Outdoor water recreationists are once again reminded to help prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota.
State Game and Fish Department ANS Coordinator Fred Ryckman said there are more than 400 recreational fishing waters across the state, making it imperative for watercraft owners to obey regulations.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department announced today that the state's 2014 regular paddlefish snagging season will close at 10 p.m. Central Daylight Time, Sunday, May 18, to protect the population level of the fish. However, snaggers are reminded that Sunday is a snag-and-release only day.
North Dakota’s moose, elk and bighorn sheep lottery results are available online at the State Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.
Applicants can find individual results by clicking “find lottery results/preference points” under the online services link.
Successful applicants will receive a letter the week of May 19, stating the license will be mailed after the successful applicant submits the correct license fee.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has set its summer schedule of conservation workshops for educators.
National Archery in the Schools – June 3-4, Bismarck. Workshop participants are provided the fundamentals to teach archery in grades 4-12, either indoors or outdoors, and will be able to implement an archery unit in the classroom, and as an after-school activity. A preregistration fee of $10 is required. Register by calling Jeff Long at 701-328-6322.
The State Game and Fish Department is urging boat owners who have yet to renew their registration for 2014, to use the agency’s online renewal system to speed up processing time.
Due to a high volume of registrations coming in as boat owners prepare for the new boating season, Game and Fish Department licensing manager Randy Meissner says the processing time currently is 10 to 14 days.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding parents to capture their little angler’s first catch on a specially designed First Fish certificate.
First Fish has no qualifying weights or measurements. The only requirement is the successful landing of a North Dakota fish. Certificates are available to all who request them, and have ample room for all the important information, such as name, age, lake and a short fish story, plus a blank space for a photograph big enough to contain the smile of the happiest little angler.
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.
There are a number of reasons why fishing in North Dakota has been pretty good in recent years, including the cooperative efforts of anglers and bait vendors to ensure that those wetting a line are using legal and clean bait.
Fathead minnows, sticklebacks, and creek chubs are the only legal live baitfish species that can be used in most North Dakota waters. The exceptions are the Red and Bois de Sioux rivers where white suckers can be used and 23 state waters where it is illegal to use any live baitfish.
Anglers fishing in southeastern North Dakota are reminded of a length requirement when fishing for walleye.
The 2014-16 fishing proclamation includes a 14-inch minimum walleye length restriction on six lakes in southeastern North Dakota – Alkali Lake, Buffalo Lake and Tosse Slough in Sargent County; and Lake Elsie, Lueck Lake and West Moran Lake in Richland County.
Anglers should refer to the 2014-16 North Dakota Fishing Guide for all fishing regulations.
North Dakota’s 2014 deer season is set, with 48,000 licenses available to hunters this fall, 11,500 fewer than last year, and the lowest number since 1980.
Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said even after five years of reducing gun licenses, deer populations are still below management objectives in most units. Currently, only units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F meet or exceed management goals.
“Harvest and survey data indicate deer numbers are still declining, especially in the eastern part of the state,” Kreil said.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department conducted its annual spring mule deer survey in April, and results indicate western North Dakota’s mule deer population has increased 19 percent from last year.
Bruce Stillings, big game supervisor, said the increase is a result of less severe winters the past couple of years, no harvest of antlerless deer in 2012 and 2013, and improved fawn production. The 2014 index is only 7 percent below the long-term average.
One glance at a lake or river and you already notice several boats on the water. With that mind, boat owners are reminded that properly-fitted life jackets should be worn and not used as a comfortable seat cushion.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department boat and water safety coordinator Nancy Boldt said water temperatures in spring are extremely cold, and sudden immersion can cause serious problems.