Greenwing Day on tap Aug. 4 at Des Lacs Refuge
Annual Greenwing Day is planned for Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Boat Dock area on the Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in Kenmare. Kids up to age 17 are welcome to join the fun beginning with a bus ride to the refuge at 8:30 a.m., leaving from the Kenmare High School parking lot. The bus will return to the school between 1:45 and 2 p.m. Parents are also welcome to attend the Greenwing Day and are encouraged to participate with their younger children.
The schedule features hands-on stations covering outdoor topics for kids. Lunch will be served and door prizes will be awarded to all participating children and teens. There is no cost to kids or their parents for any of the events.
Registration will take place at the Boat Dock beginning at 9 a.m. No pre-registration is necessary, although large groups are encouraged to pre-register, by calling 385-4367, 240-9008 or 340-5903.
Greenwing Day is sponsored by Ducks Unlimited, the Kenmare Goosefest, the Vets Club Inc., the North Dakota Department of Game and Fish, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
ANS monitoring continues in N.D. state waters
An ongoing effort to monitor state waters for aquatic nuisance species has not produced any significant discoveries this year. Fred Ryckman, ANS coordinator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said only one limited infestation curly leaf pondweed was found at Lake Elsie in Richland County.
"There were only a few individual plants in Lake Elsie, and they likely are already dying back for the year," Ryckman said. "However, anglers and other water recreationists should take extra time to inspect, clean and drain equipment before leaving the lake."
After documenting silver carp in the James River in 2011, this year's monitoring efforts, and the recent fish kill in the James River downstream of LaMoure, did not yield any silver carp.
"Only time will tell, but hopefully this summer's extremely low flows in the James are harsh enough to eliminate whatever population remnants of silver carp that are present," Ryckman said.
Ryckman said it is vital that anglers and other water recreationists follow ANS regulations. "Our monitoring efforts will continue, and we ask those on the water to do their part as well," he said.
Current law states all water must be drained from watercraft prior to leaving a water body, including livewells. In addition, any aquatic vegetation, or parts thereof, is not allowed on watercraft, motors, trailers and recreational equipment when out of water. Time out of the water needed to remove aquatic vegetation at the immediate water access area is allowed.
All built-in structures to boats, including livewells and bait compartments, and containers used to transport legal live bait, must also be free of aquatic vegetation. Game wardens will continue to enforce ANS regulations and violations will be dealt with appropriately according to the law.
2011 pheasant season summarized by N.D. Game & Fish
More hunting opportunities meant more pheasants taken during the 2011 season, as last fall's pheasant harvest was 683,000, up from 552,000 in 2010. Aaron Robinson, upland bird biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the overall landscape probably didn't have more birds, but Mother Nature allowed for an increase in harvest due to mild weather conditions and minimal snow cover in November, December and early January.
"This is a prime example of how the harvest doesn't necessarily reflect the overall population," Robinson said. "We actually had lower production in 2011 than in 2010, but hunter effort made up the difference due to last winter's exceptionally mild weather conditions."
Statistics actually revealed the number of hunters declined 10 percent to 82,700. The number of resident hunters was down 5 percent to 58,200, while nonresident pheasant hunter numbers decreased 20 percent to 24,500.
"However, the determining factor is many hunters were able to enjoy good hunting conditions with mild weather through the last weekend of the season," Robinson said.
Birds bagged per hunter increased from 6.0 to 8.3. Each hunter spent an average of six days afield. Counties with the highest percentage of pheasants taken by resident hunters were Hettinger, 9.2; Burleigh, 6.4; Emmons, 6.0; McLean, 5.4; and Adams, 5.3. Top counties for nonresident hunters were Hettinger, 24.9 percent; Bowman, 7.6; Emmons, 5.6; McIntosh, 5.2; and Divide, 4.5.