Archive of News

December2012

NEW 2013 Devils Lake Guide Available!

Posted: December 10, 2012

2013VisitorGuide_cover_Web

Devils Lake, ND – The Devils Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau has released the 2013 visitors guide and 40,000 copies will be hitting the roadsides throughout North Dakota. The guide is also available at sport shows across the Midwest and Canada and is available to visitors and residents looking to explore legendary experience in the Lake Region.

The full-color 6 x 9 guide is power packed with information. It includes two maps – a Devils Lake lake map and well as a city map, vivid photos, accommodations listings and a list of things to do in the area. The guide also features hunting & fishing information, aquatic nuisance species details, and fishing & hunting guide services. You can also download a free pdf, interactive version from our website, www.devilslakend.com.

The guide is also available at many local gas stations, banks, area motels & resorts, bait shops, and campgrounds. The visitor guide is also available for weddings, family reunions, sports tournaments, corporate meetings and other events. The guide is a great tool to use to help bring more visitors to the Lake Region in the coming year and a great resource for them to explore the area.

To obtain a 2013 Visitors Guide or other area travel brochures, call the Devils Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau at (701) 662-4903, go to www.devilslakend.com or stop by the office at 208 Highway 2 West in Devils Lake.

Be sure to visit our website for our community events calendar, updated fishing reports, the latest news, and relocation information. If you need any help planning your upcoming trip to Devils Lake just let us know…after all, it is just one of the many reasons we are here!

The Devils Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau promotes growth and development of the convention, visitor and tourism industry in the Lake Region. Tourism contributes an estimated $30.2 million annually to the Devils Lake economy.

Catch it all in Devils Lake!

Devils Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau, PO Box 879, Devils Lake, ND 58301. Suzie Kenner can be reached at suzie@devilslakend.com or 701.662.4903 for questions or comments.

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‘It’s About Time’ Devils Lake Perch Anglers Say

Posted: December 5, 2012

Photo courtesy of the Perch Patrol

Ice fishing for jumbo perch has been a tradition for generations of Devils Lake anglers.  If they could speak collectively about the coming ice season, they would say, “It’s about time.  We’re ready to go fishing.” To date, the ice on the main lake is about 4” thick, and anglers are starting to slowly walk out.

With that in mind, area ice fishing guides share secrets that will make the upcoming perch season a success.  Most have combined their on-ice action with lodging and resort packages that make a winter trip as simple as “one-call does it all.”  The North Dakota Fish and Game surveys ranked this year’s Devils Lake perch populations as the best in the past decade, with test-net catch rates the highest since 2003.

Guide Mark Bry (brysguideservice.com) said, “There’s always a bite going on somewhere. Last winter and this past summer was one of the best bites on jumbos, and this winter looks very promising.  Our number one lure is the 1/8th to 1/4th Buckshot or Forage Minnow spoon with a minnow head. Chartreuse is a favorite color, but orange, pink and gold are also good.  A flasher is an absolute key.  If aggressive doesn’t work, try subtle.”

Kyle Blanchfield of Woodland Resort (woodlandresort.com) said, “Keep it simple and stay mobile.  With 25 years working with winter anglers, fish with light easy-to-feel rods, light tackle and a Vexilar.  The more you drill, the more perch go in the bucket.  Don’t get fooled by crowds.  Most of the time, this is where the fish used to be.  Work the outer edges of crowds and run parallel depth lines to find where the school has moved.”

Jason Mitchell of the Perch Patrol (perchpatrol.com) said, “Learn to read deep-water perch with the Vexilar in ‘zoom mode.’  Devils Lake perch are attracted to aggressive jigging, but once in close, subtle shakes, slow lifts or no movement at all will entice biters.  Move to find fish, and then camp on them to see what makes them bite, or wait until the next feeding window.”

Aaron McQuoid of McQuoid Outdoors & Lodging (mcquoidguides.com) said, “Keep moving, using the Vexilar to find fish.  If they’re biting right away, good, if not, mark the spot and return.  The 2-pound perch feed like walleyes, and will hit a Buckshot rattle spoon with a full minnow.  Other times they feed like the smallest panfish and demand light line (2-pound) and 1/64th ounce jigs with wax worms or PowerBait.  Our guides know when to switch.”

