Monthly Archives: November 2007

Refuges and money

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I hate that society measures usefulness and success in terms of $$$ but it’s the reality of the world. Want people to appreciate the value of National Wildlife Refuge’s? Then show them the $$ impact

WASHINGTON – National wildlife refuges more than make up for their cost
to taxpayers by returning about $4 in economic activity for every $1
the government spends, according to a federal study released Tuesday.

Overall,
the refuges drew some 35 million hunters, anglers, birders and other
visitors in 2006, supporting about 27,000 jobs, the study found.

You can dispute the numbers, or how they are calculated. For me I just enjoy the opportunity which Refuge’s afford users and the conservation principles of North America.

click and go to the full story

muzzle loader preview podcast

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Friday is coming fast so here’s a podcast going into Wednesday on the upcoming muzzle loader deer season in North Dakota

www.outdoorslive.podcastpeople.com

www.myspace.com/dougleier

facebook
or subscribe on itunes

no deer season extension in North Dakota

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I repeat this message: deer season in North Dakota will NOT be extended. Reality is that it happens maybe about once every 10 years.

The last time was during the winter of 04-05 and prior to that it was 96-97.

Which was an exceptional wintery year and deer season was extended in the eastern 1/2 of North Dakota.

This year, it aint in the cards.

spear fishing the Tuesday podcast

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ice is forming fast so here’s a podcast going into the week on spear fishing in North Dakota

www.outdoorslive.podcastpeople.com

www.myspace.com/dougleier

facebook
or subscribe on itunes

SD mountain lion kittens update

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I’m not a fan of searching for orphaned mountain lion kittens, and am glad in ND we’ve not taken to capturing mountain lion kittens.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) _
THREE MORE MOUNTAIN LION KITTENS THAT WERE ORPHANED DURING THE HUNTING SEASON
HAVE BEEN CAUGHT SO THEY CAN GET THE CARE THEY NEED, AND OFFICIALS ARE LOOKING
FOR 1 MORE.

           SO FAR, 6 ORPHANED
KITTENS HAVE BEEN CAPTURED.

           THE ORPHANS WILL BE
RAISED AT
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY UNTIL
THEY CAN BE PLACED WITH ZOOS.

           THE MOUNTAIN LION SEASON
IN SOUTH DAKOTA ENDED FRIDAY WHEN THE QUOTA OF 15 FEMALES WAS REACHED.

           STATE OFFICIALS RETRIEVE
ORPHANED KITTENS IF IT’S DETERMINED THAT THEY’RE NOT ABLE TO SURVIVE ON THEIR
OWN.

rooster upate

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Hearing some good reports from pheasant hunters that battled the Alberta clipper yesterday. While the birds were jumpy, they were able to get into them. Think about winter starting in November and it doesnt bode well for pheasants, not one bit. Snow and below zero weather in November can really stress those pheasants right out of the gate.

But as I’ve said before the snow in November aint’ horrible. But if it wears along and then BAM we get nailed later in spring…not a good recipe.

when our water is managed by “them”

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It’s more precious than gold and the tug of war over water in the Missouri River system continues. Here’s the latest from the AP as Missouri wants to end the spring rise:

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.

Missouri officials want the Army Corps of Engineers to ditch its plan to raise water levels on the Missouri River next year.

Gov.
Matt Blunt and Attorney General Jay Nixon each have written letters to
the corps asking it to forgo a spring rise in 2008. They say that about
40 levees remain damaged from flooding last spring.

Since
2005, the corps has planned to raise river levels each spring by
releasing more water from upstream reservoirs. The intent is to
encourage spawning by the pallid sturgeon, an endangered fish.

The spring rise was canceled this year because water levels in the reservoirs were too low to release the additional water.

here’s what’s going on in the bird migration

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Obviously the weather has changed and the later parts of the weekly rare bird alert will begin to show the transition to winter birds and migrants.

This week we have more late fall birds as well as more early winter birds.

Corey Ellingson discovered an adult male WHITE-WINGED SCOTER with a flock
of MALLARDS just south of the Expressway bridge in Bismarck on Nov. 22.  He
didn’t get to look long as an adult BALD EAGLE flushed the 1,000 birds,
which included 21 apparent HERRING GULLS, four NORTHERN SHOVELERS, two
GREEN-WINGED TEAL and an AMERICAN COOT.  Earlier in the way, Corey found a
fair number of waterfowl on some open water at New Johns Lake in
northwestern Burleigh County.  His list included GREATER WHITE-FRONTED
GOOSE, SNOW GEESE, four ROSS’ GEESE, four GADWALLS, eight REDHEADS, 30
LESSER SCAUP, two BUFFLEHEADS, a flock of 112 COMMON MERGANSERS, RUDDY
DUCK, AMERICAN COOT and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS in both light morph and dark
morph.  For details, contact Corey at tcellingson@juno.com

