Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Lincoln Angler’s Walleye Breaks Record

Tom Volk’s 16-pound, 9-ounce walleye caught on April 21 broke a record that was set nearly a year ago, and prior to that had gone untouched for nearly 60 years.

The Lincoln angler reeled in the 32 and one-half inch fish from shore along the Heart River in Mandan, besting the old record by three-quarters of a pound that was set last May by Neal Leier of Bismarck while fishing the Missouri River.


Game and Fish Sponsors Earth Day Project

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is once again celebrating Earth Day by sponsoring clean-up days on publicly owned or managed lands.


With Earth Day recognized April 22, each member of a school, Girl Scout, Boy Scout, 4-H club or youth organization who participates in cleaning up public lands through May will receive a specifically designed conservation patch.


Last winter the Game and Fish Department sponsored a contest for students ages 6-18 to design a North Dakota Earth Day Patch. Winners in the three age categories were Damien Twinn of Fort Yates (6-9), Kalen Kinzell of Courtenay (10-13), and Daniel Schumacher of Linton (14-18). Schumacher’s design was chosen as the contest winner and will be used on this year’s Earth Day patch.


Groups participating in the Earth Day project are encouraged to take the following precautions to ensure safety: keep young people away from highways, lakes and rivers; and only allow older participants to pick up broken glass.


Interested participants are asked to contact Pat Lothspeich at 328-6332 to receive a reporting form for their project.

have you read? March-April ND Outdoors

The March/April  2019 North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now here.

You’ll find ND Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand’s column Matters Of Opinioninside the cover: While you’ll read and hear about a number of lakes winterkilling across North Dakota’s landscape, the fallout of snow covering our waters for such a long period of time was anticipated. This is simply the nature of things on the Northern Plains where Mother Nature reminds us often who is in charge.


Greg Power, Fisheries Division Chief, revisits  A Fishing Report Card

In the past 15 years, North Dakota has experienced characteristic extreme shifts in weather, which influence short- and long-term fishing opportunities in the state. Periodically during that time, I’ve provided a North Dakota fishing report card to assess how well the state’s fisheries are doing.


I think you’ll enjoy and appreciate Ron Wilson Back Cast

I worked with a newspaper reporter years ago who proudly hung his hat and young career on a two-word headline that warned readers of an impending winter storm that promised inches of snow, strong winds and falling temperatures.

The “Brace Yourselves” headline ran on the front page above the fold in large type that barked at passing readers through the windows of the yellow newspaper boxes. His two-word alarm was simple, to the point and, most importantly, accurate. Lots of snow fell, the wind blew, and it was cold.

Game and Fish Volunteers Recognized

Volunteer instructors for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department were recently recognized at the annual recognition event in Bismarck.


Shannon Johnson, Fargo, was recognized as hunter education instructor of the year and Steve Goroski, Bismarck, was named archery education instructor of the year.


Honored for 30 years of service were James Boley, Minot; Richard Brewster, Washburn; David Cox, Minot; Douglas Crosby, Williston; Keith Domke, Jamestown; Richard Jorgenson, Devils Lake; Todd Parkman, Hope; Ralph Danuser, Marion; Charles Meikle, Spiritwood; Gary Nilsson, Walhalla.


Recognized for 25 years of service were Kevin Bishop, Kathryn; Patsy Crooke, Mandan; Mike Cruff, Minot; Charles Deremer, Fargo; Darwin Gebhardt, Lake Elmo, Minn.; Garry Hillier, Thompson; Francis Miller, Mandan; Gregory Odden, Rugby; Allen Schirado, Bismarck; Melvin Siverson, Bowman; Curt Beattie, Hannaford; Jay Grover, Cooperstown; Brad Pierce, Hatton;


Honored for 20 years of service were William Bahm, Almont; Stanley Cox, Jamestown; Mark Engen, Anamoose; Mark Entzi, Watford City; Daryl Heid, Center; Matthew Herman, Ashley; Leon Hiltner, Wales; Michael Hinrichs, Bismarck; Lynn Kieper, Bismarck; Curtis Miller, Tioga; Loran Palmer, Wahpeton; Richard Petersen, Bismarck; Craig Roe, Kindred; Douglas Thingstad, Jamestown; Cindie Van Tassel, Breckenridge, Minn.; David Daeley, Maddock; Darryl Duttenhefner, Menoken; Sean Hagan, Walhalla; Jerry Rekow, Ellendale.


