The Twin Lakes boat ramp located 4 miles north of LaMoure is now open for public use after it was closed for several weeks due to reconstruction.
Tag Archives: fishing
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists are assessing how the cooler-than-normal summer may have impacted fish spawning and stocking success across the state.
Fisheries management section leader Scott Gangl said it looks like catches varied this year, depending on the lake or fish species. “On a lot of our smaller lakes, we had extremely high catch rates of young-of-the-year fish in some, but disappointing catches in others,” Gangl said. “Overall, though, I’d say we experienced average reproduction and stocking success.”
With good water levels and abundant spawning habitat, Gangl said Lake Sakakawea produced good catches of virtually all young-of-year fish. Walleye were most abundant in the upper and middle sections of the reservoir, he said, with good numbers of perch and pike throughout. “Forage fish are plentiful on Lake Sakakawea this year, and both sonar surveys and anecdotal observations suggest rainbow smelt production was really good in 2014,” Gangl added.
Devils Lake and Stump Lake reported fair to good numbers of young-of-the-year walleye, while yellow perch reproduction was much lower than the strong reproduction year of 2013. “Although walleye natural reproduction was down in 2014, good reproduction in recent years has resulted in an abundance of young walleye in Devils Lake,” Gangl said. “Strong numbers of yearling perch will provide a good source of forage for walleye and other predators.”
According to Gangl, Lake Oahe is starting to show signs of recovery from the flood of 2011. “Although smelt numbers are still very low, reproduction of other forage fish, mostly white bass and crappie, was very good in 2014,” he added. “Young-of-year walleye displayed their highest catch rate since the dominant year class in 2009.”
However, Gangl said the Missouri River isn’t showing such signs of recovery, as catch rates of forage fish and young-of-year game fish remain low upstream from Lake Oahe. Biologists attribute poor production on the river to the massive habitat changes during the 2011 flood. “The flood scoured and changed the river channel so dramatically, it’s going to take a much longer time to recover,” Gangl said. “The productive capacity was taken away. It’s like scraping the topsoil from a field.”
The number of anglers buying fishing licenses in North Dakota continues to increase, as 2013-14 is the second consecutive year a new record for license sales has been established.
Statistics compiled by the Game and Fish Department revealed more than 219,000 fishing licenses were sold last year, an increase of 1,000 from 2012-13. A record total of 160,100 resident and 59,300 nonresident fishing licenses were sold last year.
In terms of actual individuals participating in fishing, the past year was again record-setting with more than 203,000 active anglers. Ice fishing activity experienced a substantial increase, while open water angler days took a slight dip.
A record number of fishing lakes (many at all-time elevations) and aggressive fish management in North Dakota have helped produce record fishing license sales.
Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake and Lake Oahe/Missouri River remained the top three fisheries in the state.
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.
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
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.
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.
Visiting a NDGF WMA this summer?
If your 4th of July or summer excursions include a visit to one of North Dakota’s wildlife management area’s you should be aware of specific rules & regulations. This weeks North Dakota outdoors video visit with Jeb Williams has the rundown. Watch the video here or click this link
more info on WMA’s is here
North Dakota anglers are reminded they can fish for free June 7-8.
That is the weekend North Dakota residents may fish without a license. All other fishing regulations apply.
Refer to the 2014-16 North Dakota Fishing Guide for season information.
Family fishing days return June 7 to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site. The catch-and-release only OWLS Pond is stocked with trout, bluegill, largemouth bass, catfish and other species.
Family fishing days will run Saturdays and Wednesdays through the end of August. Fishing equipment can be checked out at the OWLS Pond, located adjacent to the Department’s Bismarck office, on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Fishing rods and basic tackle are available for use free of charge.
Trained volunteers or Game and Fish staff will be in the area to answer questions and check out equipment, but there will be little or no direct supervision. Children who aren’t old enough to get to the pond on their own should not be left unattended.
The OWLS area is fairly primitive, but includes a picnic shelter and benches upon entering the site, and a portable restroom. The area has no running water. Users should bring water, sunscreen, folding chairs and appropriate clothing.
The Game and Fish Department is seeking volunteer instructors to assist with the program. Individuals at least age 18 with an interest in teaching kids to fish should contact the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6300.
The OWLS pond is open to fishing year-round during daylight hours. There are no bait restrictions and anglers must practice catch-and-release only. The area is designed for wheel chair accessibility. Pets, glass bottles and alcohol are not permitted on the site.