It's human nature to look for available information and tips when it comes to finding spots to fish and learning what might or might not work to catch them. Many anglers have invested much time and energy into essentially scouting and learning about a fishery. Now, there's another tool available for North Dakota waters that will add to maps, everything electronic, and word-of-mouth or online fishing rumors/reports.
When we think about proper catch and release of fish, we often think of stressed fish in warm water during the dog-days of August. Most anglers who choose release fish they catch, or may be required by law—for instance, undersized fish on waters where length regulations exist — take great pride in not causing undo harm or delay so the fish is released safely. One of the important points to consider for catch and release, which is just as relevant during winter as it is in summer, is whether to release fish caught from deep water.
Two biggest concerns for the future of North Dakota outdoors were really not even on the radar in North Dakota less than 20 years ago. While we've known about chronic wasting disease and zebra mussels it wasn't until the last 10 years they were documented in North Dakota.
Did you know it's been nearly 20 years since the North Dakota Game and Fish Department has required licensing of ice fishing houses/shelters? While most young hard-water anglers don't remember that provision, I still get questions from time to time about fish house licensing.
Hunters and anglers may not realize how important they are to fisheries and wildlife management. While most of us understand the role that license fees, plus excise taxes on hunting and angling equipment, play in supporting fish and wildlife management programs, the information we provide about our time afield and on the water is also of great value to agencies like the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. And this time of year, as hunting seasons are ending, is prime time for the agency to find out what hunters experienced.
I've been typing and talking about the epic expansion of fisheries in North Dakota since the current wet cycle began in the early 1990s. Since this fortuitous natural phenomenon began 25 years ago, North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists have stocked millions of walleyes into more than 50 prairie fisheries that now cover more than 61,000 acres. Many of these waters had no fish when the wet cycle first started.
When it comes to conversations about hunting and fishing, it's pretty easy to understand when someone relates they caught a 5-pound walleye or brought home a limit of roosters. For me, those references bring to mind a stream of different fish and fowl I've seen, caught or shot for a comparative point of reference. There's something about a number which we can all relate to. A limit, a size both are pretty easy to create a mental image of what is being related.
While North Dakota's 2018 deer gun season continues through Nov. 25, it still generates a fair amount of questions and conversation preseason, midseason and postseason. First off, this year's deer hunting season did open later than what a lot of people think is normal. The traditional deer opener for more than three decades has been the Friday before Nov. 11. That means the range for the deer opener, based on this rotating standardized approach, is Nov. 4-10.
Every year, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department receives questions from deer hunters who want to clarify rules and regulations. Some common questions are listed below. Hunters with further questions are encouraged to call the Game and Fish Department at (701) 328-6300 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, or access the hunting link at the department's website, gf.nd.gov. What licenses do I need for deer gun season?
I grew up with the mindset that game wardens were busy during hunting season, wildlife biologists surveyed the birds and big game animals, and the busy time of year for fisheries biologists was spring and summer when spawning and stocking took place.