Tag Archives: North Dakota

watchable wildlife photo contest

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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.

pick up the trash please!

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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.

 

 

boating basics course available

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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.

stocking requests increase

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North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel are gearing up to stock a record number of walleye lakes this year.
Fisheries production and development supervisor Jerry Weigel said 20 years ago approximately 50-70 waters were stocked annually with walleye fingerlings, with the number of waters growing to 100 in the early 2000s. This year, 156 waters are scheduled to receive a share of 9 million fingerlings. “The growth in walleye waters is directly correlated to the number of public fishing waters we manage,” Weigel said.
In 1988, Game and Fish managed 160 public fishing waters totaling 99,098 acres, not including the Missouri River System. Today, Weigel said the department manages 415 waters and 345,988 acres, excluding the Missouri River System.
“This has put a lot of pressure on the two federal hatcheries in the state, Garrison Dam and Valley City,” Weigel added. “We need every available pond to meet a 9 million walleye fingerling request. In the last four years we have stocked more than 38 million walleyes in the state, in addition to salmon, trout, pike, bass and panfish.”
Weigel said the flood of 2011 caused the 40 east unit hatchery ponds at Garrison to lose their water supply. In order to fill the 40 1.5-acre ponds, he said Game and Fish had to rent pumps in 2012 and 2013. The department recently completed a permanent fix at a cost of $500,000, thus eliminating the need to rent pumps in the future.
To help offset the reduced role the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has with recreational fish production in recent years, Game and Fish provides seasonal staffing at both hatcheries and pays for half the operational costs at Garrison Dam. According to Weigel, this is in addition to both collecting all the eggs each spring and transporting all fish from both hatcheries.
“There is no question the hatcheries play a vital role in the growth of the state’s fisheries and will continue to be needed to sustain this growth,” Weigel added. “The federal hatchery staff strives to operate at 100 percent efficiency, and thankfully that has been the case. Even at that, there is growing demand, thus Game and Fish has increased its assistance when possible.”

FREE fishing weekend

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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 day

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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.

summer outdoors safety

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The single most important reminder the North Dakota Game and Fish Department will issue to recreationists this summer is to be alert and safe near water.
Boat and water safety coordinator Nancy Boldt said safety on the water begins with wearing a personal flotation device.
“Failure to wear a personal floatation device is the main reason people lose their lives in water recreation accidents,” Boldt said.
North Dakota law requires all children ages 10 and younger to wear a personal flotation device while in boats of less than 27 feet in length. The law also requires all personal watercraft users to wear a life jacket, as well as anyone towed on skis, tubes, boards or other similar devices.
Water users should make sure to wear life jackets that are the appropriate size, and in good condition. It is also important that children wear a PFD while swimming.
Water skiers and tubers should wear a life jacket with four nylon straps rather than one with a zipper, because straps are stronger than zippers upon impact with water. Anglers or persons paddling a canoe should opt for a PFD that is comfortable enough to wear for an entire outing.
Water skiers and tubers are reminded it takes three to ski and tube. When a person is towed on water skis or a similar device, an observer other than the operator is required on the vessel.
“In addition, it is important for swimmers to know water depth, as serious injuries can occur from diving into water,” Boldt said. “Large objects hidden below the water’s surface can lead to significant injury.”
North Dakota boaters also are reminded that marine VHF radios are an important part of boat safety that should not be improperly used by operators. These radios are intended for boat operators who are in distress and facing an emergency situation.
Regulations to help ensure safe boating this summer are found in the 2014-16 North Dakota Fishing Guide. A more comprehensive listing is available in the North Dakota Boat and Water Safety Guide or the Boat North Dakota education book. These guides are available online at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, by email at ndgf@nd.gov, or at a local Game and Fish Department office.
 

June 7 & 8 free fishing weekend

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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.

boat ramp courtesy

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Boaters are reminded to exercise patience and plan accordingly when heading to a lake or river this summer.

 

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department receives a number of complaints every year about overly aggressive behavior at boat ramps. A few simple reminders will help ensure a fluent transition when launching and loading a boat.

 

 

 

Launching

 

  • Don’t pull onto ramp until your boat is ready to launch.
  • Prepare for launching in the parking area. Remove covers, load equipment, remove tie downs, attach lines and put in drain plug, before backing onto the ramp.
  • When ready, pull into line to launch. Wait your turn. Be courteous.
  • It takes at least two people to efficiently and courteously launch a boat: one to handle the boat and one to take care of the tow vehicle.

 

 

 

Loading

 

  • Don’t block the loading area with your boat until your tow vehicle is ready to load. Wait until you are clear of the launch area to unload gear.
  • As soon as your trailer is in the water, load and secure your boat to the trailer.
  • Remove boat and trailer from the water as quickly as possible.
  • Get clear of the ramp. Pull into the parking area to finish securing your boat and unload gear.

threat of exotic species continues

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Outdoor water recreationists are once again reminded to help prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota.

 

State Game and Fish Department ANS Coordinator Fred Ryckman said there are more than 400 recreational fishing waters across the state, making it imperative for watercraft owners to obey regulations.

 

“It is the same message year after year, but that just shows how important it is to keep our waterways free of unwanted species,” Ryckman said. “Full public participation and compliance is critical if we want to ensure ANS is not transferred from one lake to another.”

 

Current law states all water must be drained from watercraft prior to leaving a water body, including livewells. This means fish, including bait, cannot be transported in a livewell containing water. However, bait buckets and/or any container of 5 gallons or less in volume can be used to transport legal live baitfish or other bait in water. All other fish species may not be held in water and/or transported in bait buckets/containers when away from a water body. Transportation of fish in or on ice is allowed.

 

In addition, no aquatic vegetation, or parts thereof, shall be in or on watercraft, motors, trailers and recreational equipment when out of water. Time out of the water needed to remove aquatic vegetation at the immediate water access area is allowed.

 

All built-in structures to boats, including livewells and bait compartments, and containers (bait buckets) used to transport legal live bait, must also be free of aquatic vegetation.