busy summer on the water

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , , ,

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

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , ,

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.

 

 

live bait regulations

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , ,

Anglers are reminded that it is illegal to import all forms of live aquatic bait into North Dakota. This includes minnows, suckers, leeches, waterdogs (salamanders) and frogs.

Anglers should buy bait from a licensed North Dakota retail bait vendor. Bait vendors can properly identify species and have taken steps to ensure all bait is clean of any aquatic nuisance species.

For more information, refer to the 2014-16 North Dakota Fishing Guide, available at license vendors or online at the State Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.

 

 

spring pheasant crow counts

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , , , , , ,
North Dakota’s spring pheasant population index is up slightly from last year, according to the State Game and Fish Department’s 2014 spring crowing count survey.
 
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor, said the number of roosters heard crowing this spring was up about 6 percent statewide from 2013, with increases ranging from about 2 to 9 percent depending on the region.
 
While the spring number is a positive indicator, Kohn said it does not predict what North Dakota’s fall population will look like. Brood surveys, which begin in mid-July and are completed by September, provide a much better estimate of summer pheasant production and what hunters might expect for a fall pheasant population.
 
Last year, the fall population was down from 2012 because of rather poor production, but Kohn said low winter pheasant mortality, particularly in the southern one-third of the state, helped boost this year’s spring count.
 
Another positive is that abundant moisture has provided for good habitat conditions heading into the prime nesting period. However, Kohn noted that since 2008, North Dakota has lost more than 2 million acres of Conservation Reserve Program grasslands, much of it in the pheasant range. That means total nesting habitat in the state is significantly reduced from where it was when the spring crowing count index peaked in 2008.
 
The 2014 index is down about one-third from that peak. “Loss of CRP acres continue to reduce the amount of nesting and brood-rearing habitat on the landscape,” Kohn emphasized. “This and other grassland conversion is going to negatively affect our pheasant population in the future.”
 
Pheasant crowing counts are conducted each spring throughout North Dakota. Observers drive specified 20-mile routes, stopping at predetermined intervals, and counting the number of pheasant roosters heard crowing over a two-minute period during the stop.
 
The number of pheasant crows heard is compared to previous years’ data, providing a trend summary.

watchable wildlife photo contest

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , ,

The deadline for submitting photos to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annualWatchable Wildlife Photo Contest is Sept. 30.

The contest has categories for nongame and game species, as well as plants/insects. An overall winning photograph will be chosen, with the number of place winners in each category determined by the number of qualified entries.

Contest entries are limited to digital files submitted on disk or via email. Contestants are limited to no more than five entries. Photos must have been taken in North Dakota.

By submitting an entry, photographers grant permission to Game and Fish to publish winning photographs in North Dakota OUTDOORS magazine, and on the Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

Photo disks should be sent to Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest, C/O Patrick T. Isakson, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095.

Send emailed digital photos to photocontest@nd.gov. Photographers will need to supply the original image if needed for publication.

Photo disks will not be returned. All entries must be accompanied by the photographer’s name, address, phone number and email address if available. Other information such as photo site location and month taken are also useful.

2014 North Dakota spring duck index

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , ,
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual spring breeding duck survey conducted in May showed an index of 4.9 million birds, up 23 percent from last year and 110 percent above the long-term average (1948-2013).
Mike Szymanski, waterfowl biologist, said all species increased from their 2013 estimates, except canvasbacks (down 7.9 percent, but still 41 percent above long-term) and ruddy ducks (down 1.2 percent). Redheads (+64 percent), green-winged teal (+42 percent), blue-winged teal (+34 percent), wigeon (+33 percent) and scaup (+28 percent) showed the largest increases. Mallards and blue-wings were the most abundant ducks on the survey, combining for 48 percent of the total.
“Some of the later nesting dabbling duck species, such as blue-wings and shovelers, were just settling into breeding areas so their counts may have been biased slightly high this year, simply because of a cold spring and their migration lagging behind other birds,” Szymanski said. “Mallards, an early nesting species, were well into nesting and settled on breeding areas. Diving ducks pushed through the state well ahead of the survey, so we feel good about those numbers.”
Duck numbers during the last two decades are the highest since survey records began in 1948. Szymanski said abundant water and good nesting cover have kept breeding duck numbers high. “It’s pretty amazing to see the top 20 breeding duck indices have all come in the past 20 years,” he added. “We had Conservation Reserve Program acres on the landscape, and then water came in a big way. It’s safe to say we are still riding abundant populations stemming from near perfect conditions. It’s hard to say how they will fair in the future now that a large portion of their nesting cover has disappeared through CRP expirations.”
The spring water index increased 110 percent from 2013. The water index is based on basins with water, and does not necessarily represent the amount of water contained in wetlands or the type of wetlands represented.
“This year’s water index was strongly influenced by small ephemeral waters and an abundance of ditches with water,” Szymanski said. “Water conditions were good in most wetlands that ducks will use for brood rearing.”
Szymanski said water was more abundant in the northwest and northeast portions of the state. In addition, he said western North Dakota was wetter than average.
“Breeding conditions on the prairies can always change in a hurry,” Szymanski said. “Last year, conditions were looking OK when we conducted the survey, but there was some question as to whether it would dry out prior to brood rearing. Then several inches of rain fell and wetlands used for brood rearing improved. This year, conditions are looking better in those wetlands, but a hot and dry spell could change that.”
The loss of CRP acres was evident during the survey, Szymanski said, as large stretches of land conversion to cropland were obvious. “The loss of grass will hurt production of ducks and other grassland nesting birds,” he added. “However, the recent overly wet conditions are helping bridge the gap a little bit for ducks.”
Szymanski said having a lot of pairs present in May is a good thing. However, the July brood survey will provide a better idea of duck production and insight into expectations for this fall.