Fifteen-year service awards were presented to Nathan Fitzgerald, Cooperstown; Gregory Gerou, Wahpeton; Judy Haglund, Garrison; Walter Helfrich, Mandan; Terry Kassian, Wilton; Michael Melaas, Minot; Dustin Neva, Hatton; Dale Patrick, Jamestown; Scott Thorson, Towner; Bruce Baer, Belfield; James Dusek, Grafton; Michael Erickson, Edgeley; Bradley Gregoire, Thompson; David Sardelli, Hebron.


Ten-year active instructors recognized were Mark Berg, Bismarck; Leonna Coutts, Bismarck; Jason Heinz, Rolette; Andrew Majeres, Garrison; Frank Odell, Belfield; Matt Webster, Jamestown; Cassie Felber, Towner; Kevin Harris, Watford City; Petrina Krenzel, Harvey; Jerry Lillis, Lincoln; Roger Norton, Kindred; Mike Redmond, Ray; Joe Tuchscherer, Rugby.


Recognized for five years of service were Michael Bahm, Mandan; Damon Finley, Harvey; Jamie Germundson, Stanley; Brandi Hansen, Horace; Beaufort Joe, Mandaree; Alan Klitzke, Powers Lake; Seth Larson, Max; Travis Leier, Velva; Krista Lundgren, Kulm; Gary Peterson, Jamestown; DJ Randolph, Velva; Patti Schaner, Mandan; Al Zimmerman, West Fargo; Darcy Aberle, Williston; Lori Deal, Grace City; Jason Forster, Lidgerwood; David Hammond, Abercrombie; Brian Johnson, Sawyer; Jon Johnson, Jamestown; Melanie Nelson, Harvey; Bruce Nielsen, Valley City; Eric Odegaard, West Fargo; Erin Odell, Belfield; John Perritt, Fargo; Carl Quam Jr., Tolna; Jason Sauer, Glen Ullin; Kori Schantz, Underwood; Kent Schimke, Ellendale; Kristofer Schmidt, Washburn; Daniel Sem, Minot; Than Young, Napoleon; Andrew Zickur, Glenburn.


Two-year active instructors recognized were James Decker, Bismarck; Steve Geller, Minot; Rod Kuhn, Bismarck; Jason Lura, Carrington; Arlyce Malarkey, Bismarck, Michael Malarkey, Bismarck; Albert Olson, Bismarck; Jacob Renne, Tioga; Frank Rohloff, Grand Forks; Joel Bohm, Mohall; Lynn Burgard, Bismarck; Larry Derr, Glenburn; Donald Dick, Enderlin; Christopher Eng, Underwood; Seth Engelstad, Mooreton; Todd Gallion, Dunn Center; Kresta Hauge, Ray; Katrina Haugen, Minto; Kali Metzger, Bismarck; Chad Olson, Lisbon; Jordan Peterson, Minot; Dan Schmidtke, Devils Lake; Robert Schock, Bismarck; Danielle Siverhus-Dinger, Oakes; Michael Straus, West Fargo; Tim Straus, West Fargo.

New Licenses Needed April 1

North Dakota anglers, trappers and hunters are reminded that new licenses for the 2019-20 season are required starting April 1.


Licenses can be purchased online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Once the license is processed, users will have the option to print a hard copy and/or download the license to a smart phone or mobile device, which is helpful when asked to show proof of license while hunting or fishing in rural areas that lack cellular service.


Licenses can also be purchased at more than 140 vendor locations throughout the state, or by calling 800-406-6409. The 2019-20 small game, fishing and furbearer licenses are effective April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.


New this year, hunters and anglers will be given the opportunity to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor. By clicking the link after purchasing a license, users will be directed to the North Dakota Department of Transportation donor registry. For more information regarding donor registry visit DOT’s website at http://www.dot.nd.gov/divisions/driverslicense/donorregistry.htm, or contact LifeSource directly at 888-5-DONATE.

Advisory Board Meetings Annouced

Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend a North Dakota Game and Fish Department spring advisory board meeting in their area.


These public meetings, held each spring and fall, provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisors and agency personnel.


The governor appoints eight Game and Fish Department advisors, each representing a multi-county section of the state, to serve as a liaison between the department and public.


Any person who requires an auxiliary aid or service must notify the contact person at least five days prior to the scheduled meeting date.


District 5 – Counties: Cass, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele and Traill

Date: April 1 – 7 p.m.

Location: City Hall, 14497 42nd St. SE, Embden

Host: Four Corners Wildlife Club

Contact: Kent Jensen, 793-4446

Advisory board member: Duane Hanson, West Fargo, 367-4249


District 8 – Counties: Adams, Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Golden Valley, Hettinger, Slope and Stark

Date: April 1 – 7 p.m.

