North Dakota’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.
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.
“The study is designed to assess walleye movements, mortality and what proportion of the walleye population is harvested annually by anglers,” Bailey said.
More than 600 waterfowl carcasses discovered at Nelson Lake in Oliver County in March are a result of avian cholera, a bacteria that is readily spread in areas where waterfowl congregate in large numbers.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is once again celebrating Earth Day by sponsoring clean-up days on public-owned or managed lands.
With Earth Day recognized April 22, each member of a school, Girl Scout, Boy Scout, 4-H club or youth organization who participates in cleaning up public lands through May will receive a specifically designed conservation patch.
Nearly 550 archers registered to compete in the North Dakota National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament March 21-22 in Minot.
Winning back-to-back titles in the high school (grades 9-12) and middle school (grades 7-8) divisions were Hankinson and Wahpeton. Taking top honors in the elementary school (grades 4-6) division was Hankinson.
Overall male and female winners were Spencer Brockman of North Sargent and defending champion Lisa Buckhaus of Hankinson.
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 year’s conditions, he doesn’t anticipate major widespread fish kills.
The next guide and outfitter written examination is May 16 at 1 p.m. at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department office in Bismarck. The test is given periodically to anyone interested in becoming a hunting guide or outfitter in the state.
In addition to passing a written exam, qualifications for becoming a guide include a background check for criminal and game and fish violations; certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and standard first aid; and employment by or contract with a licensed hunting outfitter.
Two mule deer taken during the 2014 deer gun season from unit 3F2 in southwestern North Dakota have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to Dr. Dan Grove, wildlife veterinarian for the State Game and Fish Department.
The total now stands at seven deer to test positive for CWD since 2009, and all were from the same general area within unit 3F2.
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.
A total of 43,500 North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 26,300 deer during the 2014 deer gun hunting season.
The State Game and Fish Department made available 48,000 deer gun licenses in 2014, and all licenses were issued. Overall hunter success was 60 percent, with each hunter spending an average of 4.4 days in the field.
Hunter success for antlered white-tailed deer was 60 percent, and antlerless whitetail was 56 percent.
Jack Fletcher’s catch on Feb. 28 broke a state record for cisco that was established nearly 15 years ago.
The Fargo angler reeled in a 2-pound, 9-ounce cisco from Beaver Bay, Lake Oahe, breaking the old record by 1 ounce.
The previous record was held since 2000 by two family members from Pick City, Tylor and Scott Borup Jr., who each reeled in a 2-pound, 8-ounce cisco from the Garrison Dam Tailrace on the same day.
Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend a North Dakota Game and Fish Department spring advisory board meeting in their area.
These public meetings, held each spring and fall, provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisors and agency personnel.
The governor appoints eight Game and Fish Department advisors, each representing a multi-county section of the state, to serve as a liaison between the department and public.