Anglers Asked to Report Winterkill
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries
biologists are asking anglers for help in
documenting lakes that may have experienced winter
Fisheries management section leader Scott Gangl said some winterkill is expected every year, with the severity depending on winter weather conditions.
“We had a colder than average winter, but we had normal to below-normal snow cover,” Gangl said. “Therefore, we don’t anticipate major widespread winterkill, which is good news given the record number of fishing waters in the state. However, some of the smaller lakes where we periodically see winterkill will likely experience some die-offs.”
Gangl said this is the one of the busiest times of the year for fisheries crews, therefore Game and Fish staff might not get to every lake right at ice out. “That’s why it’s important for anglers to report fish die-offs so our crews can follow up on it,” he added.
Biologists will begin sampling suspected winterkill lakes later this spring once fish spawning operations are completed to document the severity of any die-offs.
Anglers can report fish mortality to a local Game and Fish Department district office.
Camping Restrictions on Some WMAs
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will
continue to implement camping restrictions on some
wildlife management areas in western North Dakota
and along Lake Sakakawea.
Overnight camping is prohibited on the following WMAs: Antelope Creek, Lewis and Clark, Big Oxbow, Ochs Point, Neu’s Point (except campers accessing by boat, and only at the point area), Overlook, Sullivan and Tobacco Garden in McKenzie County; Van Hook in Mountrail County; and Hofflund and Trenton in Williams County.
Lewis and Clark WMA is closed from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise unless users are legally engaged in fishing, hunting or trapping. However, camping is allowed for paddlefish snaggers at the pumphouse area and at Neu’s at the point by boat access. Glass bottles are prohibited.
In addition, the following WMAs are closed to camping on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but open to camping Thursday-Monday: North Lemmon Lake in Adams County; Bull Creek in Billings County; Alkali Creek and Spring Creek in Bowman County; Smishek Lake and Short Creek Dam in Burke County; Harris M. Baukol in Divide County; Killdeer Mountains in Dunn County; Camels Hump Lake in Golden Valley County; Indian Creek in Hettinger County; Audubon, Custer Mine, Deepwater Creek, deTrobriand, Douglas Creek and Wolf Creek in McLean County; Beaver Creek and Hille in Mercer County; Storm Creek in Morton County; Cedar Lake and Speck Davis Pond in Slope County; and McGregor Dam in Williams County.
On those WMAs where camping is allowed Thursday through Monday, all equipment must be removed on Tuesday and Wednesdays when camping is not allowed.
The rules ensure these areas are available for hunters and anglers. Camping restrictions at all WMAs are posted at entry points.
NASP State Tournament Results
More than 500 archers registered to compete in the
North Dakota National Archery in the Schools Program
state tournament April 11-12 in Bismarck.
Jeff Long, NASP coordinator for the State Game and Fish Department, said: “This program continues to grow every year, and all three winning teams committed to go to the national tournament, along with at least three of the top individuals,” Long said, while noting 517 registered this year, up more than 20 percent from last year.
The national tournament is May 9-10 in Louisville, Ky. The Game and Fish Department and North Dakota Bowhunters Association contribute a total of $3,000 in travel assistance to the first place team in each division, and $1,000 to the overall male and female individual winner.
The high school (grades 9-12) state championship team was from Hankinson, the middle school (grades 7-8) champs were from Wahpeton and taking top honors in the elementary school (grades 4-6) division was Wilton.
Overall male and female winners were Kyle Andres of Medina and Lisa Buckhaus of Hankinson. Top elementary winners were Austin Bladow of Hankinson and Grace Neameyer of Mt. Pleasant.
The top five place winners in each division were:
High school boys – 1) Andres; 2) Spencer Brockman, North Sargent; 3) James Nadeau, Dunseith; 4) Isaac Poitra, Dunseith; 5) Dominic Bendickson, Griggs County Central.
