North Dakota Banner

ND.gov Banner - visit nd.gov
North Dakota Legendary - visit ndtourism.gov

Buffaloberry Patch

Article By 
Greg Freeman

CRAPPIE TIES RECORD

Chris Rick’s catch in January tied a state record for crappie that’s been on the books for nearly 15 years. The Jamestown angler reeled in a 3-pound, 4-ounce crappie from Jamestown Reservoir. The record was established in 1998 by Don Newcomb, a Mandan angler who was fishing Lake Oahe.

Record Crappie
 

2012 DEER GUN SEASON SUMMARIZED

North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 34,500 deer during the 2012 deer gun hunting season.

The State Game and Fish Department made available 65,150 deer gun licenses in 2012, and more than 95 percent were issued. Overall hunter success was 63 percent, and each hunter spent an average of 4.4 days in the field.

Randy Kreil, Department wildlife chief, said this past season’s hunter success rate bounced back from an all-time low of 51 percent in 2011. “The 63 percent clip is fairly good, but still below the long-term average of around 70 percent,” he said. “In addition, the number of days spent hunting is still higher than usual, which is expected with lower deer populations.” 

Hunter success for antlered white-tailed deer was 76 percent, and antlerless whitetail was 62 percent.

Mule deer buck success was 81 percent. No mule deer doe licenses were issued in 2012.

Hunters with any-antlered or any-antlerless licenses almost exclusively harvest white-tailed deer. These buck and doe hunters each had a success rate of 64 percent.

The Department is in the process of determining recommendations for licenses in the 2013 deer proclamation, which will go to the governor’s office for approval in late April.


MORE LAKE CONTOUR MAPS ADDED

North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel continue to update or add new fishing waters to the list of available contour maps on the Department’s website.

Jerry Weigel, Department fisheries production and development section leader, said each year data is collected on a few new waters, or existing waters that have experienced significant change. Contour fishing maps are developed from this data to show the layout of the lake, public access and local facilities.

Contour maps recently added to the website are Battle Lake, Eddie County; Buffalo Lake, Pierce County; Coe Lake, Eddy County; Consolidated Lake, Sargent County; Dry Lake, Foster County; Horseshoe Lake, Richland County; Hurdsfield-Tuffy Lake, Wells County; Lueck Lake, Richland County; Marvin Miller, Logan County; New Rockford Reservoir, Eddy County; Ryan Pond, Grand Forks County; Shutte Lake, Rolette County; Silver Creek Dam, Nelson County; and Wahl Lake, Richland County.

Devils Lake Contour Map
 

All contour maps available to date can be found by accessing the fishing link at gf.nd.gov/fishing, then clicking on “fishing waters and access.”


PADDLEFISH SNAGGING SEASON OPENER

North Dakota’s paddlefish snagging season opens May 1 and is scheduled to continue through the end of the month. However, depending on the overall harvest, an early in-season closure may occur with a 36-hour notice issued by the state Game and Fish Department.

Snag-and-release of all paddlefish is required on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Those planning to participate during snag-and-release-only days need to have in their possession a current season, unused paddlefish snagging tag. Use or possession of gaffs is prohibited on snag-and-release-only days, and, if it occurs, during the snag-and-release extension period.

Mandatory harvest of all snagged paddlefish is required on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On these days, all paddlefish caught must be tagged immediately. The use or possession of a gaff hook within one-half mile in either direction of the Highway 200 bridge on the Yellowstone River is illegal at any time during the snagging season.

Legal snagging hours are from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. One tag per snagger will be issued. Snagging is legal in all areas of the Yellowstone River in North Dakota, and in the area of the Missouri River lying west of the U.S. Highway 85 bridge to the Montana border, excluding that portion from the pipeline crossing (river mile 1,577) downstream to the upper end of the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Management Area (river mile 1,565).

