Wildlife officials also are concerned about what the upcoming winter and spring might hold for the population of the popular upland game bird.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department
It took the state about three years to recover from the last drought, in 2017.
But given the drought that is gripping North Dakota — along with much of the prairie pothole region — it’s not surprising that the state’s breeding duck estimate is where it’s at.
Some anglers wonder whether the state should have a closed season, or, alternately, whether it should have some type of fish-length restriction that would reduce harvest of larger fish.
It’s the first 16-plus-pounder recorded in the state.
“It’s likely there are more bighorns today than before North Dakota’s statehood in 1889.” But will the all-time record count mean more hunting licenses?
The total number of cases since CWD was initially discovered in North Dakota in 2009 is 44 and 30 of those cases have occurred in the last two years.
Hunting could begin in about five or six years, when the first rams will reach about 8 years old. Bighorn tags are highly coveted – a record 16,935 people applied for the six North Dakota licenses allocated in 2020.
“We’ve had an unusually mild winter with little snow accumulation. Availability of food should have been good and overall wintering conditions were excellent.”
The Badlands mule deer population made it through last year’s relatively mild winter fine, with spring survey numbers 22% above the long-term average.
A large-scale outbreak could impact hunting in the region this fall.
This year, a record of nearly 17,000 people applied for licenses, with six licenses allocated for upcoming season.
In the first seven days of this year’s walleye production, haulers traveled more than 8,200 miles and stocked over 150 lakes with 7.6 million fish.
Scott Phipps, of Hatton, N.D., and the 31-inch tagged walleye he caught on Creel Bay of Devils Lake. (Photo courtesy of Scott Hall)Catching a trophy walleye is one thing, but when that amazing fish also carries a tag, and from 11 years ago … well, that’s indeed a fish of a lifetime. For the complete story, click here. Categories: News,…
An annual spring survey by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department estimates 3.98 million breeding ducks in the state.
And it’s just the second time the disease has been detected in bats in the state.
Five adult moose, including two bulls and three cows, were shot and killed sometime around April 25 through April 30 southwest of Dunseith. One of the cows was pregnant with triplets and had two calves cut out of her.
Two mule deer taken in September have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, including one taken during the archery season from deer gun unit 4B in McKenzie County, where CWD had not previously been found.
Observers recorded five broods and 39 pheasants per 100 miles. Sharptails observed per 100 miles are up 113% statewide from 2018, and partridge are up 58%.
A European cousin of the walleye, the fish weighed 15 pounds, 15 ounces and measured nearly 36 inches.
Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel recently finished stocking more than 140 lakes across the state with walleye fingerlings, completing one of the largest stocking efforts in the history of the agency.
Statistics from the spring sharp-tailed grouse census indicate a 9 percent increase in the number of male grouse counted compared to last year.
The problem with attaining the mark is twofold: There is less grassland in the state due to farmers putting millions of acres of idled land once enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program back into crop production.And drought has impacted many parts of the state the past couple of years.
The invasive was verified in the James River near LaMoure.
72nd annual spring breeding duck survey showed an index of 3.4 million birds, up 20 percent from last year. That’s the 22nd highest index on record and stands 40 percent above the 71-year average.
The primary regions holding pheasants ranged from up 14 percent in the southeast and up 17 percent in the northwest, to down 8 percent in the southwest, and the count in the northeast, which is not a primary region for pheasants, was up 33 percent from last year.