Archive of News

July2012

Lure Em for Life

Posted: July 25, 2012

Lure Em for Life is an organizations that runs fishing camps for kids 8-14.  Lake Region Anglers sponsors a number of scholarships for members children and other underprivileged children interested in fishing.  The week of August 6-10 there is a fishing camp at the Lakewood Bible Camp cosponsored by the Devils Lake Park Board.  On Wednesday, August 8th and Friday, August 10th they are asking for a few Lake Region Anglers members with boats to help take a few kids fishing.  Life jackets and bait are provided.  If you’d like to help out and take a few kids fishing contact Rhonda Ferguson at rfergie@daktel.com.

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Fishing so Good, It’s Causing Traffic Jams

Posted: July 24, 2012

shorefishing

“Where else can you step out of your car and catch fish?” asked Ramsey County sheriff Steve Nelson.  Pro angler and guide Johnnie Candle and Devils Lake, North Dakota resident said, “Shore fishing is exceptional here, and that brings droves of people.  Often times it’s better from shore than in a boat.”

People, fish, narrow roads, parking and traffic have caused the county commissioners to create a task force to look into solutions for the safety of all.  “Nobody wants to eliminate fishing from all these miles of easy-to-reach fishing spots and nobody wants an accident,” said North Dakota regional game warden supervisor Paul Freeman.  Also on the task force and agreeing with the warden was Lake Region Anglers fishing club official Ed Dosch, “This is some great fishing, and we want to keep it going, that’s why our club will do all it can to educate people.”

The sheriff noted that anglers from Wisconsin, Minnesota and throughout North Dakota, including many Devils Lake residents (himself included) fish from dozens of roadside shoreline areas.  Candle explained why, “Many of these roads are at necked-down areas or bridges with current.  These rip-rap sections are ideal habitat in spring with good fishing stretching into much of the summer.  When the wind blows into these rocks, it brings the game fish.  The same scenario repeats itself in fall with major walleye, pike and white bass migrations.”

Commissioner Mark Olson said, “We don’t want to close roads or stop fishing opportunities.  There are not many good shore fishing places in this state, except from the many road-crossings around Devils Lake.  We also don’t want accidents.”

Devils Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Suzie Kenner said they hope to meet with the Minnesota DNR Southeast Asian specialists to raise awareness and safety concerns within the Hmong community.  Devils Lake is one of their top destinations.  “We want to communicate and educate every angler who comes to town, because we don’t want any accidents,” she said.

Sheriff Nelson indicated that problems have been occurring since the lake began rising in 1993.  With lake levels increasing upwards of 40 feet, the lake spread out.  That resulted in construction of new roads and re-building existing roads.  Some of those are narrow town and county roads, barely wide enough for two cars to meet and safely pass.  “Add fishermen parking, and problems occur,” he said.

Some signage restricting parking has been placed and speed limits reduced already.  Future task force sessions will deal with ensuring safety and determining the best methods to educate anglers and drivers.  Dosch said the Lake Region anglers will conduct an “anglers talking to anglers” program.  “These safety concerns can be resolved,” he said.

Candle said that shore fishing is one of the best ways to get kids involved with fishing.  “They don’t have to be skilled; just cast out a split shot and a minnow on a bobber and catch white bass every cast,” he said, “This is shore fishing at its best, and that’s what we have on Devils Lake.”

For information on Devils Lake conditions, ramps (all launch ramps on Devils Lake are open this season and fish cleaning stations are operating at Graham’s Island State Park, Lakewood access, Six Mile Bay access and Henegar Landing), activities, guides, tournaments, lodging, resorts and restaurants, check www.devilslakend.com, or call 701-662-4903 or toll-free 1-800-233-8048.

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The Legacy of Captain EE Heerman and steamboat navigation on Devils Lake

Posted: July 13, 2012

Join the Old Post Office Museum on Monday July 23, 2012 at 7 pm for our presentation “The Legacy of Captain EE Heerman and steamboat navigation on Devils Lake”.

On July 4th 1883 the Minnie H captained by EE Heerman made its maiden voyage on Devils Lake. For the next 25 years this majestic steamboat traveled the lake delivering mail and offering transportation to the early settlers of the Lake Region. For one evening only learn about the Minnie H, it’s captain, and the trials, triumphs, and tragedies that these early voyagers faced.

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‘I Love Fishing Devils Lake in July’

Posted: July 10, 2012

Photo courtesy Bry's Guide Service

When a guide with 21 years on-the-water experience speaks about his home water and says, “I love Devils Lake in July,” fishermen listen.  Aaron McQuoid also said, “All I do is fish – 12 months a year.”

The young man and wife Trish own McQuoid Outdoors and Lodging in the town on the western edge of Devils Lake, North Dakota, called Minnewaukan.  This is also the name of a huge portion of the lake referred to as Minnewaukan Flats.  It’s approximately 8 miles by 5 miles, and is where he usually fishes.  He also concentrates on the “Pelican” section of the lake, which gives him another 3 x 5 miles of fishy habitat while guiding.

McQuoid matches his tactics to the skill levels of clients, and said no matter what they do, 30 to 50 fish-days are the norm in July, with 100 fish-days fairly common.  Based on the June “bite” (one late June day his clients landed five walleyes weighing 33 pounds) on Northland Mimic Minnows while casting the edges of weedbeds, “July will be the best ever,” he said.

“If I had only one spot to fish in July, it would be weed edges with bottom bouncers and spinners (# 2 or # 3) with crawlers—in 2-foot waves or flat calm and sunny conditions,” he said.  Another option is casting Lindy Shadlings or Rapala Shad Raps to the weeds.