High school girls – 1) Buckhaus, Hankinson; 2) Hunter Schroeder, Dunseith; 3) Deena Monson, Griggs County Central; 4) Ashlynn Stirling, Hankinson; 5) Danielle Schuler, Wilton; 5) Theresia Thompson, Hankinson.
Middle school boys – 1) Dawson McKeever, North Sargent; 2) Race Kath, Hankinson; 3) Michael McKenna, North Sargent; 4) Eric Salvesen, Griggs County Central; 5) Dylan Pearson, Wahpeton.
Middle school girls – 1) Alicia Biewer, Hankinson; 2) Kate Loewen, Hankinson; 3) Olivia Waswick, North Sargent; 4) Kailee Klein, Wahpeton; 5) Mary Goroski, Wahpeton.
Elementary boys – 1) Bladow; 2) Ryan Kath, Hankinson; 3) Gage Schuh, Wilton; 4) Tavon Stadler, Griggs County Central; 5) Malachi Appel, Twin Buttes; 5) Brayden Wehseler, North Sargent.
Elementary girls – 1) Neameyer; 2) Kinley Hetletved, Wilton; 3) Taryn Schurhamer, Wilton; 4) Melonie Lee, Barnes County North; 5) Lauryn Hibl, Wahpeton.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is
prohibiting open burning this spring on property
managed south of Bismarck and Mandan, as a means to
reduce potential for wildfires on a heavily wooded
recreation area along the Missouri River.
Bill Haase, wildlife resource management supervisor, said all open burning, including campfires, is banned until further notice on the Oahe Wildlife Management Area along both sides of the Missouri River. Haase said these woodlands are prone to wildfires prior to spring green-up.
"The combination of mild temperatures and a high fuel load in the river bottoms is of concern," Haase said. "In addition, it is an area of high use by anglers, campers and other outdoor recreationists."
Oahe WMA covers more than 16,000 acres along Lake Oahe south of Bismarck-Mandan, in portions of Burleigh, Emmons, and Morton counties. Burning restriction signs are posted at all entrances to the WMA.
BIG GAME HUNTING APPLICATION DEADLINES
Big Game applications anticipated May-June 2014
Deer: Non-resident archery March 1st
Elk: March 15th
Deer: March 15th
Antelope: June 2
Bear: April 14th
Moose: May 1st
Bighorn Sheep: May 1st
Mountain Goats: May 1st
Bison: May 1st
Big Game: April 1st
Elk-Deer-Bear-Moose-Antelope-Bighorn Sheep-Mountain Goats
Moose, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat and Bison Applications: February 28
Elk: drawing is past
Deer, Elk, Antelope, Bighorn Sheep, Oryx, Ibex, Javelina: March 19
Deer: September 15
Bear: May 2
Elk: June 13
Camp Ripley Archery: August 15
Bighorn Sheep-Mountain Goats-Moose: April 30
Elk-Deer-Fall Bear-Antelope-Fall Turkey: June 5
Mountain Lion Zone 1 Early Season Quota - 2 of 14
Mountain lion hunting during the late season in zone
1 is closed immediately. The zone’s late-season
quota of seven was filled after five cats were taken
Zone 1 includes land south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.
The mountain lion season in zone 2, which is the rest of the state outside zone 1, has no quota and is open through March 31, 2014.
Zone 1: Early season (firearms and archery equipment) - 2013
Opens: Aug. 30
Closes: Nov. 24 (or when zone quota is reached)
*Zone Quota: 14
Daily Limit: Season limit of 1 per hunter
Firearms and archery equipment - 2013
Opens: Aug. 30
Closes: March. 31, 2014
Daily Limit: Season limit of 1 per hunter
Zone 1: Late season (firearms, archery equipment, or pursuit
with dogs) - 2013
Opens: Nov. 25
Closes: March 31, 2014 (or when zone quota is reached)
Zone Quota: 7
Daily Limit: Season limit of 1 per hunter
*Animals taken to date (updated 12/15/2013) - 7 of 7
Coyote Catalog Available for Hunters, Landowners
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the
North Dakota Game and Fish Department have reopened
the Coyote Catalog to connect coyote hunters and
trappers with landowners who want fewer coyotes in
The Coyote Catalog is an online database similar to the one the Game and Fish Department uses to connect deer hunters with farmers and ranchers.
