Growing up in the Midwest, I always thought August was more about fishing, baseball and the last stretch of summer vacation, rather than a prelude to fall accompanied by football, school and hunting. But times have changed, and the transition to fall now seems to start in August rather than in September, especially since the advent of the early Canada goose management season in North Dakota.
The state Game and Fish Department recently posted the 2017 version of the North Dakota Private Land Open to Sportsmen—or PLOTS—guide to its website. In addition to the updated maps showing PLOTS acres and other public lands available for hunting this year, the guide also has a question-and-answer section with Game and Fish private land section leader Kevin Kading, who provides some further information on the status of this popular program.
My years of experience and work as a biologist and former game warden usually give me a head start when I get questions on a variety of topics, but when I don't know the answer, my first stop is the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov. Recently, I was searching the website and ran across a section relating to the history of the agency and hunting and fishing in North Dakota, and I thought it might be of interest to share a bit. The full link is here: https://gf.nd.gov/history . • In 1909, a five-member Game and Fish Board of Control was created.
Ask an angler with his friends or co-workers within earshot what his three favorite North Dakota fishing targets are, and you'll likely hear walleye, walleye and walleye. But bluegill? Likely not in the first casts of most campfire conversations. But maybe they should be.
Compare gas prices now to just a few years ago, and it's easy to understand that anglers want to take the opportunity to explore more lakes, rivers and reservoirs. I'm not just talking North Dakota, either. But this additional travel also requires more emphasis on preventing the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species.
It's the middle of July, and all over North Dakota, milkweed plants are working toward full bloom. While not everyone appreciates the bright pinkish-purple flower pods everywhere they grow, for the monarch butterfly, one of the more well-known representatives of the insect world, this is prime time for continuation of the species, and milkweed is the life cycle hub.
Down time doesn't exist for hunting, fishing and outdoors news and notes, so this week, I'll feature some important news and reminders from the last month or so.
I've always preferred simple tackle for fishing—bobbers, jigs, spoons and hooks --- though I'm not categorically against using the latest legal tools and technology. I call it low-impact angling. Some call it bobbers and worms. Whatever you declare, it's more about enjoying fish and less about trophy angling, no matter the cost. You can find fish—I bet we've all seen bluegills shading themselves under a dock—and still not catch them.
No matter where in North Dakota you call home, finding a place to wet a line or relax on a boating excursion is not too far away. It's kind of an interesting thought, as the state has more waters than ever to use for all recreation, and we also have more people registering watercraft than ever before. In some way, you could say supply and demand both seem to be on the rise.
Traveling isn't much of an obstacle these days when it comes to a good day of walleye fishing. The past couple of years, the combination of lower fuel and transportation costs along with good walleye, pike, panfish and bass fishing expectations, means more anglers than ever are apt to wet a line in different lakes, reservoirs and rivers, from day to day and weekend to weekend.