Darkhouse spearfishing set to open at Ice-Up
North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season opens on most state waters whenever ice-up occurs. Legal fish are northern pike and nongame species.
Prior to this year, the darkhouse spearfishing season had opened on Dec. 1.
All individuals who participate in darkhouse spearfishing must first register online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd. gov. In addition, anglers age 16 and older must possess a valid fishing license.
Spearers and anglers are reminded that materials used to mark holes must be in possession as soon as a hole greater than 10 inches in diameter is made in ice.
North Dakota residents who do not have a fishing license may spear during the winter free fishing weekend Dec. 29-30, but they still need to register to spear.
All waters open to hook and line fishing are open to darkhouse spearing except:
East Park Lake, West Park Lake, Lake Audubon – McLean County
Heckers Lake – Sheridan County
Larimore Dam – Grand Forks County
New Johns Lake – Burleigh County
Red Willow Lake – Griggs County
Wood Lake – Benson County
Anglers and spearers should refer to the 2018-20 North Dakota Fishing Guide for more information.
Fishing tournaments require 30-Day notice
Organizers planning fishing tournaments, including ice fishing contests this winter, are reminded to submit an application along with fishing tournament regulations to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department at least 30 days prior to the start of the event.
The 30-day advance notice allows for review by agency staff to ensure the proposed tournament will not have negative biological consequences or conflicts with other proposed tournaments for the same location and/ or time.
Fishing tournaments may not occur without first obtaining a valid permit from the department.
The number of open-water tournaments on lakes Sakakawea and Oahe, the Missouri River and Devils Lake are capped each year, depending on the time of the week, year and location.
Some Refuges open to late-season Upland Game
Hunters are reminded that several national wildlife refuges in North Dakota are open to late-season upland game bird hunting the day after the deer gun season closes.
Arrowwood, Audubon, Des Lacs, J. Clark Salyer, Lake Alice, Lake Zahl, Long Lake, Lostwood, Tewaukon (pheasants only), and Upper Souris NWRs open Nov. 26.
However, portions of each refuge are closed to hunting. Hunters should contact refuge headquarters for information on closed areas and other restrictions: Arrowwood 701-285-3341; Audubon 701-442-5474; Des Lacs 701-385-4046; J. Clark Salyer 701-768-2548; Lake Alice 701-662-8611; Lake Zahl 701-965-6488; Long Lake 701-387-4397; Lostwood 701-848-2722; Tewaukon 701-724-3598; and Upper Souris 701-468- 5467; or visit www.fws.gov.