Game and Fish Department biologists stocked roughly 225 adult gizzard shad in Lake Oahe’s Beaver Bay in May to help jumpstart a limited forage base.
A good share of Oahe’s young-of-the-year rainbow smelt were flushed through the dam during flooding in 2011, drastically thinning what game fish have to eat. In addition, high flows and sediment-laden water reduced production of other forage fish.
Even though the number of strutting males observed during the spring sage grouse survey was up 15 percent from last year, the population remains well below management objectives. Therefore, the sage grouse hunting season will remain closed in 2012.
Aaron Robinson, North Dakota Game and Fish Department upland game bird biologist, said biologists counted 72 males on 12 active strutting grounds. Last year, 63 males were counted on 12 active lakes in the southwest.
Water recreationists who plan to enjoy the Missouri River over Memorial Day weekend will find that most public boat ramps are usable.
Bob Frohlich, North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries development supervisor, said sites have been cleared of sand and debris after being closed and underwater all of last summer. However, additional large-scale cleanup and reconstruction projects are underway, or are being planned, at some sites.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is announcing the summer schedule of conservation workshops for educators. Graduate credit is available through the University of North Dakota.
Silver carp are the latest threat in the ongoing campaign to stop the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota, which features 360-plus fishing waters.
However, silver carp aren’t the only ANS threat in a state that is fortunate not to have big management problems with new or expanded exotic populations.
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 announced today that the state's 2012 paddlefish snagging season will close to any additional harvest at 1 p.m. Central Daylight Time, Friday, May 11, to protect the population level of the fish. The additional seven-day snag-and-release season will begin Saturday, May 12 and run through Friday, May 18.
“Relatively low water levels concentrating the paddlefish and high interest in snagging are responsible for the early closure,” said Greg Power, Game and Fish Department fisheries chief.
Children ages 12-15 who want to operate a boat or personal watercraft this summer must take the state’s boating basics course.
State law requires youngsters ages 12-15 to pass the course before they operate a boat or personal watercraft with at least a 10 horsepower motor. In addition, major insurance companies give adult boat owners who pass the course a premium discount on boat insurance.
The 2012 proclamation establishing guidelines for transporting deer, elk and moose carcasses and carcass parts into and within North Dakota is now in effect as a precaution against the possible spread of chronic wasting disease.
North Dakota’s 2012 deer season is set, with 65,300 licenses available to hunters this fall, 44,650 fewer than last year and the lowest since 1988.
Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said the decline in the deer population is a result of increased adult mortality and reduced fawn production following the severe winters of 2008-10. In addition, the extreme winter conditions followed nearly a decade of aggressive deer management featuring large numbers of antlerless licenses in many units.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program has announced a schedule of events in 2012.
Hike the Maah Daah Hey Trail is June 15-17. This workshop is designed for women with previous hiking or backpacking skills, or who are in good physical condition. Participants will hike a 15-mile portion of the trail south of Medora. Activity is strenuous due to rough terrain. The $30 fee includes lunch and dinner each day, plus group gear. Each participant must provide their own personal gear.