Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Portion of Channel A Closed to Fishing

The lowest three-quarters of a mile of Channel A as it enters Devils Lake is closed to fishing effective immediately due to safety concerns as U.S. Highway 2 is under construction west of Devils Lake.

This area is closed to both shore and boat fishing, and includes where Channel A crosses Highway 2 and the train bridges. “Closed to Fishing” signs will be posted in this area.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department director Terry Steinwand said the closure is not COVID-19 related. “There are legitimate concerns from local officials about public safety, including vehicles parked illegally along the highway, as well as with people crossing the road and traversing the bridge,” Steinwand said.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation highway project consists of closing the westbound lanes of US 2 and moving traffic to be head-to-head on eastbound lanes as construction work is being done to widen the highway from Devils Lake to Church’s Ferry.

“Safety is our number one priority,” says NDDOT Devils Lake district engineer Wyatt Hanson. “We want motorists, pedestrians and construction workers to be safe in the construction area as we work to get the project completed this summer.”

This stretch of the channel will be closed to fishing indefinitely.

Spring Light Goose Migration Updates

North Dakota spring light goose hunters can track general locations of geese as birds make their way through the state.

Snowgeese dickey County, 4-98photo by Craig Bihrle, ND Game and Fish

Hunters are able to call 701-328-3697 to hear recorded information 24 hours a day.Migration reports are also posted on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Updates will be provided as migration events occur, until the season ends or geese have left the state.

North Dakota’s spring light goose season opened Feb. 20 and continues throughMay 15.

Residents must have a valid current season 2015-16 (valid through March 31) or 2016-17 (required April 1) combination license; or a small game, and general game and habitat license. The 2016-17 license is available for purchase beginning March 15.

Nonresidents need a 2016 spring light goose season license. The cost is $50 and the license is good statewide. Nonresidents who hunt the spring season remain eligible to buy a fall season license. The spring season does not count against the 14-day fall waterfowl hunting season regulation.

In addition, nonresident youth under age 16 can purchase a license at the resident fee if their state has youth reciprocity licensing with North Dakota.

Other season information, including regulations, is available by accessing the Game and Fish website.

Have You Seen? Mountain Lion Meetings

Mountain Lion Management Meetings

Results of a two-phase research project and biological findings from animals harvested over the last decade show the state’s mountain lion population has steadily declined over the past several years.

Department officials will host three public meetings this month to discuss these results and the status of the state’s mountain lion population. Learn more in this week’s webcast with wildlife division chief right here, Jeb Williams.

And read more about mountain lions in North Dakota right here

District Game Warden Exam Set For March 18

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has scheduled an examination to select candidates for the position of district game warden. The test is at 10 a.m., March 18, at the department’s main office in Bismarck.

010113Game warden checking  hunters

Applicants must register to take the exam no later than March 14 by submitting an online application through the North Dakota State Job Openings website.

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have a bachelor’s degree at time of hire (tentative hire date is June 1), have a valid driver’s license and a current North Dakota peace officer license, or be eligible to be licensed. Candidates must have excellent interpersonal skills in communications and writing, and must not have a record of any felony convictions.

District game wardens enforce game and fish laws and related regulations in an assigned district and other locations as determined by the department. Wardens normally work alone under varied conditions, at all hours of the day, night and weekends. In addition to law enforcement duties, wardens assist in the areas of public relations, education programs, and hunter and boat safety education.

Salary through training for a district game warden is $3,600 per month. Upon successful completion of training, the monthly salary ranges are $4,136 – $6,894. Wardens also receive the state benefits package, including travel allowance. Uniforms and other equipment are provided.

Good News on Devils Lake Access

Good News: Devils Lake Open from One End to the Other By: Devils Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau For the first time in several years, contestants fishing the Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce walleye tournament will be able to pass under bridges.

“This means they can fish wherever their boats will take them,” said tournament director Johnnie Candle. “Another new concept in and around Devils Lake is that the road work will be completed, paved and back to normal,” he added.

Rising water has created havoc and headlines as Devils Lake, with no outlet, increased in size from 40,000 acres in 1992 to covering approximately 240,000 acres of North Dakota today.

The Chamber tournament now in its 37th year will run Friday and Saturday, June 21 – 22. Last year’s winners Jason Ramberg and Travis Clemens will be back. Ramberg, from Langdon, ND, said, “With the lake wide-open, anglers will spread out and fish their favorite spots. Many of the teams that stayed away due to roads and limited boundaries will be back. This is the most enjoyable tournament we fish.”

His partner for the past 15 years is from Velva, ND, and Clemens said, “It’s a major accomplishment to win with the great field of anglers; they’re all friends.” He also added, “Stick to a game plan, and don’t chase memories. The winners earn $5,000 guaranteed.

Flying 3,000 miles from Anchorage each year is Matt Perleberg. He grew up in North Dakota, and uses the tournament as an excuse to get home. He said, “The salmon and halibut fishing is great in Alaska, but I can’t get enough of my favorite — walleye fishing.”

Clark Williams has fished nearly every Chamber tournament, with third, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth and tenth place finishes. “My partners and I have done well, and we’ve also bombed,” he said, “I like the fact that every year I meet new people and make new friends. Yeah, there’s the competition and the need to put together a pattern, but it’s the camaraderie I like.”

With the great fishing and ability to fish everywhere, he also expects more teams to enter. The specifics of the tournament are two days of fishing, with Sunday, June 23 reserved as a “blow day.”

The possession limit is six walleyes in the boat, with each team weighing five walleyes. There is no upgrading (culling) in this tournament. There are also prizes for other species and the incentives for entering early (by March 31) are very attractive.

The entry fee is $275, which includes a banquet. All ages are welcome; one team member must be at least 18 years old. Artificial and live bait are permitted. Boats must be washed, cleaned, dried and inspected for aquatic nuisance species prior to launching before tournament pre-fishing. The biggest walleye each day is worth $500. The largest pike each day pays $250, and the heaviest perch and white bass award is $100 daily.

Director Candle, a professional walleye angler, Championship winner and full-time promoter said, “I enjoy being on the other side, making this event better for everyone by listening to the anglers and making the tough calls, when needed.”

He especially likes the fact that many teams are father-son or grandpa-granddaughter or husband-wife teams. “This year, it will be back to the original concept of a big tournament with a local feel,” he said. “The teams heading out from Graham’s Island State Park each day are some of the best walleye fishermen in North Dakota.”

To download the tournament application, go to www.devilslakend.com or call 701-662-4903 to have one mailed to your address. Devils Lake has one of the highest-tech fish-cleaning stations in North America. It’s located just south of Ed’s Bait Shop on Hwy 20 (south of the city of Devils Lake), and free to the public.

The 20 x 32 building can handle 15 anglers at one time. It has two grinders, a separate clean-up sink, regular and handicapped bathrooms, is heated (A/C for summer), has plenty of parking for trucks and trailers and is well-lit.

Devils Lake ice and open-water fishing guides target perch, walleyes and pike. They make every first-time angler feel like this is home, and the thousands of anglers who return year after year to fish with the same guides know that’s the case.

For Devils Lake guides, winter ice conditions or the summer “bite,” activities, fish-cleaning station (open all year), lodging, resorts and restaurants, check www.devilslakend.com, or call 701-662-4903.