“We’ve had a lot of success matching deer hunters with landowners,” said NDGF Director Terry Steinwand. “We hope the Coyote Catalog works out just as well.”
NDDA officials estimate livestock producers in North Dakota lost more than $1 million last year to coyotes. At the same time, coyotes are a popular furbearer species for hunters and trappers.
“I encourage landowners, especially farmers and ranchers who have problems with coyote depredation, to sign up for the Coyote Catalog,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Hunting and trapping are valuable tools in managing these predators.”
Goehring and Steinwand said the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services should be the first contact for landowners experiencing coyote depredation of livestock.
Landowners can sign up on the NDDA website at www.nd.gov/ndda/coyote-catalog. Required information includes county and contact information.
Hunters and trappers can sign up at the NDGF website at www.gf.nd.gov.
Periodically throughout the winter, hunters or trappers will receive information on participating landowners, and they can then contact landowners to make arrangements.
Although the Coyote Catalog does not guarantee a good match for every participating landowner or hunter, Goehring and Steinwand said it has great potential to focus hunting or trapping pressure in areas where farmers and ranchers are experiencing coyote depredation problems.
Anyone who registered for the Coyote Catalog in the past must register again to activate their names on the database.
The Coyote Catalog will remain active through March 31, and then start up again next winter.
Second Deer Lottery Held, Remaining License Sales Suspended
North Dakota’s second deer lottery has been held and
individual results are available on the State Game
and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.
While slightly more than 1,000 antlerless deer licenses were still available after the second lottery, all of them are in units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F in the southwestern part of the state, where Game and Fish is receiving ongoing reports of white-tailed deer mortality caused by epizootic hemorrhagic disease.
As such, Game and Fish administration has decided to not issue those remaining licenses. “The decision is based on previous years’ experience where moderate to significant white-tailed deer losses were documented in situations similar to this year,” said wildlife chief Randy Kreil.
In addition, Kreil said the likelihood of an extended fall, and possible continuation of EHD losses was also a factor in the decision. “While we first received reports of isolated deer deaths in August, loss of deer to this disease appears to have extended into September, and depending on the weather, may continue into October,” Kreil added, noting that the area of reported white-tailed deer deaths to EHD covers Bowman to Bismarck.
In 2011, deer deaths from EHD occurred well into October, and prompted Game and Fish to offer refunds to license holders in several southwestern units. Kreil said it’s too early to tell whether this year’s EHD episode is significant enough to warrant a similar action, and the agency will wait until after opening weekend of pheasant season to determine whether refunds would be an option. “In the past,” Kreil added, “it has been helpful to gauge the scope and intensity of an EHD situation when there are thousands of hunters in the field in EHD areas, who might observe dead deer along waterways.”
EHD, a naturally occurring virus that is spread by a biting midge, is almost always fatal to infected white-tailed deer, while mule deer do not usually die from the disease. Hunters do not have to worry about handling or consuming meat from infected deer because the virus that causes EHD is not known to cause disease in humans. In addition, the first hard freeze typically kills the midge that carries and transfers the EHD virus which will slow or halt the spread of the disease.
Deer Lottery Held, Antlerless Licenses Remain
More than 3,200 antlerless deer gun licenses remain. A total of 44,000 applicants were unsuccessful. Only resident applicants who were unsuccessful in the first lottery can apply for remaining licenses.
An option to apply online will be available Aug. 7. Paper applications will be mailed to individuals Aug. 12. The deadline for applying is Sept. 4.
Remaining Deer Gun Licenses
(B = Any Antlerless D = Antlerless Whitetail)
Hunters Advised to Check Water Conditions
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department advises
hunters to be cautious with their dogs around water
this time of year, due to potential health hazards
associated with blue-green algae.