Jason Feldner of Perch-Eyes Outfitters & Lodging (percheyes.com) said, “Start where hard bottom meets mud, and work along this transition – it could be a hump or point – using a GPS with a Lakemaster chip.  My go-to lure is a 1/8th or 1/4th Lindy Rattle-n-Flyer tipped with a minnow head.  Pump the rod a few times; follow with a shimmy-shake.  If the lookers don’t bite, downsize to spikes or waxxies on a Lindy toad.  A minnow on a plain hook can be unbeatable at times.”

Johnnie Candle (johnniecandle.com) said simply, “Drill more holes.  These perch move and rarely hover on structure.  They like the basin, so moving to locate an active school is important.”

Clint DeVier of Gonefshn Guide Service said, “After 40 years fishing Devils Lake, it used to be perch schools would spread for miles, but with the lake now at 200,000 acres, 5-times its former size, finding active schools can be a bit more challenging.  I’ve found they school on the wide open flats where fresh-water shrimp seem to be the key.  With a Lakemaster chip, I locate and concentrate on the shelves (wide spots in otherwise consistent contour lines) that extend from shallow to deep water.  These can be from 15 to 50 feet deep.  When your group finds perch, it is worth the search!”

Ross Sensiba of Rush Valley Guide Service (rushvalleyguideservice.com) said, “I prefer sunrise or earlier with a live bait, subtle presentation.  As morning progresses, I get more aggressive with spoons and wax worms.  A dead-stick is always next to me with live bait.  At first ice, outer weed edges in 8 to 12 feet are good, moving to 20 feet or more as the sun brightens the day.  Lure presentation is an inch or two off bottom, lifting up to one and one-half feet.  I like large flats with steep edges and weeds on top.  During mid-day, I fish the tops of submerged trees that are in 24-feet or deeper.”

Steve “Zippy” Dahl, owner of the Perch Patrol Guide Service (perchpatrol.com) said, “Concentrate on finding the biters and don’t settle for the sniffers.”  His guides use a team-work approach to attacking this 200,000 acre lake and spend a lot of time trying to find the large schools of perch that prove to be 5 to 6 foot thick on the Vexilar.   “Nothing beats good old fashion competition, and there is nothing like fishing perch that scream off the bottom to meet your lure.  It is important to use small horizontal jigs that fish heavy, small buckshot rattle spoons, or hali’s with dropper chains will all get to the bottom fairly quickly in deep water.”

The new fish-cleaning station located just south of Ed’s Bait Shop on Hwy 20 (south of the City of Devils Lake) will be open at the beginning of 2013.  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, is heated (A/C for summer), has plenty of parking for trucks and trailers and is well-lit with a coded entry.  The code is available at Ed’s Bait Shop between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.  The cleaning facility is free to use.

Devils Lake has some of the largest winter ice fishing guide services anywhere, with perch, walleyes and pike the main targets.  These experts take the “searching for fish” to a completely new level.  They make every first-time angler feel like this is home, and the thousands of anglers who return year after year to fish with the same guides know that’s the case.  For information on Devils Lake guides, winter ice conditions and roads, the Jan. 27, 2013 ice fishing tournament, activities, fish-cleaning station (open all year), lodging, resorts and restaurants, check www.devilslakend.com, or call 701-662-4903 for a free fishing packet.

[photo courtesy of the Perch Patrol]

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Winter Fishing Regulations

Posted: December 4, 2012

North Dakota anglers are encouraged to refer to the 2012-14 North Dakota Fishing Guide or the State Game and Fish Department’s website for winter fishing regulations.

In addition, anglers can access the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, for an extensive list of fishing questions and answers, and a winter fishing preview from North Dakota Outdoors magazine.

Some winter fishing regulations include:

  • A maximum of four poles is legal for ice fishing. However, when fishing a water body where both open water and ice occur at the same time, an angler is allowed a maximum of four poles, of which no more than two poles can be used in open water.
  • Tip-ups are legal, and each tip-up is considered a single pole.
  • There is no restriction on the size of the hole in the ice while fishing. When a hole larger than 10 inches in diameter is left in the ice, the area in the immediate vicinity must be marked with a natural object. See regulations for more information..
  • It is only legal to release fish back into the water immediately after they are caught. Once a fish is held in a bucket or on a stringer, they can no longer be legally released in any water.
  • It is illegal to catch fish and transport them in water.
  • It is illegal to leave fish, including bait, behind on the ice.
  • Depositing or leaving any litter or other waste material on the ice or shore is illegal.
  • Any dressed fish to be transported, if frozen, must be packaged individually. Anglers are not allowed to freeze fillets together in one large block. Two fillets count as one fish.
  • The daily limit is a limit of fish taken from midnight to midnight, and no person may possess more than one day’s limit of fish while actively engaged in fishing. The possession limit is the maximum number of fish that an angler may have in his or her possession during a fishing trip of more than one day.

