Tag Archives: fishing

visiting North Dakota?

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If you are visiting North Dakota over the Christmas Holiday there’s many outdoors options. Ice fishing is obvious. If you have kids coming home…maybe a new son-in-law from a far away state–whatever the reason. It’s pretty easy to get set. North Dakota  non-resident licenses are 3-10 and season long from $35  $25 and $10. Realize what’s $15 get at a movie theatre? about 5 gallons of gas…it’s just flat out reasonable. Buy the license 24/7/365 and your set to go from here: https://apps.nd.gov/gnf/onlineservices/lic/public/online/lic/customerpurchase.htm

Then check out places to fish or stocking reports all through here.



The full regulations are here:


winter and boats?

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Yes it’s winter, but you need to keep an eye out for the next boat regisrations

Boat owners are reminded that 2014 is the first year of a new three-year registration period, and with it comes an increase in license fees passed during the 2013 legislative session.

Effective Jan. 1, the price to register motorboats under 16 feet in length, and all canoes, increases from $12 to $18, motorboats from 16 feet to less than 20 feet in length from $24 to $36, and motorboats at least 20 feet in length from $33 to $45. As part of the legislation, hunting and fishing license fees will increase April 1.

The new boat registration cycle begins Jan. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2016.

Boat registrations will be mailed by the end of December. In addition, boat registrations can be renewed online after Dec. 15 at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov, 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.

Regulations require the boat number to be in contrasting color to the hull in plain vertical block letters at least 3 inches in height, excluding any border, trim, outlining or shading, and must be maintained in a legible condition so the number is clearly visible in daylight hours. The number must read from left to right, and groups of numbers and letters must be separated by a space or hyphen equivalent in width to the letter “M.”

In addition, a validation sticker issued by the Game and Fish Department must be displayed on the boat within 6 inches of the number toward the rear of the boat. No other numbers should be displayed in this area.

Boat owners who do not receive a renewal notice by Feb. 1 should contact the Game and Fish Department at (701) 328-6335, or emailndgf@nd.gov. Many renewals are likely to be returned because some owners who moved within the last three years did not notify the department with their new address.

winter aquatic nuisance species regulations

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North Dakota ice anglers are reminded that regulations designed to reduce the spread of aquatic nuisance species also apply in winter, and law enforcement officials will continue their efforts to ensure compliance.

It’s important to reiterate that only legal live bait can be transported in water in a container up to five gallons. Neither game nor nongame species can be transported in water, although a daily catch can be packed in snow.

Other simple methods to prevent winter ANS introductions are:

  • ·         Do not use illegally imported baits.
  • ·         Do not empty a bait bucket into any water body.
  • ·         Do not drop plant fragments into the water.
  • ·         Dispose any unused bait into the trash.


stay safe this weekend

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State Game and Fish Department officials are cautioning hunters to be wary of where they hunt, as late-season weather is freezing North Dakota’s small and mid-sized waters, giving the appearance of safe foot travel.

Nancy Boldt, department boat and water safety coordinator, said hunters should be cautious of walking on frozen stock ponds, sloughs, creeks and rivers.

Ice thickness is not consistent, Boldt said, as it can vary significantly within a few inches. Hunters walking the edge of a cattail slough will not find the same ice thickness in the middle. “The edges firm up faster than the center,” she added. “So, with your first step the ice might seem like it is strong enough, but it may not be anywhere near solid enough once you progress away from the shoreline.”

And in the case of snowfall, Boldt cautions hunters to be aware of snow-covered ice. Snow insulates ice, inhibiting solid ice formation, and makes it difficult to check thickness. Snow also hides cracked, weak and open water areas.

Winter anglers are also encouraged to consider early ice conditions before traveling onto and across North Dakota lakes.

Keep in mind:

  • Avoid cracks, pressure ridges, slushy or darker areas that signal thinner ice. The same goes for ice that forms around partially submerged trees, brush, embankments or other structures.
  • Ice thickness is not consistent and can vary significantly even in a small area. Ice shouldn’t be judged by appearance alone. Anglers should drill test holes as they make their way out on the lake, and an ice chisel should be used to check ice thickness while moving around.
  • Daily temperature changes cause ice to expand and contract, affecting its strength.
  • The following minimums are recommended for travel on clear-blue lake ice formed under ideal conditions. However, early in the winter it’s a good idea to double these figures to be safe: 4 inches for a group walking single file; 6 inches for a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle; 8-12 inches for an automobile; and 12-15 inches for a pickup/truck.

These tips could help save a life:

  • Wear a personal flotation device and carry a cell phone.
  • Carry ice picks or a set of screwdrivers to pull yourself back on the ice if you fall through.
  • If someone breaks through the ice, call 911 immediately. Rescue attempts should employ a long pole, board, rope, blanket or snowmobile suit. If that’s not possible, throw the victim a life jacket, empty water jug or other buoyant object. Go to the victim as a last resort, but do this by forming a human chain where rescuers lie on the ice with each person holding the feet of the person in front.
  • To treat hypothermia, replace wet clothing with dry clothing and immediately transport victim to a hospital.

Game and Fish news for this week

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Fishing Tournaments Require 30-Day Notice


Organizers planning fishing tournaments, including ice fishing contests this winter, are reminded to submit an application along with fishing tournament regulations to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department at least 30 days prior to the start of the event.


The 30-day advance notice allows for review by agency staff to ensure the proposed tournament will not have negative consequences or conflicts with other proposed tournaments for the same location and/or time.


Tournaments may not occur without first obtaining a valid permit from the department.


