Violations surge in paddlefish season
North Dakota game wardens issued a record number of citations during the recent paddlefish snagging season.
From opening day May 1 until the season closed May 19, wardens cited more than 170 individuals as part of an annual saturation effort in Williams and McKenzie counties. Last year the citation total for a similar time frame was 82.
Robert Timian, enforcement chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the agency has for many years brought in wardens from other areas of the state to help during the paddlefish snagging season.
"Our main priority is to protect the paddlefish resource from illegal harvest," Timian said. "However, paddlefish snagging is not the only outdoor activity during this time."
Only 11 of the more than 175 total violations were directly related to paddlefishing. The most prevalent violation was fishing without a license, involving 41 nonresidents and 12 residents. Littering was another common infraction, with 19 citations issued.
The wardens also patrol several thousand acres of state wildlife management areas in the two counties and issued 21 citations for possession of glass beverage containers and 14 citations for prohibited use of a motor vehicle.
In addition, wardens also cited numerous individuals with open containers containing alcohol in motor vehicles, and minors in possession of alcohol, made three arrests on felony warrants and turned four drug-related incidents over to county sheriffs.
Paddlefish/WMA operation at Williston May 1-19
Wildlife Management Areas -
21 - Possession of glass beverage containers on a WMA
14 - Prohibited use of a motor vehicle on WMA
1 - Failure to Obey Posted WMA regulations-Camping when restricted
1 - Unlawful use of firearms in a reckless or indiscriminate manner on WMA
Paddlefishing - 11 Citations
7 - Depositing fish/fish parts on shore (paddlefish)
3 - Paddlefishing before or after legal hours
1 - Cast or attempt to hook paddlefish for another
Fishing, Other than
Paddlefish - 77 Citations
41 - Nonresident fishing without a license
16 - Failure to carry fishing license on person
12 - Resident fishing without a license
3 - Fishing with an excessive number of lines
3 - Failure to attend fishing equipment
1 - Returning fish to water after being contained or confined to live well or stinger
1 - Depositing fish/fish parts on shore
Boating - 12 Citations
and 1 Warning
7 - Boating with inadequate number of personal flotation devices
2 - Operating a motorboat without current registration
1 - Operate motorboat without lights when required
1 - Towing without an observer
1 - Operate a motorboat at greater than idle speed in restricted area
1 - Warning for operating without lights when required
Miscellaneous - 49 Citations and 1 Warning
19 - Littering
9 - Open receptacle containing alcohol in or on a motor vehicle
9 - Minor in possession of alcohol
4 - Drug-related incidents turned over to sheriff's department
3 - Arrests made on felony warrants
1 - Minor in possession warning
1 - Impersonating a game warden - 5 counts
Fall turkey lottery moved to August
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is moving the 2013 fall turkey license application deadline, originally set for July 3, to August this year to allow for a better assessment of the fall turkey population before determining license numbers. The official date for the application deadline has not yet been determined.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor, said the change will allow more opportunities for hunters. "Our fall turkey numbers are a lot more precise when we can use data from late spring and early summer before we have to finalize the proclamation," Kohn said. "Now we can thoroughly assess brood production, which has a direct influence on the fall population."
For years, the fall turkey proclamation was finalized in late May, with applications out in early June and the deadline for applying early July. Game and Fish licensing manager Randy Meissner said moving the application process into August will not cause any issues for applicants, as successful hunters will be notified well in advance of opening day.
MULEY Day Camp slated for July 13
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department's Encouraging Tomorrow's Hunters program is a primary sponsor for an outdoor learning event in the Bismarck area on Saturday, July 13.
Put on by the Mule Deer Foundation, the MULEY Day Camp runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Moffit Gun Range. It includes rifle and archery target shooting, hunting and safety information and demonstrations.
All equipment is provided, along with a free lunch and door prizes. To preregister, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Ryan Krapp at 471-8788.