Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey Conducted
This yearâ€™s midwinter bald eagle survey conducted Jan. 10 along the Missouri River revealed 61 bald eagles, slightly above-average since the survey started in 1986.
Patrick T Isakson, conservation biologist with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey route from Bismarck to the Garrison Dam is conducted at the same time each year, and in coordination with other surveys nationwide.
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., Jan. 18, at the department's main office in Bismarck.
Applicants must register to take the exam by submitting a letter of intent to chief game warden Robert Timian, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501 5095. Letters of intent must be submitted before 5 p.m., Jan. 17.
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.
A popular question this time of the year is if campers qualify as legal fish houses. The answer is the same for any structure taken on the ice â€“ if itâ€™s left unattended, it must be able to float; if itâ€™s not able to float, it must be removed when the angler leaves the ice.
Other fish house regulations include:
Fish houses do not require a license.
Canada Goose, High Plains Duck End Soon
North Dakota waterfowl hunters are reminded the season for Canada geese closes Dec. 20, except for the Missouri River Zone, which closes Dec. 28.
In addition, duck hunting in the High Plains Unit closes Dec. 30.
Hunters should refer to the 2012 Waterfowl Hunting Guide for more information.
Winter anglers are encouraged to consider early ice conditions before traveling onto and across North Dakota lakes.
Keep in mind:
Snow insulates ice, hampering solid ice formation, and makes it difficult to check thickness. Snow also hides the blemishes, such as cracked, weak and open water areas.
Avoid cracks, pressure ridges, slushy or darker areas that signal thinner ice. The same goes for ice that forms around partially submerged trees, brush, embankments or other structures.
North Dakotaâ€™s darkhouse spearfishing season opens on most state waters December 1. The season extends through March 15. Legal fish are northern pike and nongame species.
Darkhouse spearing is allowed for all residents with a valid fishing license and for residents under the age of 16. Nonresidents may darkhouse spearfish in North Dakota if they are from states that offer the same privilege for North Dakota residents.
North Dakota hunters are reminded that several national wildlife refuges open to late-season upland game bird hunting the day after the deer gun season closes.
Arrowwood, Audubon, Des Lacs, J. Clark Salyer, Lake Alice, Lake Zahl, Long Lake, Lostwood, Tewaukon (pheasants only), and Upper Souris NWRs open Nov. 26.
Mule Deer Production Remains Low
Aerial observations during the North Dakota Game and Fish Departmentâ€™s fall mule deer survey indicated production in 2012 was about the same as last yearâ€™s record low.
Biologists who accompanied pilots in fixed-wing planes counted 1,224 (1,055 in 2011) mule deer in the October survey. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.37 (0.47 in 2010) was similar to the long-term average of 0.43 bucks per doe, and the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.59 equaled the lowest fawn-to-doe ratio since the demographic survey began in 1954. The long-term average is 0.92 fawns per doe.
Even with fewer deer licenses available this year, tens of thousands of hunters are looking forward to Friday, Nov. 9 at noon when the regular deer gun season begins. No doubt the number of questions from deer hunters will remain high. Hereâ€™s a few of the most common:
What licenses do I need for deer gun season?
A fishing, hunting, and furbearer certificate, the general game and habitat stamp or a combination license, and the deer license. Gratis license holders need only the gratis license.
Fisheries crews have completed their annual salmon spawning operation on Lake Sakakawea after collecting 1.5 million eggs, easily surpassing their goal of 900,000.