Dan Svingen found two PRAIRIE FALCONS and a GOLDEN EAGLE near Arena in
northeastern Burleigh County on Nov. 23.  He says most water was already
frozen, but there was a good variety and good numbers of waterfowl at Lake
Brekken, Lake Holmes and Lightning Lake near the town of Turtle Lake.  At
Garrison Dam, Dan saw about 300 gulls, an AMERICAN BLACK DUCK and a
BLUE-WINGED TEAL.  On Nov. 25, he birded Nelson Lake in Morton County and
the Missouri River, finding thousands of MALLARDS, CANADA GEESE and
CACKLING GEESE, but not many other waterfowl species.  On Nov. 20, Dan
hooked up with Ryan Shively who has been conducting avian flu monitoring
for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since mid-October.  They couldn’t
re-find the SMEW Ryan had seen a day earlier at Davis Waterfowl Production
Area in Sheridan County, but saw a “brown” GYRFALCON chasing a PRAIRIE
FALCON, as well as a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER.  Ryan’s other sightings in the
past month or so have included YELLOW-BILLED LOON, COMMON EIDER, HARLEQUIN
DUCK, LONG-TAILED DUCK and others.  You can reach Dan Svingen at 250-4443,
ext. 107.

Tyler Bell and Jane Kostenko have been visiting in the Minot, Ross and
Stanley areas.  Their birding activities included a trip to the Minot
sewage lagoons with Sherry Leslie on Nov. 21.  The lagoons were almost
completely frozen over, but they found a NORTHERN SHRIKE, an early SNOWY
OWL and a cold-looking RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD.  Other birds included lots of
CANADA GEESE, CANVASBACKS, MALLARDS, RUDDY DUCKS and a likely GREATER
SCAUP.  While at the lagoons, they had a phone call from Ron Martin, who
had recorded a BLACK SCOTER at Buffalo Lake.  On Nov. 24, Tyler and Jane
watched a mixed flock of COMMON REDPOLLS and PINE SISKINS near Ross.  The
flock was made up of at least 24 COMMON REDPOLLS, about a dozen PINE
SISKINS, a single HOARY REDPOLL, a couple of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, a
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and a DOWNY WOODPECKER.  For details, contact Tyler
and Jane at belljt@si.edu

Eve Freeberg saw three SNOWY OWLS northwest of Grand Forks on Nov. 24, and
also noticed a large number of ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS.  Other sightings that
day included seven NORTHERN HARRIERS, PRAIRIE FALCON, NORTHERN SHRIKE,
seven BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS and two CANVASBACKS.  On Nov. 26, Eve saw 23 COMMON
MERGANSERS, seven COMMON GOLDENEYES, two LESSER SCAUP, AMERICAN WIGEON,
five BONAPARTE’S GULLS and three RING-BILLED GULLS.  For more information,
call Eve at 741-8105.

The West Fargo lagoons still had two cells with open water on Nov. 21, but
most was gone by the following day.  Dean Riemer had good birding there for
two days.  On Nov. 22, he saw 500 CANADA GEESE, 50 CACKLING GEESE, 100
MALLARDS, three COMMON GOLDENEYES, a BONAPARTE’S GULL and a BALD EAGLE.  On
the following day, he added 106 TUNDRA SWANS, 500 CANADA GEESE, seven
MALLARDS, four COMMON MERGANSERS and a BALD EAGLE.  You can reach Dean at
driemer@kwh.com

Mark Otnes birded Barnes County north of Valley City on Nov. 23.  A small
patch of open water on Hobart Lake held some CANADA GEESE and a few ducks.
He had the most success at Bald Hill Dam.  Below the dam he saw a female
NORTHERN CARDINAL, two BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, about 20 CEDAR WAXWINGS and a
NORTHERN SHRIKE.  Behind the headquarters building, Mark added a flock of
RED CROSSBILLS and AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, about 15 of each.  He discovered
open water above the dam, and saw more than 1,000 CANADA GEESE and CACKLING
GEESE, 50 MALLARDS, eight NORTHERN SHOVELERS, three CANVASBACKS, a REDHEAD,
eight scaup species and two AMERICAN COOTS.  The only raptor Mark saw
during the whole trip was a single adult BALD EAGLE just east of Oriska.
Contact him at 241-4194 or markotnes@cableone.net

From Jamestown, Larry Igl reports John Lokemoen had a RED-BELLIED
WOODPECKER and a NORTHERN FLICKER at his feeders last week.  Larry noted
large flocks of TUNDRA SWANS and SNOW GEESE flying over Jamestown on Nov.
22.  Amy Igl saw thousands of CANADA GEESE on the Jamestown Reservoir that
day, as well as an adult BALD EAGLE in northeast Jamestown the following
day.  For details, call Larry at 253-5511.