If the season closes early because the harvest quota is reached, an extended snag-and-release-only period will be allowed for up to seven days immediately following the early closure, but not to extend beyond May 31. Only snaggers with a current season, unused paddlefish snagging tag are eligible to participate. Only a limited area at the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers is open to this extended season snagging opportunity.

All paddlefish snaggers must possess a paddlefish tag in addition to a valid fishing license and certificate that may be required.


2012 BIGHORN, MOOSE AND ELK HARVESTS

Harvest statistics released by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department show overall hunter success during the 2012 season for bighorn sheep was 100 percent, 93 percent for moose and 62 percent for elk.

The Department issued three bighorn sheep lottery licenses and one auction license. All four hunters harvested a bighorn ram.

The Department issued 143 moose licenses last year. Of that total, 139 hunters harvested 129 animals – 80 bulls and 49 cows/calves. Harvest for each unit follows:

2012 MOOSE HARVEST

UNIT

HUNTERS

BULLS

COW/CALF

SUCCESS RATE

M4

6

0

2

33

M5

5

4

1

100

M6

14

5

8

93

M8

15

15

0

100

M9

30

15

13

93

M10

69

41

25

96

The Department issued 315 elk licenses last year. Of that total, 302 hunters harvested 188 elk – 101 bulls and 85 cows/calves. Harvest for each unit follows:

2012 ELK HARVEST

UNIT

HUNTERS

BULLS

COW/CALF

SUCCESS RATE

E1

67

14

31

69

E2

123

34

44

63

E3

73

37

3

56

E4

38

16

7

61


FISHING AND HUNTING EXPENDITURE REPORT FINALIZED

Fishing and hunting in North Dakota contributed an estimated $1.4 billion in annual input to the state’s economy, according to a report by the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at North Dakota State University.

The report, commissioned by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, tracked hunter and angler expenditures for the 2011-12 hunting and fishing seasons, and is similar to other studies conducted periodically since the late 1970s.

“The last time we commissioned an economic impact study was about 10 years ago,” said Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand. “These studies help alert us to any major shifts in hunter and angler activities or participation.”

Hunting
 

Overall, anglers and hunters in North Dakota spent nearly $643 million on equipment, vehicles, boats, travel, lodging, food and many other items. In addition, these expenditures generated nearly $727 million in secondary economic benefits, gross business volume, secondary employment and state-level tax collections, according to NDSU researchers.

According to the report, resident hunters and anglers accounted for nearly $556 million of total expenditures, while nonresidents contributed about $79 million. Anglers spent $425 million and hunters $217 million.

These direct and indirect expenditures from resident hunters and anglers generated approximately $35 million in state-level tax collection. Nonresidents generated another $5 million.

“We know that hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation are an important quality of life factor for many North Dakotans,” Steinwand said. “This report reinforces the notion that economic activity associated with our outdoors is significant as well.”

Compared to spending in the 2001-02 season, total direct expenditures by resident hunters and anglers increased by about $44 million, and by $4 million for nonresidents.

Complete or executive summaries of the report are available from the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at NDSU, by contacting Edie Nelson at (701) 231-7441 or edie.nelson@ndsu.edu. In addition, these publications can be found online at http://agecon.lib.umn.edu/.


YOUTH GRANT PROGRAM APPLICATION DEADLINE

Wildlife, shooting, civic and fraternal organizations are urged to submit an application for the Encouraging Tomorrow’s Hunters program, a State Game and Fish Department grant program developed to assist in recruitment of the next generation of hunters and shooters.

Grant funds will help cover event expenses, including promotional printing; event memorabilia such as shirts, caps or vests; ammunition and targets, and eye and ear protection.

Past funding has enabled several groups to conduct youth pheasant and waterfowl hunts, while others have sponsored trap and other shooting events, including archery and rifle shooting.

Any club or organization interested in conducting a youth hunting or shooting event can get more information, including a grant application, from the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov, or by contacting outreach biologist Pat Lothspeich at (701) 328-6332.