Dr. Dan Grove, wildlife veterinarian for the Game and Fish Department, said late summer and early fall offer prime conditions for blue-green algae growth in many state waters. Ingestion by a hunting dog while perhaps retrieving a bird during the early goose season, or just practicing retrieving, can lead to severe illness and potential death.
“Conditions are right this year for stagnant water to become contaminated, especially with all of the rainfall that has occurred,” Grove said.
Potentially toxic algae blooms occur under conditions of hot, dry weather. Shallow, stagnant water with moderate to high nutrient content provides an optimum environment for algal growth. Water or wind movements often concentrate the algae, and eventually the bloom appears as a blue-green “scum” floating on the water’s surface. The threat disappears once the weather turns colder.
“Hunting dogs shouldn’t drink or swim in discolored water or where algal blooms are apparent,” Grove said. “If dogs retrieve in these conditions, they should be rinsed off immediately and shouldn’t be allowed to lick their coat.”
For additional information about the effects of blue-green algae blooms on hunting dogs, contact the Animal Health Division, North Dakota Department of Agriculture, at (701) 328-2655; or a local veterinarian.
2013 Waterfowl Regulations Set
North Dakota’s 2013 waterfowl season has been set,
with noteworthy changes including an increase in the
daily limit of Canada and snow geese, and the
possession limit for most migratory birds.
Opening day for North Dakota residents is Sept. 21 for ducks, geese, coots and mergansers. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota Sept. 28. The season for swans opens Sept. 28 for both residents and nonresidents.
Hunters may take six ducks per day with the following restrictions: five mallards of which two may be hens, three wood ducks, three scaup, two redheads, two pintails and two canvasbacks. The daily limit of five mergansers may include no more than two hooded mergansers. For ducks and mergansers, the possession limit is three times the daily limit.
The hunting season for Canada geese in the Missouri River zone will close Dec. 27, while the remainder of the state will close Dec. 21. The season for whitefronts closes Dec. 1, while the season on light geese is open through Dec. 29. Shooting hours for all geese are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Nov. 2. Beginning Nov. 3, shooting hours are extended until 2 p.m. each day.
Extended shooting hours for all geese are permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on Saturdays and Wednesdays through Nov. 27, and on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from Nov. 30 through the end of each season.
The bag limit for Canada geese during the regular season is eight daily and 24 in possession, except in the Missouri River zone where the limit is five daily and 15 in possession.
The daily limit on whitefronts is two with six in possession, and light goose is 50 daily, with no possession limit.
The special youth waterfowl hunting season is Sept. 14-15. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents 15 years of age or younger can hunt ducks, coots, mergansers and geese statewide. Youth hunters must have a general game and habitat license and a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. A licensed adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the youth hunter into the field.
Nonresidents have the option of buying either a statewide waterfowl license or one with zone restrictions. Nonresidents who designate zones 1 or 2 may hunt that zone for only one seven-day period during the season. Nonresident hunters who chose to hunt in zone 1 or 2 and wish to use the full 14 consecutive days allowed, must use the other seven days in zone 3. Hunters in zone 3 can hunt that zone the entire 14 days.
In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas or conservation PLOTS (Private Land Open To Sportsmen) areas from Oct. 12-18.
All migratory bird hunters, including waterfowl, must register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting. Hunters purchasing a license from the Game and Fish Department can easily get a HIP number. Otherwise, hunters must call (888) 634-4798, or log on to the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov, provide the registration information, and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Those who HIP registered to hunt this spring’s light goose season or early fall Canada goose season do not have to register again, as it is required only once per year.
The waterfowl rest areas previously established in Barnes and Nelson counties have been eliminated.
Hunters should refer to the 2013 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide for further details on the waterfowl season. Paper copies will be at license vendors in early September.
