Archive of News

October2012

Game and Fish Continues Intensive ANS Efforts

Posted: October 29, 2012

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department spent a record amount of time monitoring the state’s waterways looking for aquatic nuisance species in 2012. Despite these intense efforts only one new infestation was documented – curly leaf pondweed in Lake Elsie in Richland County.

Fred Ryckman, ANS coordinator, said one of the biggest surprises in 2012 was no detection of zebra mussel in the Otter Tail and Red rivers at Wahpeton, where young zebra mussels were found in both 2010 and 2011. However, Ryckman said the recent announcement by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources that adult zebra mussels have become established and continue to move downstream in Minnesota’s Otter Tail drainage is discouraging. “Thankfully we haven’t found any adult zebra mussels anywhere in North Dakota,” Ryckman added. “The news coming from Minnesota emphasizes the need for us to be vigilant in our monitoring efforts and to continue to stress public participation in following ANS regulations.”

Statewide monitoring efforts also indicated known populations of ANS in existing North Dakota water bodies are stable. A few adult silver carp were again observed in the James River below Jamestown Dam, after having moved upstream into the James during extremely high flows in 2011.

This year, Game and Fish continued both an intensive and extensive information and education campaign regarding concerns with ANS, and the need for the public to be fully compliant with existing rules and regulations. In part, these efforts included updating ANS posters and brochures and distributing them to numerous outlets across the state, having a far greater ANS presence at the North Dakota State Fair, increasing the number of water bodies monitored for ANS and continuing to place ANS information signs at all public boat ramps throughout the state.

In addition, game wardens continued to check angler/boater compliance regarding ANS in 2012, and chief warden Robert Timian said the Department’s educational efforts are paying dividends. “Checkpoints were done throughout the year, and boater and angler compliance was good,” Timian said. “However, there are still some individuals who are unaware, or don’t care, how important this issue is. We will continue to have checkpoints and will issue citations to individuals who are in violation of the rules.”

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Taking aim in the waterfowl Mecca

Posted:

Published in the Brainerd Dispatch
October 19, 2012

I have been hearing for many years about Devils Lake, N.D., and what it offers to the duck and goose hunter.

I remember seeing photos of my brother and dad and the birds they bagged in Devils Lake while I was left behind back in elementary school. Just last week I was able to experience the waterfowl Mecca for myself. It was all it had been cracked up to be and then some.

To read the rest of the article click here!

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Fall is Trophy Time for Devils Lake Walleyes

Posted: October 15, 2012

AlFreidig_fallwalleye

“Walleye dreams become a reality every fall here on Devils Lake,” said North Dakota guide and professional angler Johnnie Candle.  “All my biggest fish have come in the fall; it’s what I call trophy walleye time.”

Open water fishing usually runs until mid-November, with all areas of the lake becoming very productive.  “The many year-classes of fish are equally distributed, but the 26 to 30 inchers show up now,” the world champion said.  Devils Lake has expanded in the past 30 years to some 200,000 acres, consisting of many “lakes within lakes.”  He urged anglers to select an area and stick to it, “Launch and fish that piece of Devils Lake. The fish will be there.”

When compared to the heydays of summer, Candle said the typical 100-fish days might drop to 35 walleyes in a day, with most measuring more than 20 inches.  “The fish profile changes in fall,” he emphasized.  That’s why he breaks ice many mid- to late-November mornings to pound away at the fish.

Candle’s fall walleye fishing has been narrowed down to a few simple points:

** Fish the steepest drops nearest deep water;
** Many of these are flooded road beds;
** 14 to 22 feet of water are good depths;
** Where the steep break meets the mud basin, expect walleyes;
** Roadbeds and main-lake points with rocks can be the best;
** Use a GPS map to locate roads (or watch the shoreline);
** Troll crankbaits – Salmo Hornets, Rapala Shad Raps and Berkley Flicker Shads are tops.

