Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Game and Fish Recognizes Employee Efforts

North Dakota Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand recently honored a number of employees with performance-based awards. Steinwand presented the following employees with special recognition awards at the department’s annual staff meeting in December.

 

Renae Schultz, private land biologist, Jamestown, was recognized for her attitude, persistence and efforts in coordinating a Private Lands Open to Sportsmen tract along the James River.

 

Mike Anderson, video project supervisor, Bismarck, was recognized for his planning, shooting, editing, script writing and voicing the North Dakota Outdoors weekly broadcast, in addition to hosting and editing the Game and Fish Department’s weekly online webcast.

 

Justin Mattson, administrative staff officer, Bismarck, was recognized for his work ethic, reliability and willingness to take on extra responsibilities in the administrative services division.

 

Bill Haase, wildlife resource management supervisor, Bismarck, was recognized for his work on several projects, including public shooting ranges, cover crops and GPS mapping for weed spraying.

 

Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird management supervisor, Bismarck, was recognized for his vision and coordination in combining the three separate small game, waterfowl and furbearer/trapping guides into one combined hunting and trapping guide.

 

Steve Dyke, conservation section leader, and Sandra Johnson and Elisha Mueller, conservation biologists, Bismarck, were recognized for their efforts in developing a new standard for wind project planning and siting in North Dakota.

 

In addition to special recognition recipients, Keenan Snyder, district game warden, Williston, was named North Dakota’s Boating Officer of the Year. His district has approximately 150 miles of shoreline bordering Lake Sakakawea and portions of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers. Chief game warden Robert Timian said warden Snyder has been tasked with water patrols relating to monitoring environmental issues associated with oil activities in, on and around these three water bodies, and has met these challenges with enthusiasm, which reflects highly on the department and the community he serves.

Free Ice Fishing Weekend

North Dakota’s free ice fishing weekend is Dec. 28-29.

 

Resident anglers may fish that weekend without a license. All other ice fishing regulations apply.

 

Those interested in darkhouse spearfishing that weekend must register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department prior to participating. Registration is available by visiting the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. Legal fish are northern pike and nongame species.

Mountain Lion Late Season Closes in Zone 1, Conditional Season to Open

Mountain lion hunting during the late season in Zone 1 is closed immediately. The zone’s late-season harvest limit of either seven total cats or three females was reached after the seventh cat was taken.

A conditional season in Zone 1 will open Dec. 21 for hunters to pursue the additional two mountain lions that were not taken during the early season. The Zone 1 early season harvest limit was eight cats, and only six were taken.

The conditional season will close March 31, 2020 or immediately once the second cat is taken. Early season regulations apply, which means hunters are not allowed to use dogs. In addition, hunters who harvested a lion during the early or late season are not eligible to participate.

Zone 1 includes land south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.

The mountain lion season in Zone 2, which is the rest of the state outside Zone 1, has no harvest limit and is open through March 31, 2020.

Fish House Regulations

Winter anglers are reminded that any fish house left unoccupied on North Dakota waters must be made out of materials that will allow it to float.

 

Other fish house regulations include:

  • Fish houses do not require a license.
  • Occupied structures do not require identification. However, any unoccupied fish house must have an equipment registration number issued by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, or the owner’s name, and either address or telephone number, displayed on its outside in readily distinguishable characters at least three inches high.
  • Fish houses may not be placed closer than 50 feet in any direction to another house without consent of the occupant of the other fish house.
  • All unoccupied fish houses must be removed from all waters after midnight, March 15.

Anglers should refer to the 2018-20 North Dakota Fishing Guide for other winter fishing regulations.

 

Salmon Spawn Completed

Fisheries crews have completed their annual salmon spawning operation on the Missouri River System, after collecting more than 1.6 million eggs.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department Missouri River System supervisor Dave Fryda said crews easily collected enough eggs to stock the 400,000 smolts planned for Lake Sakakawea in 2020.

Unlike past years, Fryda said the majority of eggs were collected from the Garrison Dam Tailrace and the Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery salmon stream instead of from Lake Sakakawea. Average size of female salmon was 6.5 pounds, which is similar to the last few years.