NDGF Concerned about Possible Corps Land Transfer
Officials at the State Game and Fish Department are
concerned that a potential transfer of U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers land around Lake Sakakawea would
include thousands of acres of public land managed
for fish, wildlife and recreation, and would
jeopardize free access to numerous boat ramps within
the middle third of the reservoir.
Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand says the Corps is apparently reconsidering a 2004 request to transfer all Corps land above 1,854 feet mean sea level within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, to be held in trust for the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.
The Game and Fish Department leases from the Corps and manages for wildlife approximately 7,000 acres within the proposed area, including Van Hook and Deepwater Creek wildlife management areas. In addition, more than 29,000 acres of Corps land that is currently open to public hunting and fishing could also be transferred.
“Our major concern about this development,” Steinwand said, “is the loss of public land for hunters and anglers, which is currently managed by the Game and Fish Department and the Corps of Engineers.”
Over several decades since Game and Fish began leasing Corps land around Lake Sakakawea for wildlife management purposes, Steinwand said the agency has invested more than a million dollars in sportsmen’s money in portions of those areas that would be included in a land transfer. While Game and Fish would retain leases and public access on land below 1,854 msl, Steinwand added that access to those remaining areas could become more difficult.
“This is a critical issue for hunters and anglers in the state,” Steinwand said. “It’s important that the Corps considers further public input before making a decision on any potential land transfer.”
Remaining Fall Turkey Licenses Available Sept. 27
The 2013 fall wild turkey lottery has been held and
more than 930 licenses remain in seven units.
Unsuccessful applicants who applied online will have
a refund issued directly to their credit card.
Beginning Sept. 27, all remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters are allowed a maximum of 15 licenses for the fall season.
Resident and nonresident hunters will be able to apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will also be available at license vendors.
The fall turkey season runs from Oct. 12 – Jan. 5, 2014.
Licenses remain for the following units: Unit 03, Benson and Ramsey counties and a portion of Pierce County, 40 licenses; Unit 13, Dunn County, 181; Unit 25, McHenry County and portions of Pierce and Ward counties, 335; Unit 30, a portion of Morton County, 92; Unit 31, Mountrail County, 35; Unit 45, Stark County, 97; and Unit 51, Burke County and portions of Renville, Bottineau and Ward counties, 153.
Fall Turkey Season Set
North Dakota’s fall turkey season is set, and online
and paper applications will be available mid-August.
The deadline for applying is Sept. 4.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the State Game and Fish Department, said 4,020 licenses are available to hunters, 125 fewer than last year. According to Kohn, the slight decline in licenses is a result of four years of poor production, and poor recruitment of young into the population because of wet, cool springs.
“The decrease in the number of licenses is consistent with our management strategy of reducing licenses when the population warrants protection or when turkey numbers have fallen below normal levels within a unit,” Kohn said. “If turkey production is exceptionally good this year, an additional 1,300 licenses may be used early this fall in specific hunting units.”
An experimental hunting season will continue for the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Lab in Mandan. A maximum of 30 licenses will be available. These licenses will be available at the Game and Fish Department once a person first obtains a permit from USDA-ARS.
An experimental turkey bow hunting season will continue within the city of Bismarck to help control a growing population of birds in residential areas. A maximum of 25 licenses will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to individuals who are licensed to bow hunt deer within the city. These licenses will be available at the Game and Fish Department in Bismarck once a person has a valid city archery permit.
A maximum of 75 turkey licenses will be issued for a concurrent experimental bow season on the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation land south of Bismarck. Licenses will be available at the Game and Fish Department after a person receives an access permit from NDDOCR.
A maximum of 45 turkey licenses will be issued for a concurrent experimental bow season for the city of Fargo and specific surrounding areas. Licenses will be distributed to those licensed to bow hunt deer within the city limits of Fargo, and will be available at the Game and Fish headquarters in Bismarck after a person has received a valid city archery permit.
Hunting units 21 (Hettinger and Adams counties) and 53 (Divide and Williams counties) will remain closed to fall turkey hunting in 2013 because of low turkey numbers.