Candle trolls straight behind the boat, trying to keep lures in the exact zone where the steep break transitions to the bottom.  “Walleyes love to eat ‘em, and we cover water,” he said.  Some of the roadbeds and “spots” run for miles.  Watching sonar units helps anglers concentrate and circle back on active schools of trophy walleyes.

Candle also fishes the many bridges, especially when any breeze creates a current flow.  He works the downstream side of bridges, vertical jigging with Gulp! or minnows, much like he would in a river.  Deep-water jigging and rigging major points and mid-lake rock humps and transitions (rock to mud) are also popular.  “Fall is trophy time,” he said.  While fishing for walleyes, he expects to contact numerous pike, with many of the “teeners” eating everything in sight in late October and November.

Al Freidig, past president of the Lake Region Anglers fishing club agreed with Candle and said most of his biggest walleyes come every fall.  He favors trolling leadcore with crankbaits on rock piles and ridges of roadbeds.  He was instrumental in a community wide effort to create one of the few 4-seasons fish cleaning stations in the country.  “This effort involved many organizations, with anglers benefiting tremendously,” he said.

The fish-cleaning station will be open by Christmas, in time for the famous Devils Lake perch ice fishing season.  “Hey, walleye and pike anglers flock to Devils Lake when it’s hard, also,” Freidig said.  Located just south of Ed’s Bait Shop on Hwy 20 (south of the city of Devils Lake), the 20 x 32 building will be able to handle 15 anglers at one time.  It has two grinders, a separate clean-up sink, a handicapped bathroom, will be heated (A/C for summer), plenty of parking for trucks and trailers, will be well-lit, and be accessed with a coded entry.

The code will be available at Ed’s Bait Shop between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.  “Best aspect of the new cleaning facility is that it’s free for all to use!” he said.  The Lake Region anglers donated 25 percent of the cost; the North Dakota Game and Fish department added the remainder of the money.  The Greater Ramsey Water District did the sewer and water connections.  Assistance also came from the Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce, the City of Devils Lake, Ramsey County and the Park Board.

For information on Devils Lake conditions, ramps and/or winter ice conditions and roads, the Jan. 27, 2013 ice fishing tournament, activities, guides, lodging, resorts and restaurants, check www.devilslakend.com, or call 701-662-4903.

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Motorists Warned to Watch for Deer

Posted: October 10, 2012

Motorists are reminded to watch for deer along roadways, especially this time of year, because juvenile animals are dispersing from their home ranges.

October through early December is the peak period for deer-vehicle accidents. Motorists are advised to slow down and exercise caution after dark to reduce the likelihood of encounters with deer along roadways. Most deer-vehicle accidents occur primarily at dawn and dusk when deer are most often moving around.

Deer-vehicle accidents are at times unavoidable. However, motorists should be aware of warning signs signaling deer are in the area. When you see one deer cross the road, look for a second or third deer to follow. Also, motorists are urged to pay attention on roadways posted with Deer Crossing Area caution signs.

If an accident does happen, a local law enforcement agency should be contacted. Also, a permit is required to take parts or the whole carcass of a road-killed deer. Permits are free and available from game wardens and local law enforcement offices.

A few precautions can minimize chances of injury or property damage in a deer-vehicle crash.

  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Don’t swerve or take the ditch to avoid hitting a deer. Try to brake as much as possible and stay on the roadway. Don’t lose control of your vehicle or slam into something else to miss the deer. You risk less injury by hitting the deer.
  • If you spot deer ahead, slow down immediately and honk your horn.

No published research supports the effectiveness of deer whistles on vehicles.

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Public Fish Cleaning Stations are Closed on Devils Lake

Posted: October 5, 2012

The public fish cleaning stations are closed on Devils Lake at Six Mile Bay, Lakewood and Henegar Landing. The new four-seasons fish cleaning station located on south Highway 20 (next to Ed’s Bait Shop) should be open sometime in November. We will post details once it is open.

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