North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists are asking anglers for help in documenting lakes that may have experienced winter fish mortality.
Fisheries management section leader Scott Gangl said some winterkill is expected every year, with the severity depending on winter weather. With this year’s conditions, he doesn’t anticipate major widespread fish kills.
The next guide and outfitter written examination is May 16 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 mule deer taken during the 2014 deer gun season from unit 3F2 in southwestern North Dakota have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to Dr. Dan Grove, wildlife veterinarian for the State Game and Fish Department.
The total now stands at seven deer to test positive for CWD since 2009, and all were from the same general area within unit 3F2.
As snow geese continue to make their way through the state, hunters are advised to properly identify their target as whooping cranes could potentially be in the same areas.
Whooping cranes are also 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.
Spring light goose hunters, anglers and trappers are reminded that 2015-16 licenses are required starting April 1.
The 2015-16 small game, fishing and furbearer licenses are effective April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016.
Licenses can be purchased online by accessing the online services link at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.
Applications for this fall’s moose and elk hunting seasons must be in the mail and postmarked before midnight March 25.
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, county auditors and license vendors.
A total of 43,500 North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 26,300 deer during the 2014 deer gun hunting season.
The State Game and Fish Department made available 48,000 deer gun licenses in 2014, and all licenses were issued. Overall hunter success was 60 percent, with each hunter spending an average of 4.4 days in the field.
Hunter success for antlered white-tailed deer was 60 percent, and antlerless whitetail was 56 percent.
Jack Fletcher’s catch on Feb. 28 broke a state record for cisco that was established nearly 15 years ago.
The Fargo angler reeled in a 2-pound, 9-ounce cisco from Beaver Bay, Lake Oahe, breaking the old record by 1 ounce.
The previous record was held since 2000 by two family members from Pick City, Tylor and Scott Borup Jr., who each reeled in a 2-pound, 8-ounce cisco from the Garrison Dam Tailrace on the same day.
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.
Wildlife, shooting, fraternal and nonprofit civil organizations are urged to submit an application for the Encouraging Tomorrow’s Hunters program, a State Game and Fish Department grant program developed to assist recruitment of the next generation of hunters and shooters.
The maximum grant allowed is $3,000. The program currently helps fund approximately 40 club and organizational events and projects, with an average grant of $1,550.
North Dakota’s elk and moose hunting seasons are set with more licenses available in 2015 than last year. However, the bighorn sheep hunting season will be closed for the first time since 1983.
A total of 301 elk licenses are available to hunters this fall, an increase of 40 from last year. Unit E1 has an additional 15 any-elk and 15 antlerless licenses, and unit E3 has an increase of 10 antlerless licenses. In addition, the split season antlerless elk only portion of E1 is eliminated to provide additional hunting opportunity and address late-season depredation issues.
Anglers have until mid-March to remove permanent fish houses from North Dakota waters, and from any state wildlife management area or federal refuge land.
State law requires permanent fish houses must be removed from North Dakota waters by midnight March 15. In addition, it is illegal to leave fish houses on any state-owned or managed land, and federal refuge land, after March 15.
Anglers are advised to use caution while accessing area lakes because mild weather conditions can quickly result in unstable ice conditions.