Dan Buchanan also saw an adult BALD EAGLE in Jamestown.  His was on Nov.
24, just west of the Butler Caterpillar dealership.  Later, Dan watched a
RED-TAILED HAWK just south of Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.
Earlier last week, a neighbor saw a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER in northeast
Jamestown.  Contact Dan at 252-6604 or bulaw@daktel.com

Bob Peterson was surprised to see a lone TUNDRA SWAN fly by his house and
land on a frozen lake near Heimdal in Benson County on Nov. 24.  Bob says
the swan stayed only about 20 minutes and then headed south.  For more
information, it’s kq6af@gondtc.com

ND initiated measure

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A few months back the Fair Chase Hunting initiated measure began in North Dakota

“This initiated measure would add a new section to chapter 36-01 of the
North Dakota Century Code effective Nov. 1, 2010, providing that a
person, other than an authorized government employee or agent, is
guilty of a crime if the person obtains payment for the killing or
attempted killing of privately owned big game species or exotic mammals
in or released from a man-made enclosure.”

Stephanie Briggs from the Dickinson Press has the full story

Fish and Wildlife Services Refuge Manager Lloyd Jones said he has been
discussing the issue of fair chase in hunting operations for close to
30 years, and now there seems to be more public attention to it. Jones
is a former North Dakota Game and Fish Department director.

click and go to the whole story

ND salmon update

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North Dakota anglers realize salmon don’t just happen. It takes alot of work. Here’s an update

Kim Fundingsland/MDN

Jon
Gravning, fisheries biologist, checks on the progress of salmon eggs
currently incubating at the Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery.
According to Gravning, the hatch rate of these Lake Sakakawea salmon
eggs will be less than normal.

RIVERDALE
— Salmon eggs waiting to hatch in several incubator jars at the
Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery have recently begun to “eye-up,”
meaning it won’t be too long before tiny salmon will begin to emerge
from their gelatin-like enclosures. Although the percentage of fish
hatched will likely be down from previous years, the new fish will
carry with them the hope of maintaining North Dakota’s salmon fishery.

Salmon
fishing in North Dakota has declined in recent years along with the
water level in Lake Sakakawea. Faced with dwindling cold-water habitat
that is vital to the survival of Sakakawea salmon, fisheries biologists
have reduced the number of salmon being stocked annually and have
adopted a sort of “survival” mode for the species.

“The eggs
have been a little poorer than in the past,” said Jon Gravning,
Garrison Dam Hatchery. “The average eye-up is usually about 50 percent.
This year we’re averaging about 40 percent. It’s a sign of what’s going
on in Lake Sakakawea. Poorer fish makes for poor eggs.”

Gravning
has been overseeing the progress of the salmon eggs since they were
brought to the hatchery by crews from the North Dakota Game and Fish
Department. When water levels were in the normal range on Lake
Sakakawea, biologists made use of a salmon ladder that simulated a
natural spawning run. The salmon climbed the man-made stream,
eventually being removed from a holding tank and having their eggs
harvested from them. However, with very low water in Lake Sakakawea,
the salmon needed for the annual egg harvest have been captured by
electro-shocking.

“That always makes for poorer eye-ups because
the fish get bounced around a little more,” explained Gravning. “The
high temperature in the lake this past summer also makes for
poorer-quality eggs. Having a harder time finding feed is a factor too.
All of these things go along with a lower lake level.”

Despite
the setbacks that the salmon have had to indure, biologist are hopeful
that they can keep enough salmon in Lake Sakakawea to maintain some
sport fishing and a continual supply of disease-free eggs for the
future.

“I think we are taking a real conservative approach,
maintaining a salmon population for anglers so we have an egg source
down the road,” said Dave Fryda, fisheries biologist, North Dakota Game
and Fish Department. “Under these low water conditions, we’re real
concerned about not putting any more pressure on the forage base than
we need to.”

According to Fryda, the long-term average weight
for Sakakawea salmon is about 10 pounds. 2007 salmon checked in at
about five pounds, an increase of a pound or so over 2006.

“This year was a positive step,” he said.

Fryda
says he hopes to stock about 50,000 salmon into Lake Sakakawea next
spring and another 15,000 next fall. All of the fish would come from
the current batch of eggs at the hatchery, but the fall stocking would
be comprised of older salmon – some up to six inches in length.

“The bigger the fish you can stock, the more they can contribute,” said Fryda. “Numbers isn’t the whole game.”

Another
possible future source of salmon eggs is the artificial stream
constructed below the Garrison Dam Hatchery. For two years running,
large and healthy salmon have been coming up the Missouri River and
entering the stream in an attempt to spawn naturally. Biologists see
the potential for harvesting eggs from the stream-climbing salmon and
then increasing the hatch rate by incubating the eggs under ideal
hatchery conditions. This year, however, the familiar sight of leaping
salmon never materialized.

“We saw very few come up the stream,”
observed Gravning. “We think that’s because we are kind of in between
years. We stocked salmon in the river in the fall of the last two
years, but those fish are not coming back yet because they are not
quite mature. At three to four years they should start coming back.”

Hatchery waiting for salmon

By KIM FUNDINGSLAND, Staff Writer kfundingsland@minotdailynews.com