Be Cautious of Early Ice

Winter anglers are encouraged to consider early ice conditions before traveling onto and across North Dakota lakes.

Keep in mind:

  • Snow insulates ice, hampering solid ice formation, and makes it difficult to check thickness. Snow also hides the blemishes, such as cracked, weak and open water areas.
  • Avoid cracks, pressure ridges, slushy or darker areas that signal thinner ice. The same goes for ice that forms around partially submerged trees, brush, embankments or other structures.
  • Ice thickness is not consistent and can vary significantly even in a small area. Ice shouldn’t be judged by appearance alone. Anglers should drill test holes as they make their way out on the lake, and an ice chisel should be used to check ice thickness while moving around.
  • Daily temperature changes cause ice to expand and contract, affecting its strength.
  • The following minimums are recommended for travel on clear-blue lake ice formed under ideal conditions. However, early in the winter it’s a good idea to double these figures to be safe: 4 inches for a group walking single file; 6 inches for a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle; 8-12 inches for an automobile; and 12-15 inches for a pickup/truck.

These tips could help save a life:

  • Wear a personal flotation device and carry a cell phone.
  • Carry ice picks or a set of screwdrivers to pull yourself back on the ice if you fall through.
  • If someone breaks through the ice, call 911 immediately. Rescue attempts should employ a long pole, board, rope, blanket or snowmobile suit. If that’s not possible, throw the victim a life jacket, empty water jug or other buoyant object. Go to the victim as a last resort, but do this by forming a human chain where rescuers lie on the ice with each person holding the feet of the person in front.
  • To treat hypothermia, replace wet clothing with dry clothing and immediately transport victim to a hospital.
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ANS Prevention in Winter

Posted: December 3, 2012

North Dakota ice anglers are reminded that regulations designed to reduce the spread of aquatic nuisance species also apply in winter.

It’s important to reiterate that only legal live bait can be transported in water in a container up to five gallons. Both game and nongame species cannot be transported in water, although a daily catch can be packed in snow.

Other simple methods to prevent winter ANS introductions are:

  • Do not use illegally imported baits.
  • Do not empty a bait bucket into any water body.
  • Do not drop plant fragments into the water.
  • Dispose any unused bait into the trash.
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Advisory Board Meetings Set

Posted: November 13, 2012

Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend a North Dakota Game and Fish Department advisory board meeting in their area.

These public meetings, held each spring and fall, provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisors and agency personnel.

The governor appoints eight Game and Fish Department advisors, each representing a multi-county section of the state, to serve as a liaison between the department and public.

Any person who requires an auxiliary aid or service must notify the contact person at least five days prior to the scheduled meeting date.

District 3 – Counties: Benson, Cavalier, Eddy, Ramsey, Rolette and Towner

Date: November 26 – 7 p.m.

Location: 110 Main Street, Sheyenne

Host: Wild Things Taxidermy Shop

Contact: Greg Kolstad, 996-2282

Advisory board member: Tom Rost, Devils Lake, 662-8620

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Devils Lake Perch, Pike & Walleye Number Highest in 10 Years; Expect Hot Ice Fishing

Posted: November 9, 2012

perch_Web

With the highest perch, pike and walleye numbers in the past 10 years, Devils Lake ice fishermen are looking at an ice fishing bonanza.  “It’s significant that we have the highest populations of all three favorite species at the same time,” said Northeast North Dakota District Fisheries Supervisor Randy Hiltner.

“Perch are looking up!” he said.  The netting surveys show the perch catch rates (fish per net) were the highest since 2003.  Anglers were successful this past summer and fall, and their results bode well for winter fishermen.  The good 2006 and 2007 year classes are now 10 to 13 inches.

