North Dakota’s 2014 small game and furbearer regulations are set and most season structures are similar to last year.
One change for this year is that trappers using cable devices (snares) must now register with the State Game and Fish Department prior to trapping (online registration will be available on this website mid-October).
Prairie chicken and sage grouse seasons will remain closed due to low populations.
North Dakota’s early Canada goose season is set, and bag limits and licensing requirements are the same as last year.
The season will open Aug. 15 and continue through Sept. 15, except in the Missouri River Zone where the season ends Sept. 7. The early Canada goose season has a limit of 15 daily and 45 in possession.
Limits and shooting hours for the early season are different from the regular season. Shooting hours during the early season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset daily.
Youth angler Brayden Selzler’s catch on July 25 shattered a state record for goldeye that’s been in the books for 16 years.
The 9-year-old Velva angler reeled in a 4-pound, 12-ounce goldeye from Lake Audubon.
The previous record of 3 pounds, 13 ounces was established in 1998 by Craig Unser, a Mandan angler who was fishing New John’s Lake.
Pronghorn applicants are reminded the deadline for submitting applications for the 2014 hunting season is Aug. 6. Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply.
Hunters are encouraged to apply online at the State Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. People who have accumulated preference points and choose not to apply this year will not lose their points.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel recently wrapped up stocking walleye in a record 133 lakes across the state.
Jerry Weigel, fisheries production and development supervisor, said thanks to the excellent walleye fingerling production from the Garrison Dam and Valley City national fish hatcheries, these waters received nearly 10 million fingerlings.
North Dakota will have a limited pronghorn hunting season this fall for the first time since 2009.
Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said the season is open only in unit 4-A, the far southwestern corner of the state. A total of 250 any-pronghorn licenses are available, and the season is split into an early “bow-only” portion, and a later gun/bow season.
The bow-only portion of the season is from Aug. 29 (noon) – Sept. 28. Anyone who draws a license can hunt pronghorn with a bow, only in Unit 4-A, during this period.
The North Dakota Cooperative Fur Harvester Education Program is sponsoring fur harvester education classes for anyone interested in trapping or hunting furbearers.
Courses in Bismarck and Jamestown are set for Aug. 12, 14 and 16.
A course in Velva is scheduled for Aug. 19, 21 and 23. - Update 7/23: This class has been postponed.
Audubon National Wildlife Refuge is hosting a course Sept. 16, 18 and 20.
Courses are free and take 16 hours to complete over a three-day period.
Game wardens for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department were busy over the Fourth of July weekend, as many anglers and boaters celebrated the holiday at a favorite outdoor destination.
Chief of enforcement Robert Timian said lake activity was high across the state, especially at popular recreation areas such as the Missouri River, Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake, Lake Ashtabula, Lake Tschida and Lake Metigoshe, with much of the department’s law enforcement efforts focusing on these areas.
The next guide and outfitter written examination is Aug. 9 at 1 p.m. at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department office in Bismarck. The test is given periodically to anyone interested in becoming a hunting guide or outfitter in the state.
In addition to passing a written exam, qualifications for becoming a guide include a background check for criminal and game and fish violations; certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and standard first aid; and employment by or contract with a licensed hunting outfitter.
Two separate cases involving citations issued to out-of-state anglers for exceeding the possession limit on walleyes are perfect examples of public participation in helping enforce game and fish laws.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department chief of enforcement Robert Timian said one anonymous caller reported a case through the department’s enforcement office in Bismarck, while the other contacted a local district game warden.
“Both cases were very similar, and resulted from tips where anglers were catching and keeping more fish than the daily limit allows,” Timian said.
The recent discovery of curly leaf pondweed in Raleigh Reservoir in Grant County serves as a reminder for anglers to take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department ANS coordinator Fred Ryckman said a fisheries crew discovered the unwanted plant in late June.
“This does not come as a total surprise since curly leaf is found in the Missouri River,” Ryckman said, noting the close proximity of the Missouri River to Raleigh Reservoir.