Author Archives: dougleier

this is not an official ND Game & Fish blog. This is from Doug Leier not the NDGF

keep an eye out for winterkill

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North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists are asking anglers for help in documenting lakes that may have experienced winter fish mortality.

Fisheries management section leader Scott Gangl said some winterkill is expected every year, with the severity depending on winter weather conditions.

“We had a colder than average winter, but we had normal to below-normal snow cover,” Gangl said. “Therefore, we don’t anticipate major widespread winterkill, which is good news given the record number of fishing waters in the state. However, some of the smaller lakes where we periodically see winterkill will likely experience some die-offs.”

Gangl said this is the one of the busiest times of the year for fisheries crews, therefore Game and Fish staff might not get to every lake right at ice out. “That’s why it’s important for anglers to report fish die-offs so our crews can follow up on it,” he added.

Biologists will begin sampling suspected winterkill lakes later this spring once fish spawning operations are completed to document the severity of any die-offs.

Anglers can report fish mortality to a local Game and Fish Department district office.

WMA camping restrictions

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will continue to implement camping restrictions on some wildlife management areas in western North Dakota and along Lake Sakakawea.

Overnight camping is prohibited on the following WMAs: Antelope Creek, Lewis and Clark, Big Oxbow, Ochs Point, Neu’s Point (except campers accessing by boat, and only at the point area), Overlook, Sullivan and Tobacco Garden in McKenzie County; Van Hook in Mountrail County; and Hofflund and Trenton in Williams County.

Lewis and Clark WMA is closed from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise unless users are legally engaged in fishing, hunting or trapping. However, camping is allowed for paddlefish snaggers at the pumphouse area and at Neu’s at the point by boat access. Glass bottles are prohibited.

In addition, the following WMAs are closed to camping on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but open to camping Thursday-Monday: North Lemmon Lake in Adams County; Bull Creek in Billings County; Alkali Creek and Spring Creek in Bowman County; Smishek Lake and Short Creek Dam in Burke County; Harris M. Baukol in Divide County; Killdeer Mountains in Dunn County; Camels Hump Lake in Golden Valley County; Indian Creek in Hettinger County; Audubon, Custer Mine, Deepwater Creek, deTrobriand, Douglas Creek and Wolf Creek in McLean County; Beaver Creek and Hille in Mercer County; Storm Creek in Morton County; Cedar Lake and Speck Davis Pond in Slope County; and McGregor Dam in Williams County.

On those WMAs where camping is allowed Thursday through Monday, all equipment must be removed on Tuesday and Wednesdays when camping is not allowed.

The rules ensure these areas are available for hunters and anglers. Camping restrictions at all WMAs are posted at entry points.

ND Archery in Schools state tournament results

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More than 500 archers registered to compete in the North Dakota National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament April 11-12 in Bismarck.

Jeff Long, NASP coordinator for the State Game and Fish Department, said: “This program continues to grow every year, and all three winning teams committed to go to the national tournament, along with at least three of the top individuals,” Long said, while noting 517 registered this year, up more than 20 percent from last year.

The national tournament is May 9-10 in Louisville, Ky. The Game and Fish Department and North Dakota Bowhunters Association contribute a total of $3,000 in travel assistance to the first place team in each division, and $1,000 to the overall male and female individual winner.

The high school (grades 9-12) state championship team was from Hankinson, the middle school (grades 7-8) champs were from Wahpeton and taking top honors in the elementary school (grades 4-6) division was Wilton.

Overall male and female winners were Kyle Andres of Medina and Lisa Buckhaus of Hankinson. Top elementary winners were Austin Bladow of Hankinson and Grace Neameyer of Mt. Pleasant.

The top five place winners in each division were:

High school boys – 1) Andres; 2) Spencer Brockman, North Sargent; 3) James Nadeau, Dunseith; 4) Isaac Poitra, Dunseith; 5) Dominic Bendickson, Griggs County Central.

High school girls – 1) Buckhaus, Hankinson; 2) Hunter Schroeder, Dunseith; 3) Deena Monson, Griggs County Central; 4) Ashlynn Stirling, Hankinson; 5) Danielle Schuler, Wilton; 5) Theresia Thompson, Hankinson.

Middle school boys – 1) Dawson McKeever, North Sargent; 2) Race Kath, Hankinson; 3) Michael McKenna, North Sargent; 4) Eric Salvesen, Griggs County Central; 5) Dylan Pearson, Wahpeton.

Middle school girls – 1) Alicia Biewer, Hankinson; 2) Kate Loewen, Hankinson; 3) Olivia Waswick, North Sargent; 4) Kailee Klein, Wahpeton; 5) Mary Goroski, Wahpeton.

