OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: Impact of Oil Patch on outdoors, N.D. walleye spawning etc.

Report examines oil impact on natural resources in N.D. BISMARCK -- It's going to take time to gauge the impact of oil and gas development on hunters, anglers and other natural resource users in North Dakota, but the quality of the outdoors exper...

Report examines oil impact on natural resources in N.D.

BISMARCK -- It's going to take time to gauge the impact of oil and gas development on hunters, anglers and other natural resource users in North Dakota, but the quality of the outdoors experience will decline over time.

That's one of the conclusions of a North Dakota Game and Fish Department report, "Potential Impacts of Oil and Gas Development on Select North Dakota Natural Resources: A Report to the Director." Game and Fish released an updated draft of the report this week.

The report details previous research in North Dakota and other states that may provide guidance for offsetting or mitigating oil and gas development impacts on fish and wildlife resources.

"As the footprint of oil development expands and the cumulative impacts to natural resources such as water supplies and wildlife habitat increase, maintaining the sustainability of our rich natural resources will become increasingly challenging," the report states.


The report is available online at


-- Herald staff report

N.D. collects 60 million walleye eggs in May

BISMARCK -- Despite a late start, fisheries crews for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department collected 60 million walleye eggs from Lake Sakakawea this spring.

According to Jerry Weigel, fisheries production and development section leader for Game and Fish, crews collected eggs from more than 1,000 walleyes on Lake Sakakawea during a 10-day period in early May. No eggs were collected from Devils Lake this spring, he said.

Weigel said Game and Fish will stock about 10 million walleye fingerling into nearly 100 waters in mid-June.

-- N.D. Game and Fish Department


Glitch forces DNR to rerun bear lottery

ST. PAUL -- Hunters who applied for a 2011 Minnesota bear hunting permit will have to wait a little longer to find out if they were successful in this year's lottery.

That's because a computer-related error is forcing the Department of Natural Resources to rerun the bear lottery.

Though no bear hunting licenses have been issued, the DNR said some hunters may be under the mistaken impression they have been selected as winners because they viewed incorrect content on the agency's website before the error was detected.

Dennis Simon, DNR wildlife section chief, said older data from 2009 rather than the most current data from 2010 was used by the computer to determine hunter preference level. As a result, many bear hunting permit winners were erroneously selected based on incorrect preference information.

"Our job is to conduct a fair and accurate lottery, and that's what we will do," Simon said.

The DNR will post new lottery results on its website in early June, and successful hunters will be notified by mail later in June.

-- Minnesota DNR


Did you know?

- North Dakota anglers can fish for free, without a license, Saturday and June 5. Info:

- The Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit returns to Devils Lake on June 24-26. The tournament is being held in conjunction with the 35th annual Devils Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Walleye Fishing Tournament. MWC competitors can sign up for the Chamber tourney and fish two competitions at the same time. Info: or

- The DNR's area wildlife office in Karlstad, Minn., is planning to thin the oak trees on the beach ridge adjacent to state Highway 11 east of Karlstad in Twin Lakes Wildlife Management Area. Years of fire suppression have caused the historic oak savannas to give way to oak woodlands in many areas. Oak savanna habitat across the state and globe is very rare, so the upcoming Twin Lakes project aims to restore the area's savanna habitat.

- Motorists should be on special lookout for deer along roadways right now. June is one of the peak months for deer-vehicle accidents because young animals are dispersing from their home ranges. Last year, 2,949 deer-vehicle collisions were reported in North Dakota, marking the fourth consecutive year with declining numbers and the lowest since 2000.

Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.

Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.

Reach him at, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.
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