9 year old breaks goldeye record

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Youth angler Brayden Selzler’s catch on July 25 shattered a state record for goldeye that’s been in the books for 16 years.

 

The 9-year-old Velva angler reeled in a 4-pound, 12-ounce goldeye from Lake Audubon.

 

The previous record of 3 pounds, 13 ounces was established in 1998 by Craig Unser, a Mandan angler who was fishing New John’s Lake.

record walleye stocking

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North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel recently wrapped up stocking walleye in a record 133 lakes across the state.

Jerry Weigel, fisheries production and development supervisor, said thanks to the excellent walleye fingerling production from the Garrison Dam and Valley City national fish hatcheries, these waters received nearly 10 million fingerlings.

“With a record number of fishing waters across the state, the demand to stock these new waters with hatchery fish has greatly increased,” Weigel said. “We’ve increased our efforts to make sure we meet the record production demands.”

Game and Fish works with both federal hatcheries, providing operational funding and temporary staff, as well as collecting all the eggs and transporting fish to all the fishing waters across the state.

Most recently, the department partnered with the Fish and Wildlife Service to make improvements to the 50-year-old Valley City hatchery, which resulted in a hatchery record 2.5 million walleye fingerlings produced this year.

Stocking conditions were optimal this year

have you seen?

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The July issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine is out and has a great piece on the crappie of Jamestown Reservoir & Pipestem Reservoir. It’s an excellent read and you’ll learn more about the work being done by Game and Fish fisheries managers and biologists. Check this story and more for free in the full July issue  available right here: or here

http://www.gf.nd.gov/magazines/july-2014

hunting guide & outfitter exam

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The next guide and outfitter written examination is Aug. 9 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.

Hunting outfitter eligibility requirements include the guide qualifications, as well as an individual must have held a hunting guide license for two years; and must have proof of liability insurance.

Interested individuals are required to preregister by calling the Game and Fish Department’s enforcement office at 328-6604.

furharvester education classes

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The North Dakota Cooperative Fur Harvester Education Program is sponsoring fur harvester education classes for anyone interested in trapping or hunting furbearers.

Courses in Bismarck and Jamestown are set for Aug. 12, 14 and 16.

A course in Velva is scheduled for Aug. 19, 21 and 23.

Audubon National Wildlife Refuge is hosting a course Sept. 16, 18 and 20.

Courses are free and take 16 hours to complete over a three-day period.

Students will learn about traps, trapping and snaring techniques, furbearer biology and fur care. A field day allows students to make a variety of land, water and snare sets.

Upon completion, graduates are issued a certification card that is recognized by any state requiring trapper education prior to purchasing a license.

Anyone interested in signing up for the class should access the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov, click on the online services link, and “online course enrollment” under the hunter education heading.

curley leaf pondweed in North Dakota

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The recent discovery of curly leaf pondweed in Raleigh Reservoir in Grant County serves as a reminder for anglers to take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department ANS coordinator Fred Ryckman said a fisheries crew discovered the unwanted plant in late June.

“This does not come as a total surprise since curly leaf is found in the Missouri River,” Ryckman said, noting the close proximity of the Missouri River to Raleigh Reservoir.

Current law states no aquatic vegetation, or parts thereof, shall be in or on watercraft, motors, trailers and recreational equipment when out of water. Time out of the water needed to remove aquatic vegetation at the immediate water access area is allowed.

In addition, all water must be drained from watercraft prior to leaving a water body, including livewells. This means fish, including bait, cannot be transported in a livewell containing water. However, bait buckets and/or any container of 5 gallons or less in volume can be used to transport legal live baitfish or other bait in water. All other fish species may not be held in water and/or transported in bait buckets/containers when away from a water body. Transportation of fish in or on ice is allowed.

According to Game and Fish Department records, game wardens in 2013 reported 35 ANS violations across the state.

2014 North Dakota pronghorn season

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North Dakota will have a limited pronghorn hunting season this fall for the first time since 2009.

 

Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said the season is open only in unit 4-A, the far southwestern corner of the state. A total of 250 any-pronghorn licenses are available, and the season is split into an early “bow-only” portion, and a later gun/bow season.

 

The bow-only portion of the season is from Aug. 29 (noon) – Sept. 28. Anyone who draws a license can hunt pronghorn with a bow, only in Unit 4-A, during this period.

 

From Oct. 3 (noon) – Oct.19, hunters who still have a valid license can use legal firearms or bow equipment.

 

“We are opening the hunting season in unit 4-A to take advantage of a surplus number of bucks in that area, and to provide hunting opportunity while still encouraging population growth,” Kreil said. “While we aren’t issuing any statewide pronghorn archery licenses this year as we did in the past, hunters who do draw a license can use a rifle, bow or both, depending on their preferences.”

