North Dakota’s initial State Wildlife Action Plan from 2005 has been updated and is available for public comment by visiting the State Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.
The primary focus of the current strategy is to address North Dakota’s 100 Species of Conservation Priority, developed a decade ago as the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.
Anglers are reminded that fathead minnows, sticklebacks, and creek chubs are the only legal live baitfish species that can be used in most North Dakota waters.
The only exceptions are the Red and Bois de Sioux rivers where white suckers are allowed, and 23 state waters where it is illegal to use any live baitfish.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries chief Greg Power said for years the department has worked with the wholesale and retail bait industry to help ensure anglers are buying clean and legal minnows at their local bait shops.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has removed the open fire ban on the Oahe Wildlife Management Area effective immediately. However, the area still falls under any burn restrictions implemented by Morton and Burleigh counties.
Open fires, including campfires, were prohibited this spring on Game and Fish managed property south of Bismarck and Mandan along both sides of the Missouri River.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding parents to capture their little angler’s first catch on a specially designed First Fish certificate.
First Fish has no qualifying weights or measurements. The only requirement is the successful landing of a North Dakota fish. Certificates are available to all who request them, and have ample room for all the important information, such as name, age, lake and a short fish story, plus a blank space for a photograph big enough to contain the smile of the happiest little angler.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department and Townsquare Media are sponsoring the Missouri River SPLASH – a recreation and boating safety event for everyone who enjoys the Missouri River.
The event is Thursday, May 21 in Mandan from 3-6 p.m. at Moritz Sport and Marine. Displays, hands-on activities, demonstrations, regulations, registrations and prizes are included.
The event is free, and people of all ages are invited to attend.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department announced today that the state's 2015 regular paddlefish snagging season will close at 10 p.m. Central Daylight Time, Monday, May 11, to protect the population level of the fish. Snaggers are reminded that Monday is a snag-and-release only day.
North Dakota’s 2015 deer season is set, with 43,275 licenses available to hunters this fall, 4,725 fewer than last year, and the lowest number since 1978.
Jeb Williams, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said deer populations remain well below management objectives in most units, and continuing a conservative management approach is needed to help with recovery efforts.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has scheduled an examination to select candidates for the position of district game warden. The test is at 10 a.m., July 17, at the department's main office in Bismarck.
Applicants must register to take the exam no later than July 13, by submitting an online application through the North Dakota State Job Openings website.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department tracked 23 outdoors-related bills during the 2015 legislative session, 12 of which were passed by both chambers and signed into law. The following bills take effect this year, unless otherwise noted.
Moose and Elk Lotteries Held
North Dakota’s moose and elk lottery results are available online at the State Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.
Results from North Dakota’s spring sage grouse survey indicate the number of strutting males observed remains well below management objectives. Therefore, the sage grouse hunting season will remain closed in 2015.
Aaron Robinson, North Dakota Game and Fish Department upland game bird biologist, said biologists counted a record low 30 males on six active strutting grounds. Last year, 31 males were counted on the same leks in the southwest.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department completed its annual spring mule deer survey in April, and results indicate western North Dakota’s mule deer population has increased 24 percent from last year.
Bruce Stillings, big game supervisor, said the increase is a result of less severe winters the past couple of years, no harvest of antlerless mule deer during the past three deer hunting seasons, and improved fawn production. The 2015 index is 16 percent higher than the long-term average.