The deadline to apply for a 2013 grant is April 19.

Youth Grant Program
 

DEER SAMPLES NEGATIVE FOR CWD

Samples taken from North Dakota deer during the 2012 hunting season have all tested negative for chronic wasting disease.

Last fall, samples for CWD testing were taken from more than 1,300 deer harvested by hunters in the western third of the state.

“As always, the success of our surveillance program could not be accomplished without the cooperative efforts of hunters, meat processors and taxidermists,” said Dr. Dan Grove, North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife veterinarian.

Since the Game and Fish Department’s sampling efforts began in 2002, more than 23,000 deer, elk and moose have tested negative for CWD. Three mule deer, one each in 2009, 2010 and 2011, all taken from unit 3F2 in southwestern North Dakota, tested positive. All three were within 15 miles of each other.

The hunter-harvested surveillance program annually collects samples taken from hunter-harvested deer in specific regions of the state. The Game and Fish Department also has a targeted surveillance program that is an ongoing, year-round effort to test animals found dead or sick.

CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.


REPORT BALD EAGLE NEST SIGHTINGS

Even though bald eagle nests in North Dakota are more common today than in the past, the State Game and Fish Department is asking for help in documenting locations.

Sandra Johnson, Game and Fish Department conservation biologist, emphasizes the Department is looking for locations of nests with eagles present, not individual eagle sightings. "March and April is the best time to see an eagle nest, as eagles are actively incubating eggs," Johnson said. "It may become difficult later in spring to see the nest because of leaves beginning to grow on trees." Johnson said it is easy to distinguish an eagle nest because of its enormous size. "They stand out because of the large tree and the size of the nest," she said.

Historically, Johnson said eagle nests were found along the Missouri River. "Now they have been observed in more than half of the counties in the state, mostly near streams and mid- to large-sized lakes, but also in unique areas such as shelterbelts surrounded by cropland or pasture," she said. Johnson estimates the state has around 100 active bald eagle nests, possibly more. Nest observations should be reported to Johnson at (701) 328-6382, or by email at ndgf@nd.gov. Johnson asks observers not to disturb the nest, and to stay away at a safe distance. "It is important not to approach the nest as foot traffic may disturb the bird, likely causing the eagle to leave her eggs unattended," she said.


NORTH DAKOTA RECORD FISH

 

NORTH DAKOTA RECORD FISH

SPECIES

STATE RECORD WEIGHT

WATER

YEAR

NAME

CITY

MINIMUM WHOPPER WEIGHT

MINIMUM CATCH AND RELEASE CLUB

GAME FISH

Tiger Muskellunge

40 lbs.            

Gravel Lake

1975

Marvin Lee

Rolette ND

 25 lbs.

40 Inches

Pure Muskellunge

46 lbs.  8 oz.

New Johns Lake

2007

Cory Bosch

Mandan ND

 25 lbs.

40 Inches

Northern Pike

37 lbs.  8 oz.

Lake Sakakawea

1968

Melvin Slind

Roseglen ND

 20 lbs.

32 Inches

Channel Catfish

42 lbs.  1 oz.

Moon Lake

2009

Tina Willis

West Fargo ND

 12 lbs.

30 Inches

Burbot (Ling)

18 lbs.  4 oz.

Knife River

1984

Orland Kruckenberg

Hazen ND

 8 lbs.

28 Inches

Walleye

15 lbs.  12 oz.

Wood Lake

1959

Blair Chapman

Minnewaukan ND

 8 lbs.

25 Inches

Saugeye

11 lbs.  12 oz.

Lake Sakakawea

1984

David Groth

Williston ND

 8 lbs.

25 Inches

Lake Trout

16 lbs.  6 oz.

Missouri River-Garrison Dam Tailrace

2012

Royce (Pete) Johnston

New Town ND

 5 lbs.

24 Inches

Rainbow Trout

21 lbs.  4 oz.

