Young deer hunters can go afield at an earlier age, habitual fish and game offenders face harsher penalties and nonresident small game hunters still are limited to two seven-day periods on their licenses.
Those are some of the outcomes of a generally quiet session for hunting- and fishing-related issues in the North Dakota Legislature, which adjourned early Tuesday.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department says record snowfall across North Dakota may have led to a major fish die-off in about 40 lakes. State fisheries chief Greg Power says the department plans a survey to determine the full extent of the problem.
Whooping cranes are beginning their spring migration and wildlife officials are asking the public to report any sightings of the birds, which are considered one of North America's most endangered. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department says the reports help track the birds.
A forecasted rise in Devils Lake this spring could affect boating access in some areas if the lake reaches predicted levels, the Game and Fish Department says. But the high water bodes well for fish reproduction and fishing prospects.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department big game biologist Brett Wiedmann, on a routine telemetry flight, located six radio-collared big horns that had died. All six appeared to have been victims of the severe winter weather. “I was real concerned at that point,” Wiedmann said. “Probably only a bison can withstand harsh winters more than a big horn can. They’re a real tough animal."
State biologists say the next few weeks of winter will be critical to the health of the wildlife in North Dakota. Game and Fish Department wildlife chief Randy Kreil says if the winter remains harsh “the cumulative impact could be significant.”
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