Mike McFeely / Forum News Service
VALLEY CITY, N.D. — Zebra mussels have been confirmed in Lake Ashtabula near here, according to a press release from the North Dakota Department of Game and Fish. Lake Ashtabula is the first North Dakota lake in which the invasive species have been discovered. Adult zebra mussels were discovered in the Red River in 2015. Zebra mussels, native to the Black and Caspian seas of western Asia and eastern Europe, multiply rapidly and quickly change the makeup of lakes because they filter water. The fingernail-sized mussels can cause damage to native fish, plant and mussel species.
OK, I admit it. This grizzled columnist with a charcoal briquette for a heart has a soft spot for a college basketball coach. Saul Phillips, you're all right. That's why I was hoping the former North Dakota State men's coach would get the head coaching gig at the University of North Dakota that instead went to Northern State's Paul Sather. Having Saul playing the Bison twice a year in the Summit League and perhaps in the postseason tournament? Too much fun. It would've been like Robin Williams on steroids.
FARGO — Fishing and hunting remain economic powerhouses in North Dakota, a $2.1 billion industry that continues to grow despite sizable drops in hunters pursuing deer, pheasants and ducks. The ballooning of dollars being spent on outdoors activities can be attributed to anglers, who are greater in number and spend more money than ever before. How sportsmen (particularly anglers) choose to use this information, if at all, will be interesting to watch in the coming years.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — Jay Breckheimer seems to be a lonely voice in the fight over Devils Lake's water. The fishing guide is an outspoken advocate for keeping the lake as high as possible, contradicting most who speak out on the issue. Farmers and many in positions of authority in the North Dakota lakes region want the flooded Devils Lake lowered to uncover agricultural land. "The landowners have spoken loud and clear and have stood up for their livelihoods and way of life. Who can blame them?" said Breckheimer, who works with Bry's Guide Service.
Don't call the bigmouth buffalo a "rough fish," a common and derisive moniker slapped on species viewed as less desirable than the sainted walleye and other hotly pursued fish. "They are amazing," said Alec Lackmann, a North Dakota State University researcher in the Department of Biological Sciences. "They are one of the most exceptional freshwater fish species in the world." Lackmann would know. He led an NDSU team that unearthed this amazing fact: Bigmouth buffalo can live to be more than 100 years old, making them the oldest age-validated freshwater fish in the world.
FARGO — The Washington Post recently ran an article pointing out that Kevin Cramer , a North Dakota U.S.
North Dakota Game and Fish director Terry Steinwand admits his department jumped the gun when it declared Tom Volk's lunker walleye a state record. The ensuing controversy about whether Volk caught the fish legally or foul-hooked it was a statewide story that led to the Lincoln, N.D., angler being heavily criticized on social media. So, Steinwand said Tuesday, May 21, Game and Fish is instituting a new process when it comes to declaring state-record fish.
You could call it the "shaking hands and kissing babies" clause, one supposes.
Remember those halcyon days when North Dakota Republicans and their media friends pretended to be mortified that dirty, low-down liberals would try to submarine Mark Kennedy's appointment as University of Colorado system president based on the inescapable fact that the current University of North Dakota leader is a conservative Republican? Remember when I, bastion of knowledge, helpfully pointed out that politics are an open and encouraged part of Colorado higher education because citizens run for the CU system Board of Regents as Democrats or Republicans?
MANDAN, N.D. -- Tom Volk is enjoying his time as the person who caught the biggest walleye in North Dakota history. He's fielding the phone calls, seeing the media stories, reading the messages via email, text and Facebook. There's a reason why the 41-year-old is soaking in the moment, despite the craziness that was happening to start the week. He doesn't believe his time at the top will last long.