Elementary boys – 1) Bladow; 2) Ryan Kath, Hankinson; 3) Gage Schuh, Wilton; 4) Tavon Stadler, Griggs County Central; 5) Malachi Appel, Twin Buttes; 5) Brayden Wehseler, North Sargent.

Elementary girls – 1) Neameyer; 2) Kinley Hetletved, Wilton; 3) Taryn Schurhamer, Wilton; 4) Melonie Lee, Barnes County North; 5) Lauryn Hibl, Wahpeton.

 

snow goose migration update

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Plenty of activity happened over the weekend, with mild temperatures causing birds to be on the move. We have received reports that snow geese are beginning to make their way into Canada, while most of the geese that remain in the state are north of Interstate 94. Birds will continue to trickle through the state over the next couple weeks.

 

 

Some Notes on the Spring Migration Route

Snow goose migration in spring tends to occur farther east than in the fall. Birds generally arrive in the southeastern corner of the state and spread north and northwest through the Valley City, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Rugby and Kenmare areas. However, scattered flocks may be found anywhere in the state during spring.

Birds normally move through the state quickly, their arrival and stay depending on weather and availability of open water and food.

Spring snow melt progression.

Light Goose Hotline Provides Migration Updates

Migration updates available at 701-328-3697, until season ends or geese have left the state.

coming soon…paddlefish snagging season!

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Anglers and boat owners are reminded to review their licenses for the 2014 fishing and boating season.

 

Anglers must have a 2014-15 fishing license. Fishing licenses can be purchased online at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. A new state law requires residents age 18 or older to prove residency on the application by submitting a valid North Dakota driver’s license number or a North Dakota nondriver photo identification number.

 

The 2013 state legislature established new fees for several licenses, including resident individual fishing ($16), resident husband and wife ($22) and combination ($50). The combination license includes fishing, general game and habitat, small game and furbearer.

 

Boat owners are reminded that 2014 is the first year of a new three-year registration period. The new boat registration cycle runs through Dec. 31, 2016.

 

The price to register motorboats under 16 feet in length, and all canoes, is $18, motorboats from 16 feet to less than 20 feet in length $36, and motorboats at least 20 feet in length $45.

 

Renewal notices were mailed to boat owners last December. Those who did not receive a renewal notice should contact the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6335, or emailndgf@nd.gov. Many renewals were returned because some owners who moved within the last three years did not notify the department with their new address.

 

Boat registrations can be renewed online at the department’s website, by clicking the online services link, and “watercraft registration and renewals” under the watercraft heading.

 

Also, anyone buying a new or used watercraft can register online and generate a 10-day temporary permit that is valid until the registration is processed.

 

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is self-funded and only receives revenue from license sales and federal funds.

 

 

 

Paddlefish Snagging Season Opens May 1

 

North Dakota’s paddlefish snagging season opens May 1 and is scheduled to continue through the end of the month. However, depending on the overall harvest, an early in-season closure may occur with a 24-hour notice issued by the state Game and Fish Department.

 

Potential snaggers are reminded that opening day, May 1, falls on a Thursday. Snag-and-release of all paddlefish is required on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, so opening day is snag-and-release only.

 

Mandatory harvest of all snagged paddlefish is required on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On these days, all paddlefish caught must be tagged immediately.

 

All paddlefish snagged and tagged must be removed from the river by 9 p.m. of each snagging day. The use or possession of a gaff hook within one-half mile in either direction of the Highway 200 bridge on the Yellowstone River is illegal at any time during the snagging season.

 

Those planning to participate during snag-and-release-only days need to have in their possession a current season, unused paddlefish snagging tag. Use or possession of gaffs is prohibited on snag-and-release-only days, and, if it occurs, during the snag-and-release extension period.

 

Legal snagging hours are from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. One tag per snagger will be issued. Snagging is legal in all areas of the Yellowstone River in North Dakota, and in the area of the Missouri River lying west of the U.S. Highway 85 bridge to the Montana border, excluding that portion from the pipeline crossing (river mile 1,577) downstream to the upper end of the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Management Area (river mile 1,565).

 

If the season closes early because the harvest quota is reached, an extended snag-and-release-only period will be allowed for up to four days immediately following the early closure, but not to extend beyond May 31. Only snaggers with a current season, unused paddlefish snagging tag are eligible to participate. Only a limited area at the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers is open to this extended season snagging opportunity.

