North Dakota citizens with an interest in supporting wildlife conservation programs are reminded to look for the Watchable Wildlife checkoff on the state tax form.
The 2013 state income tax form gives wildlife enthusiasts an opportunity to support nongame wildlife like songbirds and birds of prey, while at the same time contributing to programs that help everyone enjoy all wildlife.
Bruce Kreft, conservation biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, received the agency’s Director’s Award for professional excellence during the Department’s annual meeting Dec. 12 in Bismarck.
Terry Steinwand, Game and Fish director, said Kreft is the consummate professional and always represents the department with honor and dignity. “Bruce doesn’t require direction or fanfare, and brings a great attitude to work every day,” Steinwand said.
Courtney Sprenger, North Dakota Game and Fish Department district game warden stationed in Elgin, is the state’s 2013 Wildlife Officer of the Year. Sprenger was honored recently by the Shikar-Safari Club International, a private conservation organization that annually recognizes outstanding wildlife officers in each state.
In a nomination letter sent to Shikar-Safari, chief warden Robert Timian said Sprenger’s district contains a variety of wildlife and recreational areas, which presents many challenges.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand recently honored a number of employees with performance-based awards. Steinwand presented the following awards at the department’s annual staff meeting Dec. 12.
Gene Van Eeckhout, Jamestown, and Brian Prince, Devils Lake, received the Special Projects award, given to an individual who implemented a successful new project.
Mountain lion hunting during the late season in zone 1 is closed immediately. The zone’s late-season quota of seven was filled after five cats were taken this weekend.
Zone 1 includes land south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.
Winter anglers are reminded that any fish house left unoccupied on North Dakota waters must be made out of materials that will allow it to float.
A popular question this time of the year is if campers qualify as legal fish houses. The answer is the same for any structure taken on the ice – if it’s left unattended, it must be able to float; if it’s not able to float, it must be removed when the angler leaves the ice.
Other fish house regulations include:
North Dakota ice anglers are reminded that regulations designed to reduce the spread of aquatic nuisance species also apply in winter, and law enforcement officials will continue their efforts to ensure compliance.
It’s important to reiterate that only legal live bait can be transported in water in a container up to five gallons. Neither game nor nongame species can be transported in water, although a daily catch can be packed in snow.
Other simple methods to prevent winter ANS introductions are:
North Dakota anglers are encouraged to refer to the 2012-14 North Dakota Fishing Guide or the State Game and Fish Department’s website for winter fishing regulations.
In addition, anglers can visit the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, for an extensive list of fishing questions and answers, and a winter fishing preview from North Dakota Outdoors magazine.
Some winter fishing regulations include:
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department have reopened the Coyote Catalog to connect coyote hunters and trappers with landowners who want fewer coyotes in their areas.
The Coyote Catalog is an online database similar to the one the Game and Fish Department uses to connect deer hunters with farmers and ranchers.
“We’ve had a lot of success matching deer hunters with landowners,” said NDGF Director Terry Steinwand. “We hope the Coyote Catalog works out just as well.”
The State Game and Fish Department’s advisory board meeting scheduled for tonight in Scranton has been postponed to Dec. 16 due to a blizzard warning in southwest North Dakota. All other details remain the same.
District 8 – Counties: Adams, Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Golden Valley, Hettinger, Slope and Stark
Date: December 16 – 7 p.m.
Location: Scranton Town Hall
Host: Scranton Rod and Gun Club
Contact: Gary Symanowski, 275-8807
Advisory board member: Dwight Hecker, Fairfield, 575-4952
Statewide monitoring efforts for aquatic nuisance species in 2013 resulted in only one new infestation – curly-leaf pondweed in Grass Lake in Richland County.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department ANS coordinator Fred Ryckman said for the second consecutive year, no zebra mussels were detected in the Otter Tail and Red rivers at Wahpeton, where immature zebra mussels were found in both 2010 and 2011.
A mule deer taken from unit 3F2 during the deer gun season has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.