North Dakota ice anglers are reminded that regulations designed to reduce the spread of aquatic nuisance species also apply in winter, and law enforcement officials will continue their efforts to ensure compliance.
Itâ€™s important to reiterate that only legal live bait can be transported in water in a container up to five gallons. Neither game nor nongame species can be transported in water, although a daily catch can be packed in snow.
Other simple methods to prevent winter ANS introductions are:
Â· Do not use illegally imported baits.
Mountain Lion Season Closes in Zone 1
Mountain lion hunting during the late season in zone 1 is closed immediately. The zoneâ€™s late-season quota of seven was filled after five cats were taken this weekend.
Zone 1 includes land south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.
Intensive ANS Efforts Continue
Statewide monitoring efforts for aquatic nuisance species in 2013 resulted in only one new infestation â€“ curly-leaf pondweed in Grass Lake in Richland County.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department ANS coordinator Fred Ryckman said for the second consecutive year, no zebra mussels were detected in the Otter Tail and Red rivers at Wahpeton, where immature zebra mussels were found in both 2010 and 2011.
Individuals interested in taking a hunter education class in 2014 should know that most courses are offered early in the calendar year.
To register for a hunter education course, students need to sign up online at the Game and Fish Departmentâ€™s website, gf.nd.gov. Many classes will be added over the next several weeks, and the rest will be added throughout the year as they are finalized.
Late-Season Hunting Opportunities End Soon
North Dakota waterfowl hunters are reminded the statewide duck and white-fronted goose seasons close Dec. 1. However, duck hunting in the high plains unit reopens Dec. 7 and continues through Dec. 29.
In addition, the season for Canada geese closes Dec. 21, except for the Missouri River Zone, which closes Dec. 27. Light goose hunting closes statewide Dec. 29.
Archery deer, fall turkey, sharp-tailed and ruffed grouse, partridge, pheasant and tree squirrel hunting seasons continue through Jan. 5, 2014.
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 age 16. Nonresidents may darkhouse spearfish in North Dakota if they are from states that offer the same privilege for North Dakota residents.
Heading towards the final days of the 2013 North Dakota deer hunt I will again utilize the numbers from the USDA Ag Statistics service: Last year at this time all of the corn was harvested but the 5 year average is only 69%. Last week there was 64% done and now as of Nov 18 the harvest is 78% complete. Iâ€™d argue with exception to areaâ€™s with propane shortage holding off harvest-everyday is going to subtract more corn from the landscape. So...less corn..colder weather...fewer hunters...and this should help encourage the last push to the end of the 2013 season.
Organizers planning fishing tournaments, including ice fishing contests this winter, are reminded to submit an application along with fishing tournament regulations to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department at least 30 days prior to the start of the event.
The 30-day advance notice allows for review by agency staff to ensure the proposed tournament will not have negative consequences or conflicts with other proposed tournaments for the same location and/or time.
Tournaments may not occur without first obtaining a valid permit from the department.
With nearly 60,000 deer hunters taking the field Iâ€™m always interested to see if the number of mountain lions sighted/taken spikes during the 16 Â½ day deer season. Across the badlands, fields, sloughs and shelter belts there will be a spike in hunter activity. Just by share odds the chance of finding and taking a mountain lion increases. As it stands as last check the quota zone of the badlands has had 3 mountain lions taken. The early season quota is 14. The total is updated here: http://gf.nd.gov/news/mountain-lion-zone-1-early-season-quota-3-14
The North Dakota Game and Fish Departmentâ€™s fall mule deer survey indicated production in 2013 was higher than in 2012.
Biologists counted 1,761 (1,224 in 2012) mule deer in the aerial survey in October. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.46 (0.37 in 2012) is similar to the long-term average of 0.43 bucks per doe, while the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.74 (0.59 in 2012) was the highest since 2009, but still below the long-term average of 0.91 fawns per doe.