It doesn't matter if you hunt, fish, trap, or simply just enjoy catching a passing glimpse of the rainbow bright spring plumage of a drake wood duck. The sights of the North Dakota outdoors are a wonderful array of fish, wildlife, and landscapes with sunrises and sets or storms and clouds as an unequaled backdrop.
While these "gotta be there" moments are etched in our memory forever, we're also familiar with how a lasting image can stamp a date, time and place for future reference.
This weekâ€™s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at http://gf.nd.gov. This is the fourth of our annual fishing reports. District fisheries supervisors Randy Hiltner and BJ Kratz give overviews of the fishing prospects in the northeast and southeast fishing districts. Click here to Watch! And the visit the Game and Fish websites fishing portal where you'll find information on stocking, contour maps, fishing access, get your license and more right here!
North Dakotaâ€™s paddlefish snagging season opens May 1, and the season is scheduled to continue through the end of May. However, depending on the overall harvest, an early in-season closure may occur with a 24-hour notice issued by the state Game and Fish Department.
Paddlefish tags are available over-the-counter-only in Bismarck at the North Dakota Game and Fish Departmentâ€™s main office; in Williston at the Williams County auditorâ€™s office, Scenic Sports and Wal-Mart; and in Dickinson at Runnings Farm and Fleet.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will continue to implement camping restrictions on some wildlife management areas in western North Dakota and along Lake Sakakawea.
Overnight camping is prohibited on the following WMAs: Antelope Creek, Lewis and Clark, Big Oxbow, Ochs Point, Neuâ€™s Point, Overlook, Sullivan and Tobacco Garden in McKenzie County; Van Hook in Mountrail County; and Hofflund Bay and Trenton in Williams County.
While there are likely 125 more active bald eagle nests in the state than 15 years ago, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department continues to monitor this bird that once flirted with extinction.
Sandra Johnson, Game and Fish conservation biologist, said the department is looking for locations of nests with eagles present, not individual eagle sightings.
Johnson said eagles are actively incubating eggs in March and April, and itâ€™s easy to distinguish an eagle nest because of its enormous size.
As snow geese continue to make their way through the state, hunters are advised to properly identify their target as whooping cranes could potentially be in the same areas.
Whooping cranes are also in the midst of their spring migration and sightings will increase as they make their way through North Dakota over the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.
This weekâ€™s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at http://gf.nd.gov. This is the third of our annual fishing reports. District fisheries supervisors Fred Ryckman and Todd Caspers give overviews of the fishing prospects in the northwest fishing district and the Red River. Click here to Watch! For complete access to North Dakota fishing information visit the Game and Fish website's fishing portal right here!
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists are asking anglers for help in documenting lakes that may have experienced winter fish mortality.
Fisheries management section leader Scott Gangl said some winterkill is expected every year, with the severity depending on winter weather. With this yearâ€™s conditions, he doesnâ€™t anticipate major widespread fish kills.
Wildlife, shooting, fraternal and nonprofit civil organizations are urged to submit an application for the Encouraging Tomorrowâ€™s Hunters program, a State Game and Fish Department grant program developed to assist recruitment of the next generation of hunters and shooters.
The maximum grant allowed is $3,000. The program currently helps fund approximately 40 club and organizational events and projects, with an average grant of $1,550.
Year two of a four-year walleye tagging study on the Missouri River and Lake Oahe is complete, and returns are providing biologists with valuable information.
Paul Bailey, North Dakota Game and Fish Department south central district fisheries supervisor, said nearly 17,000 fish were tagged in 2013 and 2014, the first two years of the study, and more than 3,000 tag numbers were turned in by anglers.
â€śThe study is designed to assess walleye movements, mortality and what proportion of the walleye population is harvested annually by anglers,â€ť Bailey said.