Information sought on bald eagle shooting
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the shooting of an immature bald eagle which was shot near the city of Crosby on Oct. 11. A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.
Witnesses reported the person or persons responsible for the shooting were driving a white Dodge dually pickup truck that had no additional markings. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking for assistance from the public to help identify this vehicle and the people who were traveling in the vehicle during the incident.
If you know anyone that lives in the Crosby area or know of someone that was in the area that day, and drives a white Dodge dually pickup, please contact Special Agent Kevin Downs with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 355-8531, 390-4735 or 255-0593.
Bald eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and by North Dakota state law.
Fisheries complete fall reproduction survey
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department's annual fall survey shows low numbers of young-of-the-year fish in the Missouri River System, while Devils Lake once again showed exceptional numbers of young-of-the-year walleye.
Scott Gangl, fisheries management section leader, said the catch at Lake Sakakawea was poor for most species including walleye, especially considering 4 million were stocked this year.
"We actually captured some 1-year-old fish that were only slightly bigger than this year's young-of-the-year," Gangl said. "The reservoir wasn't very productive this year given its rapid rate of elevation loss."
However, Gangl said production of forage fish in Lake Sakakawea has been fairly good over the last few years.
"Our size structure and growth rate of our older game fish improved from a decade ago when there was a prolonged period of drought years," he said.
The Missouri River from Garrison Dam to Lake Oahe showed few young game fish or forage fish.
"Fish populations in this stretch of the river are all based on natural reproduction, which was good in 2009-10," Gangl said. "We have an abundance of adult walleye and pike, but they are on the smaller side because they are only 2-3 years old. In addition, we lost a lot of forage in 2011, and poor reproduction again in 2012 continues to depress the forage base, leaving our game fish on the skinny side and growing slower than we would like."
This past spring Game and Fish personnel, along with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, stocked adult gizzard shad at eight sites throughout Lake Oahe. Gangl said the intent was for adult shad to reproduce and provide young-of-the-year for forage and a seed stock to rebuild the population.
"We did detect some reproduction, but it will not be an overnight success," he added. "We need a few more mild winters like last year before we see a rebuilding of the shad forage base like we had in the early 2000s."
The rapid loss of water that was witnessed this year in lakes Sakakawea and Oahe is alarming, Gangl said, but decreased system flows this fall will provide some recovery assistance.
Devils Lake showed the second highest young-of-the-year walleye catch rate on record, second only to 2009.
"Devils Lake continues to be a walleye factory," Gangl said. "The high water levels on Devils Lake have improved natural reproduction for most fish species, and there is an abundance of young fish in the system."
Chronic wasting disease surveillance continues
The state Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2012 hunting season, by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis from 17 units in North Dakota. In addition, all moose and elk harvested in the state are eligible for testing.
Samples from hunter-harvested deer taken in the western portion of the state will be tested from units 3A1, 3A2, 3A3, 3B1, 3B2, 3D1, 3D2, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F. Every head sampled must have either the deer tag attached, or a new tag can be filled out with the license number, deer hunting unit and date harvested.
Hunters are encouraged to drop off deer heads at the following locations:
Alexander - Old School Meat Processing
Bismarck - Game and Fish Department headquarters, M&M Sausage and Meats, West Dakota Meats, Call of the Wild Taxidermy
Crosby - Crosby Water Plant
Dickinson - Dickinson Game and Fish district office, Dean's Meat Market
Dunn Center - Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge
Elgin - Gunny's Bait and Tackle, Melvin's Taxidermy
Foxholm - Upper Souris NWR
Glen Ullin - Kuntz's Butcher Shop
Hazen - Hazen Meats
Hettinger - Dakota Packing
Kenmare - Des Lacs NWR, Lostwood NWR, Seykora's Meat Processing
Mandan - Butcher Block Meats
Mohall - Engebretson Processing
New Leipzig - Hertz Hardware
Parshall - Myers Meats
Riverdale - Riverdale Game and Fish district office
Roseglen - Giffey Taxidermy
Scranton - Hettich Salvage, Wolf's Processing
Stanley - Stanley High School
Williston - Williston Game and Fish district office, Mertin Kirschbaum, Scenic Sports, Bickler Taxidermy, Zerr's Taxidermy.
Moose and elk heads should be taken to a Game and Fish office. CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.