Location: Eagles Club, 21 First Ave. E., Dickinson

Host: Cannonball Company

Contact: Nicole Haase, 209-0214

Advisory board member: Dwight Hecker, Dickinson, 483-4952


District 1 – Counties: Divide, McKenzie and Williams

Date: April 2 – 7 p.m.

Location: Civic Center, 213 Second St. NE, Watford City

Host: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Little Missouri Chapter

Contact and advisory board member: Beau Wisness, Keene, 421-8814


District 4 – Counties: Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina and Walsh

Date: April 2 – 7 p.m.

Location: Community Center, Minto

Host: Minto Area Sportsman’s

Contact: Keith Shutt, 520-3456

Advisory board member: Joe Solseng, 317-5009


District 6 – Counties: Barnes, Dickey, Foster, Griggs, Logan, LaMoure, McIntosh, Stutsman and Wells

Date: April 8 – 7 p.m.

Location: Fireside Restaurant, Ellendale

Host: Pheasants Forever

Contact: Charles Kingzett, 210-0608

Advisory board member: Cody Sand, Ashley, 357-7011


District 7 – Counties: Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan and Sioux

Date: April 8 – 7 p.m.

Location: Game and Fish Main Office, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck

Host: Lewis and Clark Wildlife Club

Contact: Dave Dewald, 471-1046

Advisory board member: Dave Nehring, Bismarck, 214-3184


District 2 – Counties: Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville and Ward

Date: April 9 – 7 p.m.

Location: Wildlife Club, 1901 Hwy 52 W., Velva

Host: Velva Wildlife Club

Contact: DJ Randolph, 720-2134

Advisory board member: Robert Gjellstad, Voltaire, 338-2281


District 3 – Counties: Benson, Cavalier, Eddy, Ramsey, Rolette and Towner

Date: April 9 – 7 p.m.

Location: Lake Region State College, 1801 College Dr., Devils Lake


Contact and advisory board member: Tom Rost, Devils Lake, 662-8620


National Campaign Encourages Boat Safety

A national safe boating campaign kicking off March 17-23 encourages boat operators to take a certified boat safety course.

Spring Aboard – Take a Boating Education Course wants boaters to get educated prior to the start of the boating season.

State Game and Fish Department education coordinator Brian Schaffer recommends all boaters take the state’s boating basics course, however, North Dakota state law requires only youngsters ages 12-15 must pass the course before they operate a boat or personal watercraft with at least a 10 horsepower motor by themselves.

In addition, some insurance companies give adult boat owners who pass the course a discount on boat insurance.

The course is available for home-study from the 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 30 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 on boating safety contact Schaffer by email at ndgf@nd.gov; or call 701-328-630

Hunting and Fishing Expenditure Report Finalized

The report, commissioned by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, tracked hunter and angler expenditures for the 2017-18 hunting and fishing seasons.


Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand said the last time the agency commissioned an economic impact study was about six years ago. “These studies help alert us to any major shifts in hunter and angler activities or participation,” Steinwand said.


Overall, hunters and anglers in North Dakota spent $974.4 million dollars on equipment, vehicles, boats, travel, lodging, food and many other items. In addition, these expenditures generated $1,1 billion in secondary economic benefits, gross business volume, secondary employment and state-level tax collections, according to the NDSU researchers.


According to the report, resident hunters and anglers accounted for $846.8 million of total expenditures, while nonresidents contributed $127.6 million. Anglers spent $787.8 million and hunters $186.6 million. Residents spent a total of $486.4 million in rural areas, while nonresidents spent $89.6 million, for a grand total of $576 million — or 59 percent of all spending — in rural areas.


These direct and indirect expenditures from hunters and anglers generated approximately $48.2 million in state-level tax collection.


“We know that hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation are an important quality of life factor for many North Dakotans,” Steinwand said. “This report reinforces the notion that economic activity associated with our outdoors is significant as well.”


Compared to spending in the 2011-12 season, total spending by resident hunters and anglers increased by $290.2 million, and by $41.4 million for nonresidents.


A complete copy of the report is available by visiting the Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

March 15 Deadline to Remove Fish Houses

Anglers have until midnight, March 15 to remove permanent fish houses from North Dakota waters, and from any state wildlife management area or federal refuge land.


Anglers are advised to remove their house soon because access on many lakes could be restricted due to snow. The deadline of March 15 will not be extended.


Fish houses may be used after March 15 if they are removed daily.