July 4th marks a phenomenal walleye movement from the shoreline and weed edges to the humps.  “They top out at about eight feet and are away from the shoreline,” McQuoid said.  He fishes the tops with slip bobbers baited with crawlers or leeches.  He also runs spinners around the edge checking all depths, and noted, “Most humps have trees which are old shelter belts.  Later in the day, walleyes retreat to these trees; expect snags, but that’s where the fish are.”

The long road known as the Golden Highway stretches east to west across the Minnewaukan Flats.  Its blacktop with rip rap running from the road bed (18-feet below the surface) to 34 feet.  Walleyes are up and down these edges and often on top.  Trolling crankbaits takes these fish.  “For anglers heading to Devils Lake, make sure you have the updated Navionics or other GPS mapping chips.  They are really accurate,” he said.

July is one of the quietest weather months of the year.  McQuoid said steady conditions prevail, and for families with kids this is the best time to be in the boat.  “This is one of the least windy months in North Dakota,” he said.  It also provides more options of when to fish the long days.  “Families can fish part of a day and play in town or at other attractions to break up the fishing,” he said. When on the water, they will go from bobbers to spinners to trolling to casting.  “If my clients prefer a certain method, that’s what we do,” he said.  “Some want to learn a specific tactic while they’re catching fish; it gives them confidence.”

Even though walleyes and pike are top choices, McQuoid said July and August are the best months for one of his favorite fish, the always-active white bass.  Since many exceed three pounds and tug harder and fight longer than a same-sized walleye, people have fun with whiteys.  “I call them kid-friendly fish,” he said.  He locates a shoreline with waves blowing in and throws anything looking like a minnow.  “Rip it fast.  Make sure it has lots of flash and rattles and hang on!”  he said.

McQuoid has been on the western end of Devils Lake for six years.  Prior to that he spent 15 years guiding on Minnesota’s Mille Lacs and tournament walleye fishing.  He set up his lodge with the amenities of home and everything he expected while on his extensive travels around the country.  He can handle groups of 20 at McQuoid Outdoors & Lodging, 701-351-6058 (he answers questions about the lake personally), fishon@mcquoidguides.com, or www.mcquoidguides.com.

For information on Devils Lake conditions, ramps (all launch ramps on Devils Lake are open this season and fish cleaning stations are operating at Graham’s Island State Park, Lakewood access and Six Mile Bay access), activities, guides, tournaments, lodging, resorts and restaurants, check www.devilslakend.com, or call 701-662-4903.

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Walleye Stockings Complete

Posted:

North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel, along with staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fish hatcheries, recently completed stocking 9.8 million walleye fingerlings in 113 lakes across the state.

Jerry Weigel, fisheries production and development section leader for the Game and Fish Department, said this year’s walleye goal required exceptional production from nearly every hatchery pond in the state.

“Overall, we were able to meet every request with Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery contributing 8.7 million fingerlings and Valley City National Fish Hatchery 1.1 million fingerlings. On average the fish were some of the largest in recent years,” Weigel said.

Stocking goals for each water body can differ depending on need. Some of the notable stockings include: Lake Sakakawea – 4 million; Stump Lake – 577,000; Lake Darling – 450,000; Devils Lake – 367,000; Heart Butte Reservoir – 325,000; and Lake Ashtabula – 262,000.

“This year’s efforts finished in the top five of most waters stocked and most fingerlings stocked,” Weigel said.

Stocking conditions were great, Weigel said, with lots of cool water given this year’s season was a week earlier than normal. “We had all the fish stocked before this recent hot spell set, which should help increase the chances of good survival,” he added. “We’ll know more this fall when crews check on survival rate of the stocked fish and determine the amount of natural reproduction.”

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Space Available for BOW

Posted: July 4, 2012

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is still accepting registrations for Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops in 2012.

The annual summer workshop is Aug. 10-12 at Lake Metigoshe State Park, Bottineau. Participants may take several programs including archery, canoeing, introduction to firearms, fly-fishing, kayaking, navigating outdoors, global positioning system, plant identification, introduction to photography, and tracking and trapping. Workshop fees of $135 cover instruction, program materials, use of equipment, all meals and lodging.

Turtle River State Park will host a workshop Sept. 21-23. Classes include mountain biking, wild game cooking, stream fly-fishing, nature journaling and archery. Workshop fees of $135 include instruction in all sessions, program materials, use of equipment, and all meals and lodging.

Waterfowl hunting is scheduled Oct. 6-7 in Bismarck. Participants are instructed in firearm and waterfowl safety, shotgun shooting, waterfowl identification, water/field decoys and gear, and techniques for decoying and calling waterfowl. A mentored hunt will be featured Oct. 7. Participants must possess a hunter education certificate, current hunting licenses and provide their own hunting clothing, boots or waders. Workshop fees of $20 include instruction, program materials and use of equipment. No lodging is provided.

A bow hunting workshop for women with no or minimal archery experience is set for Oct. 24-28 at Lake Metigoshe State Park. Participants will achieve the necessary education, experience and confidence to archery hunt alone. Participants must have previously taken the beginning archery course or have demonstrated a minimum level of proficiency, and must provide their own archery equipment. More information on this event, including cost, will be available in midsummer.

BOW workshops are designed primarily for women with an interest in learning skills associated with hunting, fishing and outdoor endeavors. Although open to anyone age 18 or older, the workshops are tailored primarily to women who have never tried these activities or who are beginners hoping to improve their skills.

Women interested in attending a workshop can register online, or print an information brochure and registration form, at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. More information is available by contacting Nancy Boldt at (701) 328-6312, Brittany Fish at (701) 527-3075, or email ndgf@nd.gov.

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