Ice thickness isn’t yet consistent, and anglers venturing out on any body of water should use caution — especially if they’re not from the area. Ice should be at least 4 inches thick for safe walking. If it’s 2 inches or less, stay off.
In North Dakota, the Game and Fish Department this week said statewide pheasant counts are down 36 percent from last year and brood observations down 38 percent. For hunters, the upshot is a pheasant kill that could dip below 500,000 roosters for the first time since 2001.
The 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has been on everyone’s minds in recent weeks, and it’s caused me to stop and think about how life has changed where I grew up. The changes have been subtle and significant at the same time.
The Garrison Dam Tailrace on the Missouri River has been the hottest fishing hole in North Dakota since the boat ramp reopened Aug. 18 after a summer of flooding, but there’s a dark side to what’s happening below the tailrace that concerns Game and Fish Department officials.
Reconnecting after all those years offered the perfect excuse to make a trip north to Crow Lake. I’d fished lake trout in its crystal clear waters, staying at a different camp, but it had been several years. I’d driven by Black Bear Camp on every one of those trips.
Stores and other outlets participating in the DNR’s electronic licensing system received notices this past week indicating the ELS machines will be shut down after Friday if Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled House and Senate can’t come to a budget agreement.
It’s officially a ditch that feeds a series of manmade impoundments, but its inaccessibility, and the tamarack and willow trees that line its marshy banks, give it the feel of a wilderness stream. The northern pike it used to serve up in both size and abundance only added to the attraction. There was only one way to find out if they’d still be there after all these years.
Monday was a gift for anyone lucky enough to be outside. With temperatures in the high 60s and just enough wind to squelch the desire to be in a boat, the day was perfect for raking and sweeping and mowing. So, that’s what I did. Pretty much all day.
As with any fishing or hunting trip, there’s reason for excitement, but the reason in this case is bigger than usual. The crew will be fishing the Columbia River for white sturgeon with a guide who specializes in the species.
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