North Dakota’s 2016-18 fishing proclamation is set, with regulations effective April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2018. Anglers are reminded that new fishing licenses are required April 1.
Noteworthy regulation changes include:
· A free fishing weekend was added for North Dakota residents during the ice fishing season. In the coming winter, the free weekend will be held Dec. 31 – Jan. 1, 2017.
Elk, moose and bighorn sheep applications must be submitted online, or postmarked, before midnight March 23.
To apply online, or to print out an application to mail, access the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. Applications are also available at Game and Fish offices and license vendors.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual bighorn sheep survey revealed a minimum of 292 bighorn sheep in western North Dakota, up 8 percent from last year and 3 percent above the five-year average.
Whooping cranes are in the midst of their spring migration and sightings will increase as they make their way through North Dakota over the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.
Hunting, fishing and furbearer licenses for the 2016-17 licensing year will be available starting March 15.
Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend a North Dakota Game and Fish Department spring advisory board meeting in their area.
These public meetings, held each spring and fall, provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisors and agency personnel.
The governor appoints eight Game and Fish Department advisors, each representing a multi-county section of the state, to serve as a liaison between the department and public.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is prohibiting open burning this spring on property managed south of Bismarck and Mandan, as a means to reduce potential for wildfires on a heavily wooded recreation area along the Missouri River.
Samples taken from North Dakota deer during the 2015 hunting season have all tested negative for chronic wasting disease, according to Dr. Dan Grove, wildlife veterinarian for the State Game and Fish Department.
North Dakota’s elk, moose and bighorn sheep applications are available online at the State Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications are scheduled to arrive at license vendors the week of March 7.
The 2016 spring wild turkey lottery has been held and hopeful hunters can check individual results by accessing the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov.
A total of 883 licenses remain in 10 units. The governor’s proclamation allows a maximum of two licenses, and hunters who did not apply in the first drawing are also eligible.
Harvest statistics released by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department show overall hunter success during the 2015 season was 96 percent for moose and 69 percent for elk. The bighorn sheep hunting season was closed due to significant sheep mortality in 2014 caused by bacterial pneumonia.
The department issued 129 moose licenses last year. Of that total, hunters harvested 124 moose – 106 bulls and 18 cows/calves. One additional license was raffled by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the hunter was successful in harvesting a moose. Harvest for each unit follows:
Individuals interested in taking the district game warden or warden pilot exams scheduled for March 18 are reminded to register no later than March 14, by submitting an online application through the North Dakota State Job Openings website, or the Game an