In addition, the number of open-water tournaments on lakes Sakakawea and Oahe, the Missouri River and Devils Lake are capped each year, depending on the time of the year and location. Sponsors for tournaments on these water bodies must submit their application to the department prior to Jan. 1 to ensure full consideration.




Some Refuges Open to Late-Season Upland Game


Hunters are reminded that several North Dakota national wildlife refuges open to late-season upland game bird hunting the day after the deer gun season closes.


Arrowwood, Audubon, Des Lacs, J. Clark Salyer, Lake Alice, Lake Zahl, Long Lake, Lostwood, Tewaukon (pheasants only), and Upper Souris NWRs open Nov. 25.


However, portions of each refuge are closed to hunting. Hunters should contact refuge headquarters for map leaflets designating closed areas and other restrictions: Arrowwood (701) 285-3341; Audubon (701) 442-5474; Des Lacs (701) 385-4046; J. Clark Salyer (701) 768-2548; Lake Alice (701) 662-8611; Lake Zahl (701) 965-6488; Long Lake (701) 387-4397; Lostwood (701) 848-2722; Tewaukon (701) 724-3598; and Upper Souris (701) 468-5467.


National wildlife refuges are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hunters are reminded that use of nontoxic shot is required on all USFWS lands. State regulations found in theNorth Dakota 2013-14 Small Game Guide apply. Seasons for pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge and ruffed grouse close statewide on Jan. 5, 2014.




Upcoming Events:


Nov. 25: Districts 1 and 3 Advisory Board Meetings


26: Districts 2 and 7 Advisory Board Meetings


29: Deer Muzzleloader Season Opens

salmon spawn goal reached

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Fisheries crews completed their annual salmon spawning operation on Lake Sakakawea after collecting 1.9 million eggs, easily surpassing their goal of 900,000.

Russell Kinzler, North Dakota Game and Fish Department Missouri River System biologist, said two thirds of the eggs came from Lake Sakakawea and the remainder from the Missouri River below Garrison Dam. The average size of Lake Sakakawea females was about 5.7 pounds, about 1 pound smaller than 2012. The Missouri River females, which are typically larger than the lake fish, averaged 7.5 pounds.

“The 2013 salmon spawning run was a success with good numbers of fish available throughout the run,” Kinzler said. “We were able to exceed our own egg collection goals early, which enabled us to provide assistance to South Dakota and Montana in meeting their egg needs for 2013.”

Plans for 2014 are to stock Lake Sakakawea with 200,000 salmon, with none scheduled for the river below Garrison Dam, Kinzler said.

Chinook salmon begin their spawning run in October. Since salmon cannot naturally reproduce in North Dakota, Game and Fish Department and Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery personnel collect eggs and transport them to the hatchery.

Once the eggs hatch, young salmon spend several months in the hatchery before being stocked in Lake Sakakawea.

Tony Dean-4 years since his death

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It just hit me after a full Friday in the field that it was Oct 19, 2009 when I received word legendary conservation communicator Tony Dean had passed away.

fall trout stocking

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North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel recently stocked seven waters with catchable trout.


Jerry Weigel, fisheries development and production section leader, said these trout will provide exciting fall and winter fishing opportunities. “Shasta strain rainbow trout average more than one pound each, with some up to five pounds,” Weigel said. More than 800 were stocked in the Turtle River near Arvilla in Grand Forks County, while 115 went in the Owls Pond in Burleigh County.


In addition, Wyoming Game and Fish Department provided 7,500 Firehole strain rainbows as part of an annual trade for walleye fingerlings. These half-pound fish were stocked in McGregor Dam in Williams County, Lightning Lake in McLean County, Fish Creek Dam and Harmon Lake in Morton County, and Mooreton Pond in Richland County.


“Trout provided from Wyoming give anglers a chance to catch unique strains and species that otherwise would require a trip to the Rocky Mountains,” Weigel said.


Anglers should refer to the fishing tab at the Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov, for a complete stocking report.

2013 North Dakota waterfowl opener*sigh*

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It’s 11:30AM in Fargo. 57, sunny. no wind.  Bismarck sunny, 55 and a 5mph breeze. Dickinson 61 10mph, sunny. Minot 57, sunny 13mph breeze.

Not the best weather for duck and goose hunting. Not by anyones standards. This is football weather. This is grouse & pheasant weather. This is fall fishing weather. This is mow the lawn, rake the lawn weather clean out the garden weather. This is not duck and goose hunting weather.

If you have any reports post them up or shoot an email to outdoorslive@gmail.com

walleye stocking sets record

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Excellent walleye fingerling production from the Garrison Dam (9.7 million) and Valley City (1.3 million) national fish hatcheries resulted in a record 11 million walleye fingerlings stocked into state waters.


Jerry Weigel, North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries production and development section leader, said with a record number of walleye waters across the state, there has never been a larger demand for walleye production. “We are fortunate to have the production capability of the two federal hatcheries to help address this demand,” he said.


According to Weigel, spring rains raised water levels at many fisheries across the state, resulting in conditions that should be good for survival of the 30-day old fish that averaged about 1.25 inches in length when stocked.


Altogether, 110 lakes and rivers were stocked in North Dakota, including 4.3 million fingerlings in Lake Sakakawea, 863,000 in Stump Lake, 495,000 in Lake Darling, 329,000 in Lake Ashtabula, 321,000 in Heart Butte Reservoir, 218,000 in Paterson Lake, 205,000 in Bowman-Haley Reservoir and 200,000 in Lake Metigoshe.


One common observation Weigel noted while traveling across the state was the amount of fishing taken place, both from shore and from a boat. “There has never been a better time to fish for walleye,” he added. “Statewide, there are a lot of great opportunities, and a very good chance of success.”