The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual spring breeding duck survey showed an index of 3.9 million birds, down 17 percent from last year but still 73 percent above the long-term average (1948-2012).
Mike Szymanski, waterfowl biologist, said blue-winged teal and gadwall saw the largest decline. “Blue-wings are coming off near-record highs, so it’s not unexpected to see the drop,” Szymanski said.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has scheduled an examination to select candidates for the position of district game warden. The test is at 10 a.m., July 15, at the department's main office in Bismarck.
Applicants must register to take the exam by submitting a letter of intent to chief game warden Robert Timian, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501 5095. Letters of intent must be submitted before 5 p.m., July 12.
Family fishing days return this month to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site.
The catch-and-release only fishery is stocked with trout, bluegill, largemouth bass, catfish and other species.
Family fishing days are Saturdays and Wednesdays through the end of August. Fishing equipment can be checked out at the OWLS Pond, located adjacent to the Department’s Bismarck office, on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Fishing rods and basic tackle are available for use free of charge.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently paid more than $539,000 in taxes to counties in which the department owns or leases land. The 2012 in-lieu-of-tax payments are the same as property taxes paid by private landowners.
The Game and Fish Department manages more than 200,000 acres for wildlife habitat and public hunting in 51 counties. The department does not own or manage any land in Traill or Renville counties.
Following is a list of counties and the tax payments they received.
Lab results confirm Dan Faiman’s state record fish is a saugeye.
The Fairview, Mont. angler caught the 12 pound record fish on Jan. 16 from the Yellowstone River. Because the fish had identifying characteristics of both species, genetic material was sent to a lab to determine whether the fish was a walleye, sauger or saugeye, which is a cross between the two.
Faiman’s catch broke the previous record, set in 1984, by 4 ounces.
North Dakota deer hunters are reminded the deadline for submitting applications for the 2013 gun season is June 5. Hunters are encouraged to apply online at the State Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.
The deadline applies to muzzleloader, regular gun, gratis and nonresident landowner, and youth antlered mule deer applications (specifically for antlered mule deer in units 3B1, 3B2, and 4A-4F).
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department conducted its annual spring mule deer survey in April and results indicate western North Dakota’s mule deer population increased 15 percent from last year. However, the 2013 spring mule deer index is still 22 percent lower than the long-term average.
Bruce Stillings, big game supervisor, said the increase is a result of no antlerless deer harvested in 2012, and relatively mild winter conditions across much of mule deer range.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is announcing its summer schedule of conservation workshops for educators.
The MacLean shooting range located near the MacLean boat ramp south of Bismarck is now open after being closed earlier this spring due to a wildfire and ensuing high fire danger index.
Shooting is only allowed from the bench to the designated target stands. Tracer rounds and exploding targets are prohibited. Any illegal activity should be reported to Report All Poachers by calling (800) 472-2121.
A public awareness campaign held annually in May emphasizes the need for boaters to wears life jackets.
Nancy Boldt, boat and water safety coordinator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the message reinforces the importance of personal flotation devices.
“Facts prove there is no safety substitute for wearing a life jacket while recreating on public waters,” Boldt said.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding parents to capture their little angler’s first catch on a specially designed First Fish certificate.
First Fish has no qualifying weights or measurements. The only requirement is the successful landing of a North Dakota fish. Certificates are available to all who request them, and have ample room for all the important information, such as name, age, lake and a short fish story, plus a blank space for a photograph big enough to contain the smile of the happiest little angler.
Although this past winter stretched beyond the norm, snowfall throughout most of the state was far from record-setting. Therefore, the number of lakes suffering a fish kill was not extreme.
Scott Gangl, fisheries management section leader for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said approximately 30 winterkills have been confirmed so far this spring. “Fortunately, the majority of these were considered minor/partial kills, meaning there are still desirable fish to catch in those lakes,” he said.