North Dakota’s 2016-18 fishing proclamation is set, with regulations effective April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2018. Anglers are reminded that new fishing licenses are required April 1.
Noteworthy regulation changes include:
· A free fishing weekend was added for North Dakota residents during the ice fishing season. In the coming winter, the free weekend will be held Dec. 31 – Jan. 1, 2017.
· The statewide possession limit for bluegill, yellow perch and white bass was reduced from 80 to 40 each.
· All drain plugs that hold back water must be removed, and all draining devices must be open on all watercraft and recreational bilges and confined spaces, during out-of-water transport.
· All water must be completely drained from bait containers, including bait buckets, upon leaving the Red River, or any other waters designated as infested with Class 1 prohibited aquatic nuisance species.
· Sweet Briar Dam and Braun Lake are open to darkhouse spearfishing, and Larimore Dam and Wood Lake are closed to darkhouse spearfishing.
· Markers must be in the possession of anglers and/or spearers as soon as a hole greater than 10 inches in diameter is made in the ice.
· Largemouth bass and northern pike length restrictions are eliminated on Red Willow Lake and largemouth bass length restrictions removed on North and South Golden lakes.
· Fishing rods must be easily visible and within a maximum distance of 150 feet of participating anglers.
· One snapping turtle may be harvested annually between July 1 and Nov. 15.
Fishing licenses can be purchased using a computer or smartphone by visiting the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov, or at license vendors that are linked to the department’s online licensing system. Since participating vendors will need to sell licenses electronically, paper license booklets are no longer available at license vendors.
Not all vendors that sold licenses in the past will still sell licenses. A list of vendors participating in electronic licensing sales is available on the department’s website. Vendors on the list as of April 1 will be linked to the department’s online licensing system.
Licenses may also be purchased by calling the department’s instant licensing telephone number at 800-406-6409 any time day or night. A service charge is added for licenses purchased through the instant licensing telephone number.