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Very dry conditions, along with a decline in numbers of breeding ducks compared to last year, were found during the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s 74th annual breeding duck survey.

The 2021 May water index was down 80% from 2020, and nearly 68% below the 1948-2020 average. The percentage-based change in the number of wetlands holding water is the greatest seen in the history…

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has rescheduled the district game warden exam for July 16. Previous applicants do not have to reapply and are still eligible to take the test.

The test is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the department’s main office in Bismarck.

Applicants must register no later than July 14 by submitting an online application through the North Dakota State…

Anglers are reminded that it is illegal to import minnows and other forms of live aquatic bait, such as leeches and frogs, into North Dakota. 

When purchasing live aquatic bait, anglers must buy from a licensed North Dakota retail bait vendor. Bait vendors can properly identify species and ensure all bait is clean of any aquatic nuisance species.

For more information, refer to…

The state Game and Fish Department reminds anglers that live white suckers are not legal baitfish anywhere in North Dakota, except in the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers.

Although anglers can use live white suckers on the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers, and tributaries up to the first vehicular bridge, they are illegal elsewhere. Fathead minnows, sticklebacks and creek chubs are the only…

North Dakota boaters traveling to or through other states or Canadian provinces, are reminded to check the aquatic nuisance species regulations of their destination. 

Mandatory boat inspections may be required along highways or at lakes based on destination or route taken. In general, to ensure compliance, boaters are strongly encouraged to clean, drain and dry equipment.   

Clean…

North Dakota’s free fishing weekend is June 5-6, and residents can fish any body of water in the state without a license.

“This is a great opportunity to give fishing a try or to invite someone new with you on the water for their first time,” said Cayla Bendel, North Dakota Game and Fish Department R3 coordinator.  

Find out what you need to know to get started on the Game and…

The deadline for submitting applications for the 2021 deer gun season is Wednesday, June 2.

Applicants for regular deer gun, gratis, youth and muzzleloader can apply online through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov.

Applicants should note that a general game and habitat license is required when applying for a regular gun, youth or muzzleloader…

North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists tagged hundreds of walleyes in two North Dakota waters earlier this spring to determine exploitation and harvest in these popular fisheries.

Walleyes were fitted with jaw tags at Rice Lake, Emmons County, and Antelope Lake, Pierce County, as part of one-year studies in both waters.

Tagging fish for study purposes in…

With some access sites unusable because of low water levels, boat ramps are likely to be more congested than usual this year. With that in mind, boaters are reminded to plan accordingly when heading to a lake or river this summer.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department receives complaints every year about overly aggressive behavior at boat ramps. A few simple reminders will help…

The 2021 state legislature passed a bill to allow electronic posting of private land, giving landowners another option for posting private property. This online database system is available to enroll lands, with the law going into effect Aug. 1, 2021.

In addition to current posting laws allowing landowners to post lands with physical signs, electronic posting adds the option to…

The Maclean Bottoms (Gun Range) boating access site and picnic shelters are closed effective immediately due to significant river erosion of the area.

Maclean Bottoms boat ramp is located approximately 15 miles southeast of Bismarck on the Oahe Wildlife Management Area.

Access to the gun (shooting) range and the rest of the wildlife management area remains open.

North…

North Dakota has seen an increase in aquatic nuisance species in the last decade, yet the state remains in pretty good shape with the low number of waterbodies with invasive species.

Even so, public awareness about ANS, including zebra mussels, and the actions that help prevent their spread, remains a priority of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. All people who recreate on…

After engaging and enlisting partners and stakeholders last spring and summer, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department initiated the Meadowlark Initiative, a new statewide strategy to combine the efforts of conservation, agriculture and industry partners to enhance, restore and sustain native grasslands in North Dakota.

Last November, the Game and Fish Department and 13 contributing…

Individuals interested in taking the district game warden exam scheduled for June 11 are reminded to register no later than June 8 by submitting an online application through the North Dakota State Job Openings website.

The test is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the department's main office in Bismarck.

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have a bachelor’s degree at time…

A safe boating public awareness campaign held annually in May serves as a good reminder for boaters heading into summer.

National Safe Boating Week is May 22-28, with the campaign actually kicking off May 21 with Wear Your Life Jacket at Work Day. Water recreationists are encouraged to snap a picture while at work and share it on social media with the hashtags #lifejacket2work and #…

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department tracked 21 outdoors-related bills during the 2021 legislative session, nine of which were passed by both chambers and signed into law.

The following bills take effect Aug. 1. A complete list of bills is on the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov.

HB 1017 – Appropriates $92,368,134 to the Game and Fish Department for the biennium beginning…

Effective Sunday, May 9, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department has closed the state's 2021 paddlefish snagging season to any additional harvest to provide long-term protection of the paddlefish population.  

An additional seven-day snag-and-release season will begin Monday, May 10 and run through Sunday, May 16. Paddlefish snaggers with an unused paddlefish tag can continue…

North Dakota’s 2021 deer season is set, with 72,200 licenses available to hunters, 3,150 more than last year.

In total, any-antlered licenses increased by 1,500 from last year, any-antlerless by 1,250, antlered whitetail by 100, antlerless whitetail by 100, antlerless mule deer by 200 and antlered mule deer licenses remained the same.

In addition, muzzleloader licenses…

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department completed its annual spring mule deer survey in April, and results indicate western North Dakota’s mule deer population is similar to last year and 21% above the long-term average.

Biologists counted 2,671 mule deer in 306.3 square miles during this year’s survey. Overall mule deer density in the badlands was 8.7 deer per square mile.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has announced the winners of this year's Earth Day patch contest.

Winners in the three age categories were Avery Steiner of Bismarck (6-9), MacKenzie Gaul of Pembina (10-13), and Emilia Thielman of Fargo (14-18). Gaul’s design was chosen as the contest winner.

Each member of a school, Girl Scout, Boy Scout, 4-H club or youth…