 

Game and Fish biologists surveyed more than 11,000 square miles, 100 percent of the 21 survey units in the state, in early July. Statistics indicate a statewide population estimate of 5,700 pronghorn, with 1,650 in the area open to hunting.

 

“The number of pronghorn observed in Unit 4-A falls within our regional population objective of having a limited season, while all other units do not,” Kreil said.

 

In addition, unit 4-A has a high buck-to-doe ratio, Kreil said, which is typical of a population that has not been hunted. The fawn-to-doe ratio is also the highest since 2007.

 

“While some people may have expected more units to be open, we need to proceed conservatively with this valuable wildlife resource and let pronghorns rebound to a level that can sustain harvest. The good news is that we are poised to see additional units open next year, providing Mother Nature cooperates with a moderate winter,” Kreil said.

 

Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply for a 2014 pronghorn license. Kreil said people who have accumulated preference points and choose not to apply this year will not lose their points.

 

In addition, state law allows youth who turn age 12 on or before December 31, 2014 to apply for a license.

 

Online applications for regular and gratis licenses will be available the week of July 21 at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will also be available from Game and Fish offices, county auditors and license vendors, or by calling 800-406-6409.

 

The pronghorn license fee is $30, and the deadline for submitting applications is Aug. 6.

report all poachers tips

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Two separate cases involving citations issued to out-of-state anglers for exceeding the possession limit on walleyes are perfect examples of public participation in helping enforce game and fish laws.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department chief of enforcement Robert Timian said one anonymous caller reported a case through the department’s enforcement office in Bismarck, while the other contacted a local district game warden.

“Both cases were very similar, and resulted from tips where anglers were catching and keeping more fish than the daily limit allows,” Timian said.

One investigation involved five adults cited for 100 walleyes over the possession limit. The other implicated eight individuals – six apprehended in North Dakota and two cited with cooperation from law enforcement officers in the state where the anglers reside – with an over-possession limit of 84 walleyes.

“Our hunters and anglers are passionate about protecting their resource,” Timian said. “These people took the appropriate actions by reporting the violations.”

Timian said violations can be reported through Report All Poachers, a local game warden or law enforcement agency, or a Game and Fish office.

RAP is a cooperative project between the Game and Fish Department, State Radio Communications and the North Dakota Wildlife Federation. The RAP line offers rewards – from $100 to $1,000 depending on the nature and seriousness of the crime – for information that leads to conviction of fish and wildlife law violators. Callers can remain anonymous.

Witnesses reporting a violation by calling RAP should call 800-472-2121. RAP will then contact the local game warden immediately. If the witness gives the RAP operator a phone number, the witness will be contacted right away.

busy summer on the water

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Game wardens for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department were busy over the Fourth of July weekend, as many anglers and boaters celebrated the holiday at a favorite outdoor destination.

Chief of enforcement Robert Timian said lake activity was high across the state, especially at popular recreation areas such as the Missouri River, Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake, Lake Ashtabula, Lake Tschida and Lake Metigoshe, with much of the department’s law enforcement efforts focusing on these areas.

“After a slow start to summer Mother Nature finally cooperated, and people took advantage by celebrating the holiday with lake activities,” Timian said.

The long holiday weekend produced 211 citations/arrests, with many more verbal and written warnings issued. Timian said most citations were recreational boating related, such as having an inadequate number of personal flotation devices, failure to display boat registration or failure to have an observer in the boat. “These violations were not unexpected, as most of the people on the water were participating in recreational activities,” he said.

In addition, Timian said there were five boating accidents with two involving injuries, and also one drowning. “Obviously, one drowning, or even one injury, is one too many,” he added.

The good news, according to Timian, is the number of boating under the influence arrests was much lower than anticipated, considering the nice weather and the number of people on the water.

Game and Fish at ND State Fair

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will host thousands of visitors to its Conservation and Outdoors Skills Park July 18-26 at the State Fair in Minot.

 

Visitors will be treated to an array of activities, exhibits and useful information as the park will be staffed from 1-7 p.m. daily. Pathways to Hunting, Fishing and Trapping are major attractions where fishing, shooting, archery and furtaking are taught to interested kids and adults. Of course, the opportunity to catch a fish brings excitement to the littlest angler.

 

“The Conservation and Outdoors Skills Park is a really good stop for the entire family to learn about the outdoors, and to participate in hands-on activities that might just turn a youngster and others on to hunting and fishing in North Dakota,” said outreach biologist Greg Gullickson. “We have some great opportunities in North Dakota, and I certainly encourage people to come out and give it a try.”

 

In addition, Gullickson said guests should visit the live fish display, or stop by the furbearer exhibit and discuss trapping with the experts, or relax and enjoy native prairie plantings.

 

“The best thing about the whole Game and Fish area is the price, it’s all free,” he added.

 

The Conservation and Outdoors Skills Park is located on the north end of the grounds near the All Seasons Arena.