Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

White Suckers Only Legal in Bois de Sioux, Red Rivers

The state Game and Fish Department reminds anglers that live white suckers are not legal baitfish anywhere in North Dakota, except in the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers.

 

Although anglers can use live white suckers on the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers, and tributaries up to the first vehicular bridge, they are illegal elsewhere. Fathead minnows, sticklebacks and creek chubs are the only legal live baitfish outside of the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers. Dead white suckers which have been preserved by freezing, salting or otherwise treated to inactivate reproductive capabilities are legal bait.

 

The transportation of live white suckers, other than in Richland, Cass, Traill, Grand Forks, Walsh and Pembina counties, is illegal.

 

Anglers are also reminded that live baitfish, or other live aquatic bait such as leeches, cannot be transported from another state into North Dakota.

Reminders to Prevent the Spread of ANS

North Dakota anglers, water recreationists and anyone working in lakes or streams are reminded to follow these simple regulations to help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species.

 

Know the laws, as each state and province have their own rules and regulations. North Dakota regulations include:

  • Do not import live aquatic bait.
  • Use only legal bait species.
  • Transport live bait in containers of five gallons or less.
  • Properly dispose of unused bait.
  • Drain water and remove vegetation from all equipment when leaving a waterbody.
  • Remove drain plugs and keep out or open during transport.

 

Clean, drain and dry any equipment (recreational or commercial) that is used in any waterbody.

  • Clean: remove plants, animals and excessive mud from trailers, hulls, motors and other equipment such as fishing rods.
  • Drain: drain all water, including bilges, livewells and bait buckets.
  • Dry: allow all equipment to dry completely or disinfect before using again. If necessary, use sponges or towels to remove excess water and allow compartments to dry.

 

Report any plant or animal that seems out of place.

  • Visit the online reporting form at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov.
  • Call Jessica Howell, Game and Fish ANS coordinator, 701-368-8368.

Catchable Trout, Catfish, Pike Stocked

North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel have already stocked 30 local fisheries with catchable trout, catfish and pike, with additional lakes still to be stocked in early May.

 

Approximately 10,000 11-inch rainbow trout, 600 2- to 4-pound rainbow trout, 1,200 adult catfish, 1,100 adult pike and 1,100 1- to 3-pound cutthroat trout were recently stocked in community fisheries around the state.

 

Fisheries production and development section leader Jerry Weigel said these stockings put catchable fish in waters that are easily accessible.

 

“Many have fishing piers and are a great opportunity for a first-time angler to catch fish,” Weigel said.

 

  • Adams – Mirror Lake (catfish)
  • Barnes – Hatchery Kids Pond (rainbow)
  • Burleigh – Cottonwood Park Pond (pike), OWLS Pond (cutthroat, rainbow), Wilton City Pond (rainbow)
  • Cass – Brooks Harbor Pond (rainbow, cutthroat), Casselton Pond (rainbow), North Woodhaven Pond (rainbow)
  • Eddy – New Rockford Pond (pike)
  • Golden Valley – Beach City Pond (rainbow)
  • Grand Forks – Turtle River (rainbow)
  • McKenzie – Arnegard Dam (catfish), Watford City Park Pond (catfish, rainbow)
  • McLean – Camp Loop Pond (rainbow, pike), Custer Mine (rainbow), Painted Woods Pond (rainbow), Riverdale City Pond (rainbow)
  • Morton – Gaebe Pond (catfish, rainbow), Krieg’s Pond (catfish), Porsborg Dam (cutthroat, rainbow)
  • Mountrail – Stanley Pond (catfish)
  • Ransom – Mooringstone Pond (rainbow)
  • Renville – Glenburn Pond (catfish)
  • Richland – Mooreton Pond (cutthroat)
  • Stark – Belfield Pond (catfish, rainbow), Dickinson Dike (catfish, rainbow)
  • Stutsman – Little Britches Pond (rainbow, cutthroat)
  • Ward – State Fair Pond (rainbow)
  • Williams – East Spring Lake Pond (pike), Kettle Lake (rainbow), West Spring Lake Pond (catfish, rainbow)

In addition to these fisheries, Game and Fish personnel will continue stocking numerous trout lakes the next few weeks, including Ryan Park Pond (Grand Forks), Little Heart Pond (Morton), Langdon City Pond (Cavalier), Hazen Creek (Mercer) and Oliver County Sportsmen’s Pond (Oliver).

First Fish

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding parents to capture their little angler’s first catch on a specially designed First Fish certificate.

First Fish has no qualifying weights or measurements. The only requirement is the successful landing of a North Dakota fish. Certificates are available to all who request them, and have ample room for all the important information, such as name, age, lake and a short fish story, plus a blank space for a photograph big enough to contain the smile of the happiest little angler.

Free certificates are available by contacting the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6300, or email ndgf@nd.gov.

Missouri River Safety Day

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department and Townsquare Media are sponsoring the Missouri River SPLASH – a recreation and boating safety event for everyone who enjoys the Missouri River.

 

The event is Thursday, May 16 in Mandan from 2-5 p.m. at Moritz Sport and Marine. Displays, hands-on activities, demonstrations, regulations, registrations and prizes are included.

 

The event is free, and people of all ages are invited to attend.

 

State law requires youngsters ages 12-15 who want to operate a boat or personal watercraft with at least a 10 horsepower motor to first pass the state’s Boat North Dakota safety course. In addition, some insurance companies give adult boat owners who pass the course a discount on boat insurance.

 

The Boat North Dakota safety course is free and available at the Game and Fish Department.

 

 

Join us from 2-5 p.m. Thursday, May 16 at the Moritz Sport and Marine in Mandan for the 2019 Missouri River SPLASH recreation and boating safety event. There will be displays, hands-on activities, demonstrations, regulations, registrations and prizes. The event is free, and people of all ages are invited to attend.

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.

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.

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.