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Outdoors Notebook: Fargo angler Kyle Agre inducted into North Dakota Fishing Hall of Fame

Agre was scheduled to be inducted into the North Dakota Fishing Hall of Fame on Thursday, July 14, before the rules meeting for the Governor’s Cup Walleye Derby.

Kyle and kids.jpg
Kyle Agre and student anglers Kaleb Leith and Sajen Nyoak of the Sheyenne Mustangs enjoy time on the water during a previous season of the Lake Agassiz High School Fishing League. Agre, of Fargo, has been inducted into the North Dakota Fishing Hall of Fame for his efforts to promote angling and youth fishing opportunities.
Contributed / Kyle Agre
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Agre inducted into N.D. Fishing Hall of Fame

GARRISON, N.D. – Kyle Agre of Fargo, a longtime member of the F-M Walleyes fishing club, has been inducted into the North Dakota Fishing Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport of fishing in North Dakota. A 20-year member of F-M Walleyes, Agre has served on the club’s board of directors for 13 years and was president for four years.

In congratulating Agre, F-M Walleyes in a Facebook post called Agre a “fantastic ambassador for sport fishing” for his efforts to promote fishing opportunities and his efforts to educate young anglers about fishing and the outdoors.

READ MORE FISHING COVERAGE:

Agre was scheduled to be inducted into the Garrison-based Hall of Fame on Thursday, July 14, before the rules meeting for the Governor’s Cup Walleye Derby.

“Kyle always displays a friendly, sincere and passionate dedication to helping others enjoy and improve their fishing experiences,” the Hall of Fame said in a news release announcing Agre’s induction. “His talent, skill and ability at fishing is matched by his motivation to do all he can to help others and improve and maintain sportfishing in North Dakota.”

– Herald staff report

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Sportsmen denounce RETURN Act

WASHINGTON – Hunters, anglers and conservation groups are denouncing new legislation that would dismantle the nation’s most successful wildlife conservation funding program, which has raised billions of dollars for wildlife over the past 85 years.

The landmark Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program, established by the 1937 Pittman-Robertson Act and the 1950 Dingell-Johnson Act, invests in habitat restoration and other state-directed wildlife conservation measures by setting aside the revenue raised by the federal excise tax on firearms, ammunition, archery, and fishing equipment.

The RETURN Act – short for Repealing Excise on Unalienable Rights Now – introduced by Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Georgia, and co-sponsored by 57 others, including Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-Minnesota, would repeal the federal excise tax and eliminate Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program revenue.

Since its inception, the program has dispersed nearly $15 billion to states for conservation, wildlife management and recreation, and last year alone provided $1.5 billion in funding for state wildlife agencies.

In addition, the RETURN Act would eliminate all federal funding for game management, hunter education and shooting range safety programs by repealing the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Fund.

“We cannot more strongly denounce the RETURN Act and its misguided aims to dismantle the Pittman-Robertson Act,” Aaron Kindle, director of sporting advocacy at the National Wildlife Federation, said in a statement. “The Pittman-Robertson Act is a universally renowned conservation success story and has helped us create the North American model for wildlife conservation that has made our nation the envy of the world. The RETURN Act would undercut one of the most important ways responsible hunters and anglers have helped wildlife thrive for future generations for nearly a century.”

The RETURN Act instead proposes to subsidize the program with unsecured and variable funding from the Department of Treasury or the Continental Shelf Lands Act and Mineral Leasing Act, which would never exceed just half of what sportsmen contributed last year, the Sportsmen’s Alliance said in a news release.

“For 85 years, sportsmen have willingly paid to support conservation in this country, which has become the crown jewel of wildlife management and the model that the rest of the world has embraced,” Todd Adkins, vice president of government affairs for the Sportsmen’s Alliance, said in a statement. “The RETURN Act will gut wildlife management in this country and destroy the North American Model of Conservation.”

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– Herald staff report

Apply now for Rydell Mentored Youth Deer Hunt

ERSKINE, Minn. – Rydell National Wildlife Refuge will host a special Mentored Youth Deer Hunt on Oct. 29-30, for 12- to 15-year-old hunters in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Friends of Rydell and Glacial Ridge Refuges Association.

Rydell is the only national wildlife refuge in Minnesota that offers this special “mentored” deer hunting opportunity, which is open to 15 young hunters.

Participating youth will be required to hunt with a parent, guardian or adult mentor. They will be allowed to shoot up to three deer on the refuge, only one of which can be an antlered buck.

Youth hunt participants also must attend a mandatory orientation session set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, at Rydell refuge.

