Archive of News

August2013

2013 North Dakota Waterfowl Regulations Set

Posted: August 29, 2013

devils lake waterfowl

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.

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For information on waterfowl hunting in Devils Lake and to receive a hunting & vacation packet, call 1-800-233-8048 or click here to request information online.
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Four Seasons Fish Cleaning Station Down for Maintainence

Posted: August 27, 2013

The year-round fish cleaning station is down for maintenance from Tuesday (August 27) – Thursday (August 29) for outside concrete work. The station will be open on Friday, August 30 for the holiday weekend.

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July Fisheries Survey Shows ‘No Shortage of Fish in Devils Lake’ : All Fishing Tactics Prove Effective!

Posted:

august2013photo_small

Devils Lake, the North Dakota lake that has grown more than six times as large in the past 20 years, continues to amaze anglers.  They show up from all corners of the walleye world, and quickly learn they can fish their “hometown” methods and catch fish.

 

“The fishing is out of this world with tactics more diverse and unique than most walleye factories,” said pro walleye fisherman Tommy Skarlis.  Anglers that fish slip-bobbers and live bait will be right at home on Devils Lake.  So will crankbait trollers.  Those who love to cast cranks, spoons and spinners will be able to target hundreds of shoreline miles plus humps, bumps and roadbeds under 200,000-plus acres of water.  Jig fishermen will be in heaven when vertical jigging around the many bridges – especially when the wind blows, setting up current – or casting and retrieving jigs with live bait or plastics.  Live bait riggers will be doing the same technique that led Bruce “Doc” Samson to two PWT wins on the lake.

Anglers may fish like they’re at home, or they can experiment with new tactics and be in the fish zone almost immediately.  Catching fish builds confidence.  From ice-out in spring to late fall, walleyes are the number one target.  Of course, white bass, northern pike and perch rank pretty high as well.  North Dakota fisheries biologist Todd Caspers said, “Our July walleye sampling shows the overall catch rate well above long-term averages.”

Placing it in perspective, he said last year there were record high numbers of 10 to 15 inch walleyes.  “The number of 15 to 20 inch keeper walleyes increased this year over last,” he said.  “I’m looking for good numbers of eater walleyes this fall and winter.”

The recent fisheries surveys will make perch anglers smile.  The overall survey catch rate is above last year, and five to eight inchers he said, “Are way up over the long-term average.”  Caspers also noted, “Since our surveys began in 1992, we now have a record level of 12-inch and larger perch in the system, with most of those being right at a foot long or slightly bigger.”

Two other species, white bass and pike are also targeted by many anglers.  White bass numbers are higher than last year, but below long-term averages.  “The big white bass from 15 to 18 inches are significantly above long-term averages,” Caspers said.  Pike are well above long-term averages, with loads of 21 to 27 inch fish biting everything.  “Those 28 to 34 inch pike are at numbers higher than last year and the big pike, over 34 inches, are present in good numbers,” he said.  “There’s no shortage of fish in Devils Lake!”

What the experts are saying:  Johnnie Candle, Devils Lake guide and promoter, “Walleyes remain relatively shallow all spring, summer and fall, making crankbaits and jigs dressed with plastic deadly.  Snap-jigging, spinners behind bottom bouncers rigged with artificial crawlers, swimbaits and trolling crankbaits all work.”

Jason Feldner, Devils Lake guide, “Pitching crankbaits on wind-blown shorelines is a main-stay out here, but jigs and plastic work just as well.”  Mike Gofron, tournament pro angler, “It’s amazing how aggressive the walleyes really are.  I use Northland Mimic Minnows or Johnson Beetle spins over and through the weeds.”  Ben Mack, 2013 Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce walleye tournament winner, “I fish walleyes on Devils Lake like the bass guys do – casting and flipping to trees and weeds.”

Ross Sensiba, Devils Lake guide, “When casting cranks shallow (4 to 6 feet of water), my standby is the Rapala Countdown.  They cast a mile in the wind and I reel them slow or twitch them.”  Mark Bry, Devils Lake guide, “Casting is preferred, but when we have to slow down, the number one method is slip bobbers.  We stay in the strike zone and don’t snag like we might with a jig.”  Guide Johnnie Candle, “It’s coming to my favorite time of year when the current around bridges really sucks in the fish.”

Nine convenient public concrete ramps are open with plenty of parking.  A map is featured on devilslakend.com.  The entire community is proud of the modern, air-conditioned fish-cleaning station, a 20 x 32 building, located south of Ed’s Bait Shop on Hwy 20 (south of the City of Devils Lake).  It’s free-of-charge to anglers, and features two grinders, a clean-up sink, regular and handicapped bathrooms.  It can handle 15 anglers at once, and is open 12 months of the year – just like the Devils Lake fishing season.  Several outdoor fish-cleaning stations are situated at ramps.

Devils Lake fishing guides target walleyes, white bass, perch and pike.  To contact guides and find the latest lake conditions, fishing reports, lodging, activities, restaurants, tournament news and resorts, check www.devilslakend.com, or call 701-662-4903.

Navigating the waters of Devils Lake

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