The fall wild turkey season extends from Oct. 12 through Jan. 5, 2014.
Prospective hunters, including gratis applicants, can apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will be available from Game and Fish offices, county auditors and license vendors.
Applications are also accepted at the department’s toll-free licensing line, (800) 406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made over the phone.
Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply in the first lottery. Nonresidents can apply for fall turkey licenses that are still available following the first lottery.
Night Use Restricted on Lewis and Clark, Trenton WMAs
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will close
the Lewis and Clark and Trenton wildlife management
areas to night use, except for those actively
engaged in legal fishing and hunting activities.
Effective once the signs are in place, the use
restriction applies from one hour after sunset to
one hour before sunrise.
Robert Timian, enforcement chief, said these two public lands in McKenzie and Williams counties are meant to be used for outdoor recreation associated with hunting, fishing and trapping. But in the last few years, he said there have been a number of activities, especially at night, that negatively impact the principle uses of these areas.
“This restriction will give our enforcement staff an additional tool to help return the wildlife management areas to the uses for which they were established,” Timian said.
Lewis and Clark and Trenton wildlife management areas encompass nearly 15,000 acres of public land along the Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea.
Signs announcing the new restriction will be posted at all entrances.
SAH Accepting Goose Meat
The North Dakota’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program
is again accepting donations of goose meat taken
during the early Canada goose season.
Much like the popular SAH deer donation program, hunters can bring in their goose meat to participating processors. However, hunters must remove the breast meat from the birds before processors can accept them.
Hunters can clean their geese at home prior to delivery to a processor, but breast meat brought from home without a wing or head attached to the meat, must be accompanied by written information that includes the hunter’s name, address, signature, hunting license number, date taken and species and number taken.
Hunters may also deliver geese directly from the field to a processor, but identification must remain attached to the bird until in possession of the processor.
Since no goose carcasses or feathers are allowed inside processing plants, hunters must be able to ensure proper disposal and clean-up of carcasses.
“We have a number of locations across the state that will handle goose donations,” said Ann Pollert, Executive Director of North Dakota’s Community Action Partnership, which sponsors SAH as part of its effort to serve low-income families across the state. “We found out last year that goose meat is very popular with our clients, so we’re hoping hunters will again be willing to share some of their birds.”
The list of participating processors is available on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov.
Hunters interested in donating are encouraged to call processors before dropping off geese, to have a clear understanding of how goose breasts will be accepted and the processor’s hours of operation, Pollert said.
For more information, visit the CAPND website at www.capnd.org, or contact Pollert at (701) 232-2452.
Status of Public Shooting Ranges
The MacLean shooting range located near the MacLean
boat ramp south of Bismarck is now open after being
closed earlier this spring due to a wildfire and
ensuing high fire danger index.
Shooting is only allowed from the bench to the designated target stands. Tracer rounds and exploding targets are prohibited. Any illegal activity should be reported to Report All Poachers by calling (800) 472-2121.
Future plans for MacLean in either 2013 or 2014 include improvements and expansion slightly to the west of the existing area, with shotgun, handgun, and 100- and 200-yard rifle ranges.
MacLean Bottoms is two miles south of ND Highway 1804, approximately 15 miles southeast of Bismarck.
The Schmidt Bottoms shooting range south of Mandan is open and was upgraded just last year with 100-yard, 200-yard, shotgun and pistol ranges. Schmidt Bottoms is located approximately 13 miles south of Mandan on ND Highway 1806.
The public shooting range at the Wilton Mine Wildlife Management Area is currently closed due to wet conditions. Wilton Mine WMA is approximately two miles east of Wilton.
Interested users can check the status of all public shooting ranges by accessing the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.
North Dakota Part of Sage Grouse Conservation Plan
While southwestern North Dakota is on the edge of the
sage grouse’s native range, the state still has an
important role in improving long-term prospects for this
large upland bird.
North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley, along with North Dakota Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand, attended a meeting in Cheyenne, Wyo., last week to participate in discussions about a region-wide comprehensive sage grouse plan.
