Tag Archives: North Dakota

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.

 

 

big three lottery has been held

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North Dakota’s moose, elk and bighorn sheep lottery results are available online at the State Game and Fish Department’s website,gf.nd.gov.

 

Applicants can find individual results by clicking “find lottery results/preference points” under the online services link.

 

Successful applicants will receive a letter the week of May 19, stating the license will be mailed after the successful applicant submits the correct license fee.

 

bait regulations

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There are a number of reasons why fishing in North Dakota has been pretty good in recent years, including the cooperative efforts of anglers and bait vendors to ensure that those wetting a line are using legal and clean bait.

Fathead minnows, sticklebacks, and creek chubs are the only legal live baitfish species that can be used in most North Dakota waters. The exceptions are the Red and Bois de Sioux rivers where white suckers can be used and 23 state waters where it is illegal to use any live baitfish.

According to North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries chief Greg Power, legal bait regulations have become more restrictive in the last 25 years in an effort to eliminate bait-bucket transfer of unwanted fish species into state waters. Through the 1990s, the Game and Fish Department routinely chemically renovated numerous lakes annually due to introduction of various unwanted species, including bullheads, suckers and/or carp. Oftentimes, these undesirable species were a result of anglers simply discarding bait. It is illegal to release baitfish into any North Dakota waters.

For the past couple of decades, the department has worked with the wholesale and retail bait industry to help ensure that anglers are buying clean and legal minnows at their local bait shops.

While today’s bait is much cleaner than what may have been purchased 20 years ago, Power said it remains the angler’s responsibility to possess only legal live baitfish when fishing in North Dakota.

For specific regulations regarding bait use and all other fishing regulations, refer to the 2014-16 North Dakota Fishing Guide.

 

summer becomming an outdoorswoman

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program is accepting registrations for the annual summer workshop Aug. 8-10 at Lake Metigoshe State Park, Bottineau.

 

Enrollment is limited to participants age 18 or older. Workshop fees of $150 cover instruction, program materials, use of equipment, all meals and lodging.

 

Participants can choose from more than 30 programs, including archery, canoeing, firearms, fly-fishing, kayaking, plant identification and trapping.

 

BOW workshops are designed primarily for women with an interest in learning skills associated with hunting, fishing and outdoor endeavors. Although open to anyone age 18 or older, the workshops are tailored primarily to women who have never tried these activities or who are beginners hoping to improve their skills.

 

Women interested in attending the summer workshop can register online, or print and mail an information brochure and enrollment form at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. More information is available by contacting Nancy Boldt at (701) 328-6312, or email ndgf@nd.gov.

Report All Poachers auction of confiscated equipment

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Outdoor enthusiasts are reminded that the North Dakota Wildlife Federation’s Report All Poachers auction is Saturday, May 3 at the North Dakota State Fair Center’s 4-H hall in Minot.

 

Confiscated hunting and fishing equipment up for auction can be viewed between 12-2 p.m., immediately followed by the auction. 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.

 

 

2014 North Dakota deer season

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North Dakota’s 2014 deer season is set, with 48,000 licenses available to hunters this fall, 11,500 fewer than last year, and the lowest number since 1980.

 

 

 

Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said even after five years of reducing gun licenses, deer populations are still below management objectives in most units. Currently, only units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F meet or exceed management goals.

 

 

 

“Harvest and survey data indicate deer numbers are still declining, especially in the eastern part of the state,” Kreil said.

 

 

 

The statewide hunter success rate in 2013 was 55 percent, which is lower than in 2012 (63 percent), and well below the department’s goal of 70 percent.

 

 

 

Adequate snow cover needed for winter aerial surveys occurred only in the northeast. Results showed deer numbers were down 21 percent in unit 2C and 29 percent in unit 2D.

 

 

 

Statewide, Kreil said high quality deer habitat continues to be lost and will limit the potential for population recovery.

 

 

 

Out west, the number of antlered mule deer licenses in the badlands was increased modestly. However, as was the case the past two years, no antlerless mule deer licenses are available in units 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F. This restriction applies to regular gun, resident and nonresident any-deer bow, gratis and youth licenses.

 

 

 

Hunters are able to draw one license for the deer gun season and one for the muzzleloader season, and purchase an archery license. There is no concurrent season, and a hunter cannot receive more than one license for the deer gun season.

 

 

 

The number of licenses available for 2014 includes 1,350 for antlered mule deer, an increase of 200 from last year; 932 for muzzleloader, down 270 from last year; and 134 restricted youth antlered mule deer, an increase of 19 from last year.

 

 

 

North Dakota’s 2014 deer gun season opens Nov. 7 at noon and continues through Nov. 23. Online applications for the regular deer gun, youth, muzzleloader, and resident gratis and nonresident landowner seasons will be available May 5 through the Game and Fish Department’s website atgf.nd.gov. Also, paper applications will be at vendors throughout the state by mid-May. The deadline for applying is June 4.

 

 

 

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. Applications will not be processed without this information. 

 

 

 

Gratis applications received on or before the regular deer gun lottery application deadline (June 4) will be issued any-legal-deer license. As per state law, applications received after the deadline will be issued based on licenses remaining after the lottery – generally only antlerless licenses remain.

 

 

 

Total deer licenses are determined by harvest rates, aerial surveys, depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.