pick up the trash please!

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , ,

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds outdoor recreationists who celebrate the Fourth of July along any heavily-used recreational area to keep it clean by packing out all trash, including fireworks.

 

All garbage, including used fireworks, should be placed in the proper trash receptacle. If trash cans aren’t available, or are full, take the trash and dispose of it at home.

 

It is not uncommon to see garbage piling up around trash containers after they become full. Styrofoam containers are not biodegradable, but yet are often found wedged in cattails, drifting or washed up on shore.

 

Worn tires, old mattresses and kitchen appliances have found their way to public use areas. This illegal dumping is costly to clean up and takes a significant toll on the environment. Not only does it spoil the beauty of the land, it destroys habitat, has the potential to pollute North Dakota waters and can injure wildlife.

 

Littering violations should be reported by calling the Report All Poachers telephone number at800-472-2121.

 

 

fireworks prohibited on WMAs

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , ,

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds citizens that possession or use of fireworks on state wildlife management areas is prohibited.

The primary objective of a wildlife management area is to enhance wildlife production, provide hunting and fishing opportunities, and offer other outdoor recreational and educational uses. Only activities that would not disrupt the intentions of how these areas are managed are encouraged, and a fireworks display is not compatible.

Excessive noise and commotion that come with fireworks disturbs wildlife, and their explosive nature is a potential source of wildfires. Chances of a wildfire developing are greatly enhanced when explosives, such as fireworks, come in contact with tall grasses in rural areas.

 

A complete list of the WMA regulations is available on the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov.

boating basics course available

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , , ,
An annual tradition for many outdoor enthusiasts is to enjoy Fourth of July with family and friends at a favorite area lake. With the popular holiday less than two weeks away, boat owners are reminded that children ages 12-15 who want to operate a boat or personal watercraft must take the state’s boating basics course.
State law requires youngsters ages 12-15 to pass the course before they operate a boat or personal watercraft with at least a 10 horsepower motor. In addition, major insurance companies give adult boat owners who pass the course a premium discount on boat insurance.
The course is available for home-study from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Bismarck office. Two commercial providers also offer the course online, and links to those sites are found on the department’s website at gf.nd.gov.
While the home-study course is free, students will be charged a fee to take it online. The online provider charges for the course, not the Game and Fish Department. The fee stays with the online provider.
Upon completion of the online test, and providing a credit card number, students will be able to print out a temporary certification card, and within 10 days a permanent card will be mailed.
The course covers legal requirements, navigation rules, getting underway, accidents and special topics such as weather, rules of the road, laws, life saving and first aid.
For more information contact Nancy Boldt, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, by email at ndgf@nd.gov; or call 701-328-6300.

NDDOCR to offer archery hunt

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , ,

An experimental antlerless deer archery season will open this fall on the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation land south of Bismarck.

Interested hunters must apply for an access permit from NDDOCR at www.nd.gov/docr (under the Archery Hunt header) before receiving a license. The deadline for applying is July 1 at 4 p.m. Only 25 access permits will be issued.

A maximum of 75 antlerless deer licenses will be available from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Bismarck office. Each access permit holder can purchase up to three antlerless white-tailed deer licenses.

Other details, including areas open to hunting, is determined by the NDDOCR. For more information, refer to the NDDOCR website.