Blake Riewer, North Dakota Game and Fish Department district game warden stationed in Grand Forks, is the state’s 2015 Wildlife Officer of the Year. Riewer was honored recently by the Shikar-Safari Club International, a private conservation organization that annually recognizes outstanding wildlife officers in each state.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand recently honored a number of employees with performance-based awards. Steinwand presented the following awards at the department’s annual staff meeting Dec. 10.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will hold a public hearing to address proposed rule changes to North Dakota Administrative Code Title 30. The hearing is scheduled for 1:15 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12 at the agency’s main office in Bismarck.
The purpose and explanation of the proposed rule change is as follows:
The Coyote Catalog, a statewide effort designed to connect coyote hunters and trappers with landowners who are dealing with coyotes in their areas, is open for the winter.
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 year is if campers qualify as legal fish houses. The answer is the same for any structure taken on the ice – if it’s left unattended, it must be able to float; if it’s not able to float, it must be removed when the angler leaves the ice.
Other fish house regulations include:
Mountain lion hunting during the late season in Zone 1 is closed immediately. The zone’s late-season quota of seven was filled after the final cat was taken today.
Two Bismarck anglers were rescued from a Kidder County lake last night, after they couldn’t get back to shore because the ice had heaved and melted away from the shoreline.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department district game warden Greg Hastings, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service warden Ben Cleghorn, and Stutsman County sheriff’s deputy Damian Hoyt used an air boat to reach the stranded anglers and transport them back to shore.
North Dakota anglers are encouraged to refer to the 2014-16 North Dakota Fishing Guide or the State Game and Fish Department’s website for winter fishing regulations.
In addition, anglers can visit the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, for an extensive list of fishing questions and answers.
Some winter fishing regulations include:
To help North Dakota hunters prepare for hunting seasons in 2016, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department annually provides its best estimate for opening dates for the coming year.
Dates become official when approved by governor’s proclamation. Tentative opening dates for 2016 include:
North Dakota waterfowl hunters are reminded the statewide duck and white-fronted goose seasons close Dec. 6. However, duck hunting in the high plains unit reopens Dec. 12 and continues through Jan. 3, 2016.
In addition, the season for Canada geese closes Dec. 24, except for the Missouri River Zone, which closes Jan. 1, 2016. Light goose hunting closes statewide Jan. 3, 2016.
North Dakota continues to produce a record number of anglers, and many are anxious to get on the ice and enjoy a favorite pastime. With that in mind, winter anglers are reminded to consider ice conditions before traveling onto and across North Dakota waters.
State Game and Fish Department enforcement chief Robert Timian said this winter should provide plenty of opportunities for anglers, as long as Mother Nature cooperates.
Students interested in taking a hunter education class in 2016 should visit the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov for a statewide list of courses. Many classes will be added over the next several weeks, and the rest will be added throughout the year as they are finalized.