“North Dakota will continue to do its part to protect the sage grouse population and to avoid the need for endangered species status and the accompanying land-use restrictions,” Wrigley said.
Because of a long-term population decline throughout their native range, in 2010 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considered listing sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act. The service determined that listing was warranted, but other species had a higher priority for federal recovery efforts. The service is scheduled to revisit sage grouse listing in 2015.
“Sage grouse have had a rough time the past decade or more, not just here, but in all the Western states where they exist,” Steinwand said. “While we’re on the periphery of their range and we don’t have a lot of these birds in North Dakota, we need to be part of the long-term population recovery plan.”
Part of that long-term plan is a series of public scoping meetings scheduled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Visit the BLM website at http://www.blm.gov for information on scoping meetings in North Dakota.
Listing under the ESA basically
means that the federal government would assume primary
management of sage grouse instead of the state,
Steinwand said. “We’re committed to using whatever
resources we can to help get those birds stabilized and
headed in the other direction.”
In North Dakota, Steinwand added, a number of projects are already underway.
Highlights of Game and Fish involvement over the past several years include:
- Game and Fish has funded research over the past six years to determine species demographics such as survival, nest success, bird movements and reproduction success.
- Helped form a working group, in conjunction with a core group of local landowners, to provide information to agricultural producers about sage grouse conservation.
- Worked closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Bureau of Land Management on extensive sagebrush plantings designed to connect fragmented areas and provide incentives to local landowners.
- Provided funding and piggybacked with federal programs to provide incentives for private landowners to implement grazing practices that increase residual grass cover that benefits sage grouse.
“We’re going to continue our
efforts, in cooperation with other agencies and private
landowners, to work on projects to benefit sage grouse,”
Steinwand said. “It’s in the best interest of all the
states in sage grouse range to keep these birds off the
endangered species list.”
On the Web: Learn more about the Game and Fish Department’s sage grouse population management efforts from the pages of North Dakota Outdoors magazine:
Hunter Education Volunteers Recognized
Volunteer instructors for North Dakota’s hunter education program were recognized Feb. 11 for their contributions of teaching students the importance of hunter safety and ethics.
Instructor of the year and years of service awards were presented at the annual hunter education workshop and awards banquet held in Bismarck.
Larry Thompson of Dickinson and Dale Patrick from Bismarck were named instructors of the year.
Recognized for 35 years of service were John Jones, Wishek; Steven Seeger, Turtle Lake; Jim Shulind, Grand Forks; Ernest Trudeau, Jamestown.
Receiving 30-year service awards were Timothy Dewald, Streeter; Jim Gross, Mandan; Rodney O’Clair, Jamestown; Lori Schweigert, Beulah; Lyle Westbrook, Moffit.
Presented with 25-year service awards were Darwin Bucholz, Rolla; Terry Fasteen, Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Allan Goerger, Barney; Juel Halstenson, West Fargo; Richard Harwood, Lemmon, S.D.; Susan Harwood, Lemmon S.D.; Robert Ingold, Manning; Thomas Kempf, Sawyer; Dennis Miller, Mandan; Lynda Miller, Mandan; Scott Mitchell, Rolla; Michael Peterson, Hazen; Robert Schwagler, New Salem; Joe Solseng, Grand Forks; Todd Thingelstad, Grand Forks; Lauren Throntveit, Crosby; Albert Ulmer, LaMoure; Curtis Wittmayer, Parshall.
Honored for 20 years of service were Douglas Bolte, Regent; James Borkowski, Bottineau; Dean Burwick, Dickinson; Dennis Ertelt, Fingal; Gary Ertmann, Devils Lake; Gerard Goldade, Hague; Craig Hoffart, Bottineau; Ruth Hubbard, Minot; James R. Johnson, New Rockford; Alan Klatt, Grand Forks; George Koenig, Gackle; Lynn Lawler, Rolla; Glenn Lemier, Oakes; Richard Leshovsky, Velva; David Meberg, Hebron; Karla Meikle, Bismarck; Brad Pierce, Hatton; Doyle Roeder, Bismarck; Lance Sateren, Bismarck; Daryl Simmons, Garrison; Patricia Stark, Cavalier; Curtis Walen, Carrington.