Missouri River-Garrison Dam Tailrace

1998

Wade Weltz

Anamoose ND

 5 lbs.

21 Inches

Brown Trout

31 lbs.  11 oz.

Missouri River-Garrison Dam Tailrace

2005

Timmy Johansen

Beulah ND

 5 lbs.

21 Inches

Cutthroat Trout

10 lbs.  1 oz.

Missouri River-Garrison Dam Tailrace

2003

Chris Vernon

Bismarck ND

 5 lbs.

21 Inches

Sauger

8 lbs.  12 oz.

Lake Sakakawea

1971

Mike Fischer

Chaseley ND

 4 lbs.

20 Inches

Largemouth Bass

8 lbs.  8 oz.

Nelson Lake

1983

Leon Rixen

Minot ND

 5 lbs.

18 Inches

White Bass

4 lbs.  10 oz.

Devils Lake

2012

Charlie Vang

Brooklyn Park MN

 3 lbs.

16 Inches

Smallmouth Bass

6 lbs.  13 oz.

Lake Darling

2007

Bruce Elberg

Burlington ND

 3 lbs.

16 Inches

Yellow Perch

2 lbs.  15 oz.

Devils Lake

1982

Kyle Smith

Carrington ND

 1 lb. 12 oz.

13 Inches

Crappie (tie)

3 lbs.  4 oz.

Lake Oahe

1998

Don Newcomb

Mandan ND

 1 lb.  8 oz.

13 Inches

Crappie (tie)

3 lbs.  4 oz.

Jamestown Reservoir

2013

Chris Rick

Jamestown ND

1 lb.  8 oz.

13 Inches

Bluegill

2 lbs.  12 oz.

Strawberry Lake

1963

Budd Hystad

Velva ND

 1 lb.  8 oz.

11 Inches

Paddlefish

130 lbs.            

Upper Missouri River-Confluence Area

2010

Alex Mergen

Black Hawk SD

 70 lbs.

 

Chinook Salmon

31 lbs.  2 oz.

Missouri River-Garrison Dam Tailrace

1986

Thomas Schwartz

Beulah ND

 12 lbs.

 

NONGAME FISH

Common Carp

31 lbs.            

Sheyenne River

2003

Austin Loberg

Thompson ND

 15 lbs.

 

Bigmouth Buffalo

54 lbs.

Heart Butte Tailrace

2011

Keith Huschka

Dickinson ND

 15 lbs.

 

Freshwater Drum

26 lbs.  2 oz.

Lake Sakakawea-Bear Den Bay

1988

Larry Harris

Sidney MT

 6 lbs.

 

Lake Whitefish

8 lbs.  11 oz.

Missouri River-Garrison Dam Tailrace

1984

Bill Mitzel

Bismarck ND

 4 lbs.

 

Goldeye

3 lbs.  13 oz.

New Johns Lake

1998

Craig Unser

Mandan ND

 2 lbs.

 

Black Bullhead

4 lbs.  1 oz.

Devils Lake

1988

Riley Zavada

Wolford ND

 2 lbs.

 

Cisco

2 lbs.  8 oz.

Missouri River-Garrison Dam Tailrace

2000

Tylor\Scott Jr Borup

Pick City ND

 1 lb. 12 oz.

 

North Dakota State Record Requirements:

  • All recognized fish must be harvested by legal methods for recreational fishing and come from North Dakota waters that are open for public fishing.
  • All new state record fish must be weighed on a scale used commercially and certified by the North Dakota Public Service Commission or an equivalent authoritative agency in other states or Canadian provinces.
  • All weights must be rounded to the nearest ounce.
  • In the presence of an employee of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, the actual fish (not pictures) must be visually verified within 90 days of the catch.
  • Angler must thoroughly complete and submit to the Department a Whopper card application (Whopper Club Application) or a hand-written or typed note with all similar information.
  • A recognizable photo of the fish must be furnished to the Department.
  • A fin sample may be required/collected for some species for genetic analysis.