Fisheries biologists who questioned how a late spring and delayed ice-off would influence fish reproduction in North Dakota waters finally have a few answers.
“It looks better than we expected,” said Scott Gangl, State Game and Fish Department fisheries management section leader. “Our biologists have been seeing some pretty good numbers of young-of-the-year yellow perch in lakes statewide, signaling some good reproduction this year. This was especially true in our larger lakes that traditionally provided a perch fishery.”
North Dakota’s waterfowl production areas will be open to hunting on the pheasant opener after all.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday afternoon rescinded its closure of WPAs to public access, including hunting and fishing, effective immediately.
That means the WPAs in North Dakota will be available to hunters for the state’s pheasant opener on Saturday, Oct. 12.
The Oct. 4-5 snowstorm that covered southwestern North Dakota may present some challenging travel conditions for hunters when the 2013 pheasant season opens this Saturday.
State Game and Fish Department officials say that while most of the foot or more of snow that fell in some counties will likely be gone, the moisture left behind may still make travel difficult on some section line trails and other unimproved roads.
Motorists are reminded to watch for deer along roadways, especially this time of year, because juvenile animals are dispersing from their home ranges.
October through early December is the peak period for deer-vehicle accidents. Motorists are advised to slow down and exercise caution after dark to reduce the likelihood of encounters with deer along roadways. Most deer-vehicle accidents occur primarily at dawn and dusk when deer are most often moving around.
The deadline is months away, but now is the time to frame the perfect photograph for a contest that will determine the cover of the 2014 Private Land Open To Sportsmen guide.
From end-of-day hunting shots, to scenic action or landscape shots, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department wants to feature hunter photos on the 2014 PLOTS cover and elsewhere that showcase North Dakota’s strong hunting heritage.
Out-of-state hunters are reminded that state law does not allow nonresidents to hunt on North Dakota Game and Fish Department owned or managed lands during the first week of the pheasant season.
Private Land Open to Sportsmen acreage and state wildlife management areas are open to hunting by resident hunters only from Oct. 12-18. Nonresidents, however, can still hunt those days on other state-owned and federal lands, or private land.
North Dakota hunters are reminded to be cautious on roadways, as farmers and ranchers are currently busy with fall farm duties.
With most hunting seasons open and producers harvesting crops, moving cattle and hauling bales, road traffic is busy at times, even on rural gravel roads. With that in mind, hunters are asked to move to the side of the road to allow wide farm vehicles to pass, park their vehicles in a place that will not block a roadway, field approach or gate, pick up trash and empty shells, and not clean game in the road ditch or approach.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is taking orders for its North Dakota OUTDOORS calendar, the source for all hunting season and application dates for 2014. Along with outstanding color photographs of North Dakota wildlife and scenery, it also includes sunrise-sunset times and moon phases.
To order, send $3 for each, plus $1 postage, to: Calendar, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095. Be sure to include a three-line return address with your order, or the post office may not deliver our return mailing.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department urges deer hunters to find their license and check it for accuracy.
Every year the Game and Fish Department’s licensing section receives last-minute inquiries from hunters who can’t find their license. When that happens, it’s difficult to try to get a replacement license in time for the season opener.
Another reason to check the license now is to make sure the unit and species is what was intended.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual fall wetland survey indicates good wetland conditions for duck hunting throughout most of the state.
Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird biologist, said the northwest has a record number of wetlands, while the rest of the state has wetland numbers similar to the 2003-12 average.
“Most areas are wetter than last year, with poorest conditions in the southern half of the state,” Szymanski said.
While the fall fishing bite will eventually fade, efforts to monitor the presence of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota waters continue.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department urges local entities and water recreationists to check for new aquatic nuisance species infestations when pulling and storing fishing piers, boat docks and lifts prior to ice up.
Even though results from this summer’s survey indicated the bighorn sheep population in western North Dakota remains steady, State Game and Fish Department biologists are concerned about a significant decline in the number of adult rams.
Brett Wiedmann, big game biologist in Dickinson, said the July-August survey showed a minimum of 299 bighorn sheep, unchanged from last year and only 17 percent below 2008’s record summer survey.