Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Missouri River System Boat Ramp Status

Anglers looking to enjoy the nice weather this weekend by fishing open water on the Missouri River System can check the status of boat ramps at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

Game and Fish will post ramp status updates as they occur.

Department personnel encourage anglers to wait their turn at boat ramps, practice social distancing and follow other guidelines for minimizing the risk of spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Midwinter Waterfowl Survey

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual midwinter waterfowl survey in early January indicated about 90,000 Canada geese in the state.

Andy Dinges, Department migratory game bird biologist, said North Dakota experienced relatively mild weather in fall and early winter, but a few harsh cold fronts in early November and mid-December pushed some birds south for winter.

“Particularly, the cold snap we experienced during the first and second weeks of November moved a lot of birds south of us earlier than normal and we struggled to build up great numbers after this,” Dinges said.

During the recent survey, an estimated 50,000 Canada geese were observed on the Missouri River, and another 17,500 were observed on Lake Sakakawea, which still had substantial open water on the lower portion of the lake. In addition, about 22,500 Canada geese were observed on Nelson Lake in Oliver County.

Dinges said after summarizing the numbers, an additional 4,200 mallards were tallied statewide, most of which were recorded on Nelson Lake.

Lake Sakakawea officially iced-over Jan. 11, just days after the aerial survey was completed.

The 10-year average (2010-19) for the midwinter survey in North Dakota is 100,500 Canada geese and 22,000 mallards.

All states participate in the midwinter survey during the same time frame, to reduce the possibility of counting birds more than once.

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.

Missouri River Safety Day May 17

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 17 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.