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 increased 15 percent from last year. However, the 2013 spring mule deer index is still 22 percent lower than the long-term average.
Bruce Stillings, big game supervisor, said the increase is a result of no antlerless deer harvested in 2012, and relatively mild winter conditions across much of mule deer range.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is announcing its summer schedule of conservation workshops for educators.
The MacLean shooting range located near the MacLean boat ramp south of Bismarck is now open after being closed earlier this spring due to a wildfire and ensuing high fire danger index.
Shooting is only allowed from the bench to the designated target stands. Tracer rounds and exploding targets are prohibited. Any illegal activity should be reported to Report All Poachers by calling (800) 472-2121.
Even though Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe are approximately 10 feet lower than last year at this time, anglers shouldn’t have a problem finding public access points to launch a boat.
The Riverdale Wildlife Management Area shooting range will close Monday, May 20 for approximately one week due to construction of a berm and general improvements. A closed sign will be posted at the entrance.
Interested users can check the status of the range by accessing the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.
Riverdale WMA is located two miles southwest of Riverdale.
Now that the ice has finally left North Dakota’s lakes and rivers, boaters and anglers are starting to enjoy summer recreation opportunities. With more than 400 water bodies covering the state, outdoor recreationists are once again reminded to help prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota.
A public awareness campaign held annually in May emphasizes the need for boaters to wears life jackets.
Nancy Boldt, boat and water safety coordinator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the message reinforces the importance of personal flotation devices.
“Facts prove there is no safety substitute for wearing a life jacket while recreating on public waters,” Boldt said.
Although this past winter stretched beyond the norm, snowfall throughout most of the state was far from record-setting. Therefore, the number of lakes suffering a fish kill was not extreme.
Scott Gangl, fisheries management section leader for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said approximately 30 winterkills have been confirmed so far this spring. “Fortunately, the majority of these were considered minor/partial kills, meaning there are still desirable fish to catch in those lakes,” he said.
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.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department announced today that the state's 2013 paddlefish snagging season will close to any additional harvest at 10 p.m. Central Daylight Time, Friday, May 17, to protect the population level of the fish. An additional seven-day snag-and-release season will begin Saturday, May 18 and run through Friday, May 24.
“Once again, high effort and participation by paddlefish snaggers and relatively low water levels concentrating the paddlefish are responsible for the early closure,” said Greg Power, Game and Fish Department fisheries chief.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program is accepting registrations for the annual summer workshop Aug. 9-11 at Lake Metigoshe State Park, Bottineau.
Enrollment is limited to participants age 18 or older. Workshop fees of $135 cover instruction, program materials, use of equipment, all meals and lodging.
Participants can choose from more than 30 programs, including archery, canoeing, introduction to firearms, fly-fishing, kayaking, global positioning system, plant identification, and tracking and trapping.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel recently stocked six lakes with 2-to-5 pound trout from Wyoming.
Jerry Weigel, fisheries production and development section leader, said each year Wyoming Game and Fish provides trout as part of a trade for walleye fingerlings. This year, Wyoming provided surplus brood stock.
A total of 800 rainbows with a combined weight of 2,100 pounds were stocked in Camels Hump Lake (Golden Valley County), Dickinson Dike (Stark County), North Woodhaven Pond (Cass County) and Mooreton Pond (Richland County).