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OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: North Dakota Game and Fish Department honors employees, Billy Dougherty named to Fishing Hall of Fame of Minnesota etc.

Game and Fish honors employees

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently honored several employees with performance-based awards. Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand presented the awards Dec. 7 at the department's annual staff meeting in Bismarck.

Employees honored were:

• Russ Kinzler, Missouri River System fisheries biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Riverdale, received the agency's Director's Award for professional excellence. Kinzler was recognized for his role in designing and completing a wide range of management and research activities on the Missouri River System, Steinwand said.

• Greg Hastings, district game warden, Jamestown, is North Dakota's 2017 Wildlife Officer of the Year. Hastings recently was honored by the Shikar-Safari Club International, a private conservation organization that annually recognizes outstanding wildlife officers in each state.

• Todd Buckley, private land biologist, Williston, was recognized for his efforts working with landowners, deer depredation and many special projects that fall outside the normal private land duties.

• Aaron Slominski, fisheries biologist, Williston, was recognized for his quick and timely efforts in setting up a cleaning site during the paddlefish snagging season.

• Randy Meissner, Gail Mosset, Amanda Anstrom, Tracy Price, Tana Bentz and Tanya Mikkelson, licensing section, Bismarck, were recognized for meeting the challenges of implementing a new online services program for electronic licensing, while managing to handle hundreds of customer phone calls, including walk-in traffic, on a daily basis.

• Zane Manhart, district game warden, Beach, was named North Dakota's Boating Officer of the Year. Chief warden Robert Timian said Manhart's work ethic and professional drive have created a safer boating environment on waters in southwest North Dakota.

-- N.D. Game and Fish Department

Minnesota Fishing Hall names inductees

The Fishing Hall of Fame of Minnesota has named longtime fishing guide Billy Dougherty of International Falls, Minn., among the individuals and companies to be inducted into the hall on March 23.

Dougherty has guided on Rainy Lake for decades, going back to the 1960s and '70s, when he worked at his grandparents' Kettle Falls Hotel. He has owned Rainy Lake Houseboats for more than 30 years, and his multi-species angling expertise has been featured on a number of outdoors TV shows. Next year will mark the centennial of his family's involvement with fishing-related tourism on Rainy Lake.

Other inductees include outdoors writer and photographer Mark Strand; Mark Fisher, director of field promotions for Rapala USA; the Gapen Co., longtime Minnesota maker of fishing tackle; and Minn Kota, maker of trolling motors and other fishing gear.

-- Forum News Service

Win a BWCAW canoe trip

Can you write? Ely Outfitting Co. and Boundary Waters Guide Service in Ely, Minn., is holding a contest for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who could win a fully-outfitted five-day canoe-camping adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with two or three of their friends.

Students will be asked to write a 1,000- to 1,500-word essay answering the question, "Why do you want to go on a parent-free BWCA Wilderness canoe-camping adventure with your friends?" Deadline is Feb. 11.

For details, go to

-- Forum News Service