 

All paddlefish snaggers must possess a paddlefish tag in addition to a valid fishing license and certificate that may be required. Cost of a paddlefish tag is $10 for residents and $25.50 for nonresidents.

new license needed

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Anglers and boat owners are reminded to review their licenses for the 2014 fishing and boating season.

 

Anglers must have a 2014-15 fishing license. Fishing licenses can be purchased online at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. A new state law requires residents age 18 or older to prove residency on the application by submitting a valid North Dakota driver’s license number or a North Dakota nondriver photo identification number.

 

The 2013 state legislature established new fees for several licenses, including resident individual fishing ($16), resident husband and wife ($22) and combination ($50). The combination license includes fishing, general game and habitat, small game and furbearer.

 

Boat owners are reminded that 2014 is the first year of a new three-year registration period. The new boat registration cycle runs through Dec. 31, 2016.

 

The price to register motorboats under 16 feet in length, and all canoes, is $18, motorboats from 16 feet to less than 20 feet in length $36, and motorboats at least 20 feet in length $45.

 

Renewal notices were mailed to boat owners last December. Those who did not receive a renewal notice should contact the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6335, or emailndgf@nd.gov. Many renewals were returned because some owners who moved within the last three years did not notify the department with their new address.

 

Boat registrations can be renewed online at the department’s website, by clicking the online services link, and “watercraft registration and renewals” under the watercraft heading.

 

Also, anyone buying a new or used watercraft can register online and generate a 10-day temporary permit that is valid until the registration is processed.

 

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is self-funded and only receives revenue from license sales and federal funds.

snow goose migration update

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Update Date: April 11

As expected with the recent mild weather conditions, a major movement of snow geese is occurring in the state. Birds have been observed from the Canadian border to South Dakota. Temperatures for the weekend call for highs near 50 with lows around 30.

 

 

Some Notes on the Spring Migration Route

Snow goose migration in spring tends to occur farther east than in the fall. Birds generally arrive in the southeastern corner of the state and spread north and northwest through the Valley City, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Rugby and Kenmare areas. However, scattered flocks may be found anywhere in the state during spring.

Birds normally move through the state quickly, their arrival and stay depending on weather and availability of open water and food.

Spring snow melt progression.

Light Goose Hotline Provides Migration Updates

Migration updates available at 701-328-3697, until season ends or geese have left the state.

RAP auction

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Confiscated hunting and fishing equipment will be sold Saturday, May 3 at the North Dakota Wildlife Federation’s Report All Poachers auction in Minot. The auction is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the North Dakota State Fair Center’s 4-H hall.

 

Auction items can be viewed between 12-2 p.m. Items include more than 70 rifles, shotguns and handguns; fishing equipment; bows; knives; spotlights; coolers and other miscellaneous merchandise.

 

More information, including a comprehensive list of items for auction, is available by visiting the wildlife federation’s website at ndwf.org.

 

Proceeds from the auction fund the RAP program. The RAP line, 800-472-2121, offers monetary rewards for information that leads to conviction of fish and wildlife law violators. The RAP line is available 24 hours a day, and callers can remain anonymous.

Open fires banned on Oahe WMA

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is prohibiting open burning this spring on property managed south of Bismarck and Mandan, as a means to reduce potential for wildfires on a heavily wooded recreation area along the Missouri River.

 

Bill Haase, wildlife resource management supervisor, said all open burning, including campfires, is banned until further notice on theOahe Wildlife Management Area along both sides of the Missouri River. Haase said these woodlands are prone to wildfires prior to spring green-up.

 

“The combination of mild temperatures and a high fuel load in the river bottoms is of concern,” Haase said. “In addition, it is an area of high use by anglers, campers and other outdoor recreationists.”

 

Oahe WMA covers more than 16,000 acres along Lake Oahe south of Bismarck-Mandan, in portions of Burleigh, Emmons, and Morton counties. Burning restriction signs are posted at all entrances to the WMA.

snow goose update

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Snow geese have been steadily moving into North Dakota, and the main push of the migration through the state should begin this week. Temperatures for the week are expected to be in the 60s with lows in the 30s.

 

 

Some Notes on the Spring Migration Route

Snow goose migration in spring tends to occur farther east than in the fall. Birds generally arrive in the southeastern corner of the state and spread north and northwest through the Valley City, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Rugby and Kenmare areas. However, scattered flocks may be found anywhere in the state during spring.

Birds normally move through the state quickly, their arrival and stay depending on weather and availability of open water and food.

Spring snow melt progression.

Light Goose Hotline Provides Migration Updates

Migration updates available at 701-328-3697, until season ends or geese have left the state.