Process handled poorly
We all know the old saying: Never assume anything because you'll make ... well, you know the rest of it. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department found that out firsthand recently. A rule change regarding the draining of livewells and baitwells ...
We all know the old saying: Never assume anything because you'll make ... well, you know the rest of it.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department found that out firsthand recently.
A rule change regarding the draining of livewells and baitwells from all watercraft was published in the 2010 North Dakota Fishing Guide, and it was written as if the change was already approved and in effect.
But because of a missed deadline necessary to get the rule change on the agenda of a legislative committee, the proposal remains just that, a proposal. The department did make mention of the situation in a press release issued Monday.
Greg Power, fisheries division chief for the Game and Fish, said the department had to meet a deadline to print 120,000 fishing guides, and included the new rule because it was expected and assumed that it would be approved by the time the guides were distributed. It was not.
The new rule is expected to be approved by the Legislative Management Committee and would take effect Oct. 1, although the issue has been somewhat contentious among fishermen because it means they would no longer be allowed to transport fish or bait from a lake or river to their home in a livewell with water, even if the distance traveled is a mere block or two. All water would have to be drained from watercraft before removing the craft from the body of water.
While the proposal is not law yet, officials are encouraging anglers to begin following the practice anyway.
The rule is probably a good one to implement, as states guard against the possibility of invasive species migrating from one body of water to another or from one state to another. But the department's handling of the change in law has been, well, kind of fishy.