“The high releases through Garrison Dam this summer, which continued through the fall, resulted in extensive entrainment of salmon from Lake Sakakawea,” Fryda said. “Salmon were scarce in Lake Sakakawea during the spawning season but abundant below the dam. In fact, 94% of all eggs collected in 2019 were from below the dam.”

Annual tagging of young salmon prior to stocking allows positive confirmation that the abundant salmon found below Garrison Dam were from fish stocked in Lake Sakakawea, Fryda 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.

Late Season Hunting Opportunities End Soon

North Dakota waterfowl hunters are reminded the statewide duck and white-fronted goose seasons close Dec. 1. However, duck hunting in the high plains unit reopens Dec. 7 and continues through Dec. 29.

 

In addition, the season for Canada geese closes Dec. 16 in the eastern zone, Dec. 21 in the western zone and Dec. 27 in the Missouri River zone. Light goose hunting closes statewide Dec. 29.

 

Archery deer, fall turkey, sharp-tailed and ruffed grouse, partridge, pheasant and tree squirrel hunting seasons continue through Jan. 5, 2020.

​Mountain Lion Zone 1 Early Season Ends, Late Season Opens

North Dakota’s early mountain lion season in Zone 1 closed Sunday, Nov. 24, and the late season, when hunters can pursue lions with dogs, is now open.

During the early season, hunters took six cats from a harvest limit of eight. Under the season structure, a conditional season could open five days after the late season closes, for hunters to pursue the additional two mountain lions that were not taken.

The late season in Zone 1 opened Monday, Nov. 25 and is scheduled to run through March 31, 2020, or until the harvest limit is reached. The late season harvest limit is seven total lions or three female lions, whichever comes first.

Hunters are advised to check the status of the late season by visiting the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov .

Zone 1 includes land in western North Dakota south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea, then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.

The mountain lion season in Zone 2, which is the rest of the state outside Zone 1, has no harvest limit and is open through March 31, 2020.

The mountain lion season is open only to North Dakota residents. Hunters need a furbearer or combination license to participate.

NDGF News: Advisory Board Meetings Announced

Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend a North Dakota Game and Fish Department fall 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 3 – Counties: Benson, Cavalier, Eddy, Ramsey, Rolette and Towner

Date: November 25 – 7 p.m.

Location: Fire Hall, 501 Main St., Munich

Host: The Ville Cafe

Contact: Heather Barker, 317-4390

Advisory board member: Tom Rost, Devils Lake

 

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

Date: November 25 – 7 p.m.

Location: Choice Financial Bank, 201 Main St. N., Belfield

Host: Belfield Sportsman Club

Contact: Roger Decker, 575-8876

Advisory board member: Dwight Hecker, Dickinson

 

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

Date: November 26 – 7 p.m.

Location: Wildlife Club, 1901 U.S. Highway 52, Velva

Host: North Dakota Fur Trappers and Harvesters Association

Contact: Rick Tischaefer, 460-1055

Advisory board member: Travis Leier, Velva

 

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

Date: November 26 – 7 p.m.

Location: Southeast Region Vo-Tech Center, 924 Seventh St. S., Oakes

Host: Ludden Sportsmen’s Club

Contact: Eric Larson, 210-0410

Advisory board member: Cody Sand, Ashley

 

District 1 – Counties: Divide, McKenzie and Williams

Date: December 2 – 7 p.m.

Location: Missouri Fairgrounds, 519 53rd St. E., Williston

Host: Missouri Basin Bowmen

Contact: Steve Rehak, 770-3643

Advisory board member: Beau Wisness, Keene

 

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

Date: December 2 – 7 p.m.

Location: Community Center, 299 Fourth Ave., Cogswell

Host: Cogswell Gun Club

Contact: Mike Marquette, 680-0860

Advisory board member: Duane Hanson, West Fargo

 

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

Date: December 3 – 7 p.m.

Location: Cavalier Cinema, 104 Main St. W., Cavalier

Host: Shane Feltman

Contact and advisory board member: Bruce Ellertson, Lakota, 247-2915

 

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

Date: December 3 – 7 p.m.

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

Host: Capital City Ladybirds Pheasants Forever Chapter

Contact: Lora Isakson, 426-9045

Advisory board member: Dave Nehring, Bismarck