Recognized for 15 years of service were Darren Benneweis, Enderlin; Larry Brooks, Bottineau; Bob Campbell, Hannaford; Scott Fasteen, Bismarck; Sean Hagan, Walhalla; Marvin Ingman, Dickinson; Mary Beth Ingman, Dickinson; Doyle Johannes, Underwood; Brad Kilde, Glen Ullin; Joe Lautenschlager, Berthold; Marty Liesener, Ray; Zachary Lindemann, Bismarck; Mike Marquette, Britton, S.D.; Brad Olson, West Fargo; Dale Patrick, Bismarck; Mike Rieger, Minot; Glen Sargeant, Jamestown; Scott Sigette, Devils Lake; Paul Vasquez, Grand Forks.
Ten-year service awards were presented to Randy Anderson, Hettinger; Jerod Basol, Portland; Keith Brodie, Arvilla; Harold Capaci, Minot; Kenneth Clouston, Bismarck; Wesley Crosby, Williston; Walter Helfrich, West Fargo; Connie Jorgenson, Devils Lake; Kelly Keller, Center; Jackie Martin, Anamoose; Kevin Mattson, Kindred; Michael Melaas, Minot; Robert Miller, Oakes; Scot Schara, Gladstone; Joseph Schirado, Bismarck; Richard Simon Sr., Grand Forks; Ronald Swenson, Williston; Eric Tilton, Larimore; Sharon Titus, Lincoln; Lavern Vance, Ray.
Five-year active instructors recognized were Dorian Anderson, Drake; Jeff Ball, Des Lacs; Wayne Bauer, Wishek; Sean Benzmiller, Burlington; Kimberly Blake, Park River; David Blocker, Mohall; Steven Brush, Sabin; John Butz, Northwood; Mark Crosby, Bowbells; Brett Crotty, Pembina; Dennis Crotty, Pembina; Terrance Estvold, Devils Lake; Paul Goldade, Hague; Steve Goroski, Bismarck; Mike Graue, Devils Lake; Stephen Hunt, Reynolds; Amanda Johnson, Minnewaukan; Nadine Kassian, Wilton; Sherry Lillis, Lincoln; Martin Marchello, Bismarck; Casey Martin, Bismarck; Deb Michels, Elgin; Timothy Nelson, Harvey; Brent Nettleton, Burlington; Lyle Olson, Lisbon; Todd Olson, Mohall; David Phillips, Bismarck; John Pretzer, Scranton; Chad Symington, Manvel; Samual Theurer, Mandan; Torrie Vader, Williston.
Recognized for two years of service were Travis Anderson, Grand Forks; Josh Beaudoin, Minot; David Bjorndahl Jr., Grafton; Damon Bosche, Medina; Eric Crimmins, McClusky; Lori Deal, Carrington; Kendon Faul, McClusky; Antonie Fettig, New Town; Helen Gorman, Larimore; Brian Johnson, Sawyer; Darren Mehs, Hatton; Jacob Miedema, Jamestown; Kathy Needham, Gackle; Richard Nelson, Grand Forks; Steve Norton, Mandan; Tom Nowatzki, Bottineau; Jared Nygaard, Bismarck; Eric Odegaard, West Fargo; Daniel Olson, Medina; Adam Pachl, Grand Forks; John Perritt, Casselton; Larry Romyns, Glenburn; Wesley Sauer, Washburn; Steven Schiermeister, Lincoln; Brian Schock, Dickinson; Jeremy St. Aubin, Ashley; Tammy Weigum, Dickinson; Cherri Weyrauch, Watford City; Brady Woodard, West Fargo; Andrew Zickur.