Two fishing boats operate near the Garrison Dam Spillway this past Thursday, the day the spillway gates were closed. Spillway releases cut a wide swath through the land below and into the Missouri River, the result of which dropped the level of the Spillway Pond several feet. The boat ramp at that location remains out of the water.
Fishing below the spillway was said to have been very good while water was being released. Because the Tailrace area was closed because of high water, fishermen were accessing the spillway by making the long boat ride from Stanton. The Tailrace re-opened last Thursday morning and was busy immediately.
Schadewald retires, Link named chief
Longtime North Dakota Game and Fish Department division chief Paul Schadewald retired at the end of July after a 31-year career with the agency.
A Sykeston native and University of North Dakota graduate, Schadewald started his Game and Fish career in 1977 as the federal aid coordinator, and had served as administrative services division chief since 1989. In 2010 he assumed leadership of the conservation and communications division.
Greg Link, the department's assistant wildlife chief since 2001, was promoted to the conservation and communications division chief position Aug. 1. Link, a Richardton native with a degree in wildlife and fisheries zoology from North Dakota State University, started his career with Game and Fish as a wildlife technician in 1986. He served as a habitat biologist 1988-91, wildlife resource management supervisor 1991-97, and private land coordinator 1997-2001.
Landowners looking for doe hunters
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is currently working with 30 landowners in 19 hunting units across the state who would like to host antlerless deer hunters in 2011. The current list of landowners has nearly 350 openings for doe hunters. Participating landowners are located in hunting units 2C, 2D, 2G2, 2I, 2J2, 2K2, 3A4, 3B3, 3C, 3D1, 3D2, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4B, 4D, 4E and 4F. The program is not intended for buck hunters, but designed to direct hunters with antlerless licenses to specific areas to reduce deer populations.
Interested hunters can get their name on a list of possible participants by accessing the Game and Fish Department's Web site at (gf.nd.gov). Hunters who do not have Internet access can call the department's main office in Bismarck at 328-6300.
Hunters will provide their address, hunting unit(s) where they hold valid antlerless licenses, and if using rifle, muzzleloader or bow. From this list the department will select the number of hunters landowners have agreed to host. These hunters will be sent the landowner's name, phone number and any information relating to the landowner's specific situation.
North Dakota's 2011 regular deer gun season runs from Nov. 4 through Nov. 20. In addition, the archery season extends from Sept. 2 through Jan. 8. The youth season is from Sept. 16 through Sept. 25, and muzzleloader runs from Nov. 25 through Dec. 11.
Assessing Missouri River boat ramps
As the Missouri River recedes back within its banks over the next few weeks, State Game and Fish Department biologists are anticipating that many boat ramps will require substantial work before they are useable again.
"We know that as the water goes down, people will be anxious to try to get their boats in the water for what remains of summer," Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand said. "A few ramps may not require a lot of work to get them functional again, and we'll start on those as soon as we can."
Other ramps will likely require permits before needed construction can begin. "We're working with state and federal agencies to expedite the permits on those areas we believe we can make repairs rather quickly and provide boating access," Steinwand added.
If all goes well, Steinwand is hopeful Game and Fish can get a couple of ramps in safe working order by Labor Day weekend. The two most likely possibilities are Steckel (Wilton) and Kimball Bottoms (Desert), where biologists already have a sense of what repairs may be required to get them back in operation.