Refuge staff in 2020 and 2021 modified the mentored hunt to be more “hands off” because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s hunt will return to a more traditional format, which includes allowing the normal number of 15 youth hunters and having an in-person orientation.

Interested youth must apply for the hunt no later than Aug. 19. Applications can be completed at any DNR license agent or online at mndnr.gov/Hunting/Deer/Youth-Deer-Hunts.html . Click on “How to Apply” at the bottom of the page. When applying, prospective hunters should note that the Rydell Refuge Hunt is number 957.

For more information, contact Gregg Knutsen, refuge manager, at (218) 687-2229, (218) 686-4329 or by email at gregg_knutsen@fws.gov .

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In addition to the Rydell hunt, several state parks are offering mentored youth hunts, including Itasca, Lake Bemidji, Lake Bronson and Zippel Bay state parks in northwest Minnesota. Like the Rydell hunt, applications are available at any DNR license agent or online at mndnr.gov/Hunting/Deer/Youth-Deer-Hunts.html , and the deadline to apply is Aug. 19.

Special youth deer hunts are different from Minnesota’s statewide youth deer season, which takes place Oct. 20-23 and does not require an application.

– Herald staff report

MN-Fish highlights boat ramp shortage

OSSEO, Minn. – Minnesota boaters may find crowded boat accesses and a shortage of trailer parking over holiday weekends, the MN-Fish Sportfishing Foundation and Coalition warned in a news release.

“There is one big reason for the access problems,’’ said MN-FISH President Ron Schara. “While state boat registrations have grown to more than 830,000 craft, the Legislature has consistently failed to give DNR needed funding to upgrade existing boat ramps or create new ones.”

Currently, only 1,900 public boat ramps provide access to state waters. Since 2011, only six new boat ramps have been added, while motorized watercraft registrations grew by nearly 30,000.

Schara said MN-FISH lobbied the Legislature to pass two bonding bills, including $37 million to upgrade boat accesses, and $60 million to modernize the state’s antiquated fish hatchery system. Both measures died when lawmakers failed to pass a bonding bill.

“Minnesota has some of the most amazing lakes in the country, but the state refuses to reinvest in the resource and that is substantially impacting the quality of the fishing/boating experience,” Mark Holsten, MN-FISH executive director, said in a statement. “Given the importance of fishing/boating culturally and economically, that’s a mistake.”

Sportfishing is a multi-billion-dollar industry in Minnesota, supporting more than 28,000 jobs and generating $4.4 billion annually in economic impact, making it one of the largest industries in the state, MN-Fish said.

– Herald staff report

Operation Dry water yields 166 citations

BISMARCK – A nationally coordinated effort to educate the public about the dangers of boating under the influence yielded seven BUI of alcohol violations in North Dakota during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the Game and Fish Department said Monday.

Known as Operation Dry Water, the July 2-4 effort was designed for heightened enforcement of boating under the influence laws and recreational outreach, said Jackie Lundstrom, enforcement division operations supervisor for Game and Fish in Bismarck.

During the effort, wardens contacted 4,180 boaters and 1,542 vessels, issuing 166 citations, the majority of which were boating citations.

“Our hope is that this event helps educate boaters about safe boating practices,” Lundstrom said.

– Herald staff report

Did you know?

  • Applications are now open for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in North Dakota, the state Parks and Recreation Department said. Across North Dakota, numerous recreation projects have been funded through the federal grant program including swimming pools, tennis courts, baseball fields, playgrounds, splash pads and more. The Parks and Recreation Department administers the program in North Dakota. Applications are due Friday, July 29. Info: parkrec.nd.gov .
  • The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will offer a written examination for prospective guides and outfitters at 1 p.m. Aug. 20 at Game and Fish headquarters in Bismarck. Pre-registration is required no later than Aug. 12 by calling the department’s enforcement office at (701) 328-6604.
  • If a boating accident in North Dakota involves injury, death or disappearance of a person, an accident report must be completed and sent to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department within 48 hours of the occurrence. If property damage exceeds $2,000, but no deaths or injuries occur, a boat operator has five days to file a report. These reporting requirements are mandatory whether there is one or more boats involved. More info: gf.nd.gov.
  • Following a walleye fishing closure in place through Friday, July 15, Mille Lacs Lake anglers can catch and release walleye starting Saturday, July 16, through Wednesday, Aug. 31. After the catch-and-release season, a one-fish walleye limit is scheduled to resume Thursday, Sept. 1, and continue through Wednesday, Nov. 30. More info: mndnr.gov/MilleLacsLake.

– compiled by Brad Dokken 

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