Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Register to Darkhouse Spearfish

All individuals, regardless of age, who participate in darkhouse spearfishing are reminded to register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department prior to participating.

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Free registration is available at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, or through any Game and Fish Department office.

North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season closes March 15. Legal fish are northern pike and nongame species.

Spearers must have a valid fishing license, except for those under the age of 16.

All waters open to hook-and-line fishing are open to darkhouse spearing except:

  • East Park Lake, West Park Lake, Lake Audubon – McLean County
  • Heckers Lake – Sheridan County
  • Larimore Dam – Grand Forks County
  • McClusky Canal
  • New Johns Lake – Burleigh County
  • Red Willow Lake – Griggs County
  • Wood Lake – Benson County

Anglers should refer to the 2016-18 North Dakota Fishing Guide for more information.

Darkhouse Spearfishing Opens Dec. 1

North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season opens on most state waters Dec. 1 and continues through March 15. Legal fish are northern pike and nongame species.

All individuals who participate in darkhouse spearfishing must first register online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. In addition, anglers age 16 and older must possess a valid fishing license.

Spearers and anglers are reminded that materials used to mark holes must be in possession as soon as a hole greater than 10 inches in diameter is made in the ice.

North Dakota residents who do not have a fishing license may spear during the winter free fishing weekend Dec. 30-31, but they still need to register to spear.

All waters open to hook and line fishing are open to darkhouse spearing except:

  • East Park Lake, West Park Lake, Lake Audubon – McLean County
  • Heckers Lake – Sheridan County
  • Larimore Dam – Grand Forks County
  • McClusky Canal
  • New Johns Lake – Burleigh County
  • Red Willow Lake – Griggs County
  • Wood Lake – Benson County

Anglers and spearers should refer to the 2016-18 North Dakota Fishing Guide for more information.

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Game and Fish urges early ice house removal

While the deadline for removing permanent fish houses from North Dakota lakes isMarch 15, the State Game and Fish Department is urging anglers to consider removing their houses early in areas of the state where ice conditions are deteriorating, especially in the southern and western portions.

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Given the current long range weather forecast predicting temperatures well above normal, coupled with a thin icepack in much of the state, department education coordinator Brian Schaffer says mild weather can quickly result in unstable ice conditions that can make removing a fish house with a vehicle difficult or dangerous.

Even on lakes where ice remains solid away from shore, specifically in the northeast where ice conditions are much better than the rest of the state, Schaffer said anglers should watch the weather and adjust activities accordingly. “It is always important to check ice thickness, especially this time of year,” Schaffer said. “We have heard recent reports of several vehicles breaking through the ice, and anyone going on the ice should be extra careful.”

Ice conditions can vary from region to region, between lakes in the same region, and even on the same lake, Schaffer added. “We know people want to keep fishing,” he said, “but given the current conditions it’s good for anglers to keep safety in mind.”

Have You Read? February North Dakota Outdoors Magazine

The February  issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now. One of the features is  Managing Mountain Lions: A Look at the Past and Future by Ron Wilson. North Dakota held it first mountain lion hunting season in 2005, and it’s ran uninterrupted since. The Game and Fish Department in conjunction with researchers from South Dakota State University, launched the first part of a two phase research project in 2011.

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There’s some great information breaking down the deer lottery, and the Enforcement Division’s 2015 year in review.

 

Greg Freeman explains how All-Electronic Licensing Starts April 1Elimination of paper  licenses sold at vendors has been in the works since 2013, when the state legislature passed a law requiring each county auditor to implement a computerized online licensing system by March of last year, and each agent or vendor appointed by a  county auditor by March, 1, 2016.

 

Check these stories and more for free in the full February issue available right here or here http://gf.nd.gov/publications

Mountain Lion Management Meetings Set

North Dakota Game and Fish Department officials will host three public meetings this month to discuss the status of the state’s mountain lion population.

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

“We want to share what we’ve learned about managing mountain lions in North Dakota over the last 10 years,” said Jeb Williams, wildlife division chief. “Considering what we knew about mountain lions in North Dakota prior to 2005, which was very little, the information gathered in the last decade is significant.”

Meeting dates and locations to discuss what state wildlife managers have learned are as follows: Feb. 23, Game and Fish Department headquarters, 100 North Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, 7 p.m.; Feb. 24, Fargo Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Avenue South, 7 p.m.; and Feb. 29, Killdeer Cobblestone Hotel and Suites, 158 Rodeo Drive, 7 p.m.

North Dakota has had a mountain lion hunting season every year since 2005. The Game and Fish Department, in conjunction with researchers from South Dakota State University, launched the first part of a two-phase research project in 2011. Phase II is expected to be completed in 2017.

“We have made amazing headway in the last four years, and by the time Phase II is done we will have a really good handle on this population,” said Stephanie Tucker, furbearer biologist.

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.

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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.