Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Fall Fish Survey Completed

North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists have completed fall reproduction surveys and the future looks promising, especially compared to a year ago when many waters were struggling.

 

Scott Gangl, fisheries management section leader, said many lakes already had low water levels going into last winter, and then a heavy snowpack resulted in significant winterkill.

 

“Good moisture throughout the summer rejuvenated the habitat in many of the smaller lakes around the state, primarily in the central and southeast,” Gangl said.

 

The cooler, wet summer produced ideal receiving conditions for stocked pike and walleye. “We saw really good survival and growth on most stocked species,” Gangl said.

 

Similar to last year, Devils Lake saw fair to good numbers of walleye, with the catch close to average. “However, we saw very low numbers of yellow perch, which means there wasn’t a good reproductive year for perch,” Gangl said.

 

In Lake Sakakawea, Gangl said there was a good catch of young walleye. “This was a result of a combination of stocking efforts and natural reproduction,” he added. “We also saw a lot of rainbow smelt, so the forage base is still pretty solid.”

 

Lake Oahe has had several years of good reproduction of walleye, Gangl said, including this year. “The walleye population continues to be dominated by smaller fish,” he added. “Lake Oahe is lacking forage which causes fish to grow slower than they should.”

 

Reproduction surveys evaluate natural reproduction, stocking success and forage abundance.

General Game and Habitat License Required for Deer Hunters

Deer hunters are reminded of a state law that requires hunters to purchase a general game and habitat license before receiving a deer license.

 

North Dakota Century Code 20.1-03-02 reads “a person may not acquire any resident or nonresident license to hunt, catch, take or kill any small game or big game animal unless that person first obtains an annual general game license.”

 

Just like last year, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is not mailing deer licenses until the recipient has purchased the general game and habitat license. Game and Fish recommends that deer hunters who do not yet have a general game license should get theirs well in advance of the planned hunt to allow for adequate delivery time to receive the deer license through the mail.

 

The general game and habitat license can be purchased online by visiting My Account at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov.

 

Also, it’s important to locate your deer license and check it for accuracy, making sure the unit and species is what is intended.

 

Deer hunters who can’t find their deer license and who have already purchased their general game and habitat license, can get a replacement license by printing out a duplicate (replacement) license application from the Game and Fish website, or can request an application by calling 701-328-6300.

 

The form must be completed and notarized, and sent back into the department with the appropriate fee.

General Game and Habitat License Required for Deer Hunters

Deer hunters are reminded of a state law that requires hunters to purchase a general game and habitat license before receiving a deer license.

 

North Dakota Century Code 20.1-03-02 reads “a person may not acquire any resident or nonresident license to hunt, catch, take or kill any small game or big game animal unless that person first obtains an annual general game license.”

 

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will only mail deer licenses after the general game and habitat license is purchased. It is important to buy this license well in advance of the planned hunt to allow for adequate delivery time to receive the deer license through the mail.

 

The general game and habitat license can be purchased online by visiting My Account at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov.

 

Also, it’s important

USFWS Seeks Public Comment

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is soliciting public comments for a proposed amendment that would allow hunting and fishing on what are commonly called “easement refuges” in North Dakota.

These easement refuges, officially called limited-interest national wildlife refuges, were acquired from willing landowners primarily in the 1930s to create resting and feeding areas for waterfowl. The easements restrict hunting, fishing, trapping and boat use on existing water bodies. All other land uses are allowed at the landowner’s discretion, and the land remains in private ownership.

North Dakota has 39 of these easement refuges. The FWS is proposing to allow hunting, fishing and other recreational activities on them, though access will still be at the discretion of landowners.

More information concerning limited-interest national wildlife refuges is available at https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/huntfish.php.

Open meetings to provide opportunity for public comments are scheduled at the following locations and times:

Bismarck – Oct. 15, 6-9 p.m., North Dakota Game and Fish Office, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway.

Devils Lake – Oct. 16, 4-7 p.m., Sullys Hill NGP, 2107 Park Dr., St. Michael.

Minot – Oct. 17, 6-9 p.m., Staybridge Suites, 3009 S. Broadway.

Jamestown – Oct. 22, 6-9 p.m., Gladstone Inn, 111 2nd St. NE.

The FWS will also accept written comments through Oct. 31, 2019, to Project Leader Frank Durbian, 681 Salyer Road, Upham, N.D., 58789 or frank_durbian@fws.gov.

Be Wary of Travel Conditions for Pheasant Opener

Current weather conditions are making travel difficult as pheasant hunting season kicks off this weekend.

With heavy snow in much of the state covering roads and fields that were already saturated, travel on section line trails, unimproved roads and in harvested grain fields where hunting might take place will be nearly impossible.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is asking hunters to be aware of on- and off-road conditions, and strongly discourages driving on soft, muddy roads, trails and section lines.

North Dakota’s pheasant season opens Saturday, Oct. 12 and continues through Jan. 5, 2020. The daily limit is three roosters with 12 in possession.

Order 2020 OUTDOORS Calendar

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is taking orders for its North Dakota OUTDOORS calendar, the source for all hunting season and application dates for 2020. Along with outstanding color photographs of North Dakota wildlife and scenery, it also includes sunrise-sunset times and moon phases.

 

To order online, visit buy and apply at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov., or send $3 for each, plus $1 postage, to: Calendar, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095. Be sure to include a three-line return address with your order, or the post office may not deliver our return mailing.

 

The calendar is the North Dakota OUTDOORS magazine’s December issue, so current subscribers will automatically receive it in the mail.

Permit Required to Possess Dead Deer

North Dakota Game and Fish Department enforcement personnel are issuing a reminder that a permit is required before taking possession of a dead deer found near a road or in a field. Only shed antlers can be possessed without a permit.

 

Permits to possess are free and available from game wardens and local law enforcement offices.

 

In addition, hunters are reminded to properly dispose of dead deer. Deer carcasses cannot be left on the side of a roadway or in a ditch, and deer parts cannot be discarded in commercial dumpsters.

Equipment Registration Number Used for Identification

Hunters, trappers and anglers are reminded that an equipment registration number, or the individual’s name, address and telephone number, must be displayed on all equipment requiring identification.

 

While on state wildlife management areas, identification is required on items such as ground blinds, tree stands, cameras and traps.

 

Identification must be attached to cable devices that are set on either private or public land, and on fish houses left unattended on the ice.

 

Owners can generate an equipment registration number by visiting buy and apply at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. One registration number will be issued that can be used on all equipment that requires identification.

 

The equipment registration number does not expire.