in the state.
  • Dave Faiman of Fairview, Montana, caught a record saugeye from the Yellowstone River in January. The 12-pound fish broke the previous record by 4 ounces, which was set in 1984.
  • North Dakota boasted more than 400 managed water bodies in 2013, the highest on record. That’s more than double the number of managed waters North Dakota had in the late 1980s.
  • Chris Rick’s catch in January tied the state record for crappie that’s been on the books for nearly 15 years. The Jamestown angler reeled in a 3-pound, 4-ounce crappie from Jamestown Reservoir.
  • A multi-year walleye tagging study that will eventually include thousands of fish 12 inches and longer was initiated on the Missouri River in spring. The study is being conducted by biologists and researchers from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, and South Dakota State University.
  • More than 360 archers, up 9 percent from 2012, competed in the North Dakota National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament in Bismarck in April.
  • The number of strutting males observed during the 2013 spring sage grouse survey was well below management objectives. Biologists counted a record low 50 males on 11 active strutting grounds. The sage grouse hunting season remained closed in 2013 for the sixth year in a row. During that time, the sage grouse population in southwestern North Dakota declined by 60 percent.
  • For the fourth year in a row the Game and Fish Department closed the hunting season for pinnated grouse, or prairie chickens, in the northeastern and southeastern parts of the state because of a continued decline in male prairie chicken spring booming counts.
  • North Dakota has had an early Canada goose season for more than a decade, but for the first time in 2013, hunters needed a special license to participate. State legislators created the early Canada goose license as part of HB 1264.
  • The Game and Fish Department’s annual spring breeding duck survey showed an index of 3.9 million birds, down 17 percent from 2012, but still 73 percent above the long-term (1948-2013) average. The mid-July waterfowl production survey indicated a duck brood index that was down 48 percent from 2012, but still 27 percent above the long-term average. Average brood size was 7.2 ducklings, up 0.3 from 2012. The long-term average is 7.1 ducklings per brood. The water index in mid-July was up 60 percent from 2012 and 67 percent above the long-term average.
  • Game and Fish Department wardens issued a record number of citations during the paddlefish snagging season. From opening day May 1 until the season closed May 19, wardens cited more than 170 individuals in Williams and McKenzie counties. The citation total was 82 in 2012 during a similar time frame.
  • Excellent walleye fingerling production from federal fish hatcheries resulted in a record 11 million walleye fingerlings stocked into state waters in summer. Altogether, 110 lakes and rivers were stocked in North Dakota, including 4.3 million fingerlings in Lake Sakakawea, 863,000 in Stump Lake, 495,000 in Lake Darling, 329,000 in Lake Ashtabula, 321,000 in Heart Butte Reservoir, 218,000 in Patterson Lake, 205,000 in Bowman-Haley Reservoir and 200,000 in Lake Metigoshe.
  • Even though results from a summer survey indicated the bighorn sheep population in western North Dakota remains steady, there is concern about a significant decline in the number of adult rams. A late summer survey showed a minimum of 299 bighorn sheep, unchanged from last year and only 17 percent below 2008’s record survey. Although the female segment of the population remained stable, there is concern about another substantial decline in the number of rams, which was 11 percent below last year and 21 percent below the record observed in 2009.

2012 Licenses and Permits Issued

License Type Resident Nonresident
Fishing 59686 21601
Husband/Wife Fishing 14254 3795
Senior Citizen Fishing 11513  
Disabled Fishing 416  
Short-Term Fishing    
10-Day   5549
3-Day   24154
Paddlefish Tags 2540 1088
Commercial Tags 20  
Retail Bait Vendor 244  
Wholesale Bait Vendor 25 9
Fish Hatchery 3  
2012 Boat Registration s(Second year of 3-year decal) 9752  
Boat Rentals 13  
General Hunting 42895 47433
Small Game Hunting 22733 30129
Combination License 59379  
Waterfowl Hunting   23766
Furbearer Hunting/Trapping 14684 4730
Fur Buyer 29 10
Deer Gun Hunting 53534 667
Deer Gun Hunting (Gratis) 13553 208
Deer Bowhunting 19940 2336
Moose Hunting 123  
Moose Hunting (Preferential Landowner) 15  
Elk Hunting 257  
Elk Hunting (Preferential Landowner) 54  
Bighorn Sheep 3  
Turkey Hunting (Spring) 5600  
Turkey Hunting (Fall) 3946  
Turkey Hunting (Gratis Spring) 272  
Turkey Hunting (Gratis Fall) 244  
Habitat Stamp 90328  
Shooting Preserve 10  
Fishing/Hunting Guide 229 24
Taxidermist 232  
Falconry 2  
Scientific Collector 35 19
Swan 1216 984
Sandhill Crane 2637 5908

2013 Special Big Game Licenses

License Type Licenses Available Applications Received
Moose 110 12,493
Elk 260 10,790
Bighorn Sheep 3 9,587


Financial Statement
July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013
Income $31,406,273
Expenses $35,037,179
Fund Balances, Fixed Assets
and Long-term Debt
Game and Fish General Fund $29,169,935
Habitat and Depredation Fund $490,361
Nongame Wildlife Fund $84,884
Total All Funds $29,745,180
Fixed Assets $44,234,436
Department Net Worth $73,979,616