Hiltner, long-time area biologist said the walleye numbers in recent netting surveys are the highest since 2001.  “Every year seems to produce another great hatch.  Many walleyes are less than 16 inches, but the 15 to 20 inchers are at long-term averages.  Summer reports of good-eaters and bigger fish were very favorable,” he said.

Northern Pike cause the biologist to smile, “We don’t know the concept of hammer-handle pike like some states.  Year to year, Devils Lake pike average four pounds.”  Netting surveys show adult pike are at the highest numbers since 2001.  “People won’t be disappointed by Devils Lake pike,” he said.

The ice fishing season kicks off as soon as conditions permit, but officially with one of the biggest events in the area, the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department ice fishing tournament.  The 29th annual event occurs Jan. 27, and averages 4,000 anglers.  With $225,000 in fishing prizes including a massive 150-prize drawing, this perch, pike and walleye tournament is designed for family fun.

Fire Chief Jim Moe said the easy-to-fish contest on Six Mile Bay offers convenient parking within walking distance of the pre-drilled holes.  Third prize for largest walleye wins a 2013 Ford $30,000 pick-up.  Third place in the perch division wins an $8,000 ATV, and the second place pike wins a $9,000 hard-shell ice shelter.  Cash prizes will also be paid to the top five places.

“This ice fishing tournament has a huge economic impact.  It fills up the motels and resorts, and the money raised comes back to the community,” said Suzie Kenner, Devils Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director.  Jim Moe said, “This fund-raiser has helped buy some nice fire trucks and rescue equipment over the years.”  Also funded are local youth activities and scholarships.  More details are at dlvfdicefishingtourney.com.

Devils Lake has some of the largest winter ice fishing guide services anywhere, with perch, walleyes and pike the main targets.  These experts take the “searching for fish” to a completely new level.  They make every first-time angler feel like this is home, and the thousands of anglers who return year after year to fish with the same guides, know that’s the case.  For information on Devils Lake guides, winter ice conditions and roads, the Jan. 27, 2013 ice fishing tournament, activities, fish-cleaning station (open all year), lodging, resorts and restaurants, check www.devilslakend.com, or call 1-800-233-8048.

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Deer Hunters Should Stay Off Early Ice

Posted: November 5, 2012

North Dakota’s deer gun season opens Nov. 9 at noon, and State Game and Fish Department officials are cautioning deer hunters to be wary of where they hunt. Late-season weather conditions can quickly cause North Dakota’s small and mid-sized waters to ice over, giving the appearance of safe ice.

Nancy Boldt, department boat and water safety coordinator, said hunters should be cautious of walking on frozen stock ponds, sloughs, creeks and rivers. “Ice can form overnight, causing unstable conditions,” Boldt said. “Even though deer might be able to make it across, it doesn’t mean hunters can.”

Ice thickness is not consistent, Boldt said, as it can vary significantly within a few inches. Hunters walking the edge of a cattail slough will not find the same ice thickness in the middle. “The edges firm up faster than the center,” she added. “So, with your first step the ice might seem like it is strong enough, but it isn’t anywhere near solid enough once you progress away from the shoreline.”

And in the case of snowfall, Boldt cautions hunters to be aware of snow-covered ice. Snow insulates ice, inhibiting solid ice formation, and makes it difficult to check thickness. Snow also hides cracked, weak and open water areas.

“Basically, if there is ice formation during the deer season, stay away from it,” Boldt said. “It will not be safe.”

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ND Game and Fish Dept. webcast, Outdoors Online

Posted: November 1, 2012

This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at http://gf.nd.gov

NDGF chief game warden Bob Timian answers some of the most frequently asked deer hunting questions.  Click here to Watch!

The webcast can be seen on the following community access channels:

Grand Forks

•             GFTV Channel 2 – Saturday, 10 p.m.

•             UND Studio One Channel 3 – Monday, 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Dickinson

•             Consolidated Channel 18 – Monday, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Fargo

•             TV Fargo Channel 12 – Thursday, noon, and Sunday, 7 p.m.

Bismarck

•             Community Access Cable Channel 12, Thursday, 9:30 p.m.

Jamestown

•             Cable Services, The Replay Channel, CSi Channel 10

Minot

•             Cable Channel 19, Thursday, 6 p.m

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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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