2018-20 fishing regulations set

North Dakota’s 2018-20 fishing proclamation is set, with regulations effective April 1, 2018, through March 31, 2020.

Fishing licenses for the 2018-19 season can be purchased online at the state Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov, or at license vendors that are linked to the department’s online licensing system. New fishing licenses are required April 1.

Licenses may also be purchased by calling the department’s instant licensing telephone number at 800-406-6409. A service charge is added for this option.

The 2018-20 North Dakota Fishing Guide is available at Game and Fish offices and license vendors throughout the state.

Noteworthy regulation changes include:

– The season for taking of nongame fish with a bow will now be open year-round.

– The transportation of live white suckers, other than within Richland, Cass, Traill, Grand Forks, Walsh and Pembina counties, is now illegal.

– The beginning of the darkhouse spearfishing season changes from December 1 to whenever ice-up occurs. The closing date of March 15 will remain in place.

– Paddlefish snagging days will begin at 7 a.m. (was 8 a.m.) and close at 7 p.m. (was 9 p.m.). Also, the season length will be shortened to 21 days (May 1 – May 21). These changes are an effort to both extend the paddlefish season to more than a few days – most years the season lasts only 4-6 days, as an early in-season closure occurs due to the harvest reaching the cap of 1,000 paddlefish – and to improve safety conditions due to snagger congestion at the Confluence area. A daily closure at 7 p.m. will allow for a more orderly and safe situation for snaggers backed up at the cleaning station. Also, in the past 17 years, only twice was a full season reached. Effective this year, the overall season length is reduced to 21 days.

– The statewide daily and possession limit for bluegill is reduced to 10/20 respectively (was 20/40). Reducing the harvest somewhat, should help maintain the size of bluegill in some lakes.

– Walleye length restrictions are eliminated on North and South Golden, Alkali (Sargent Co.), Lueck and West Moran lakes, and Tosse Slough. While minimum length restrictions for these species have been in place for a number of years, all biological data collected from angler use and population surveys indicates the restrictions have not yielded positive results.

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