Look for new boat registrations
Boat owners are reminded that 2014 is the first year of a new three-year registration period, and with it comes an increase in license fees passed during the 2013 legislative session.
Effective Jan. 1, the price to register motorboats under 16 feet in length, and all canoes, increases from $12 to $18; motorboats from 16 feet to less than 20 feet in length from $24 to $36; and motorboats at least 20 feet in length from $33 to $45. The new boat registration cycle begins Jan. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2016.
Boat registrations will be mailed by the end of December. In addition, boat registrations can be renewed online after Dec. 15 at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's website, (gf.nd.gov). Also, anyone buying a new or used watercraft can register online and generate a 10-day temporary permit that is valid until the registration is processed.
Regulations require the boat number to be in contrasting color to the hull in plain vertical block letters at least 3 inches in height, excluding any border, trim, outlining or shading, and must be maintained in a legible condition so the number is clearly visible in daylight hours. The number must read from left to right, and groups of numbers and letters must be separated by a space or hyphen equivalent in width to the letter "M."
In addition, a validation sticker issued by the Game and Fish Department must be displayed on the boat within 6 inches of the number toward the rear of the boat. No other numbers should be displayed in this area.
Boat owners who do not receive a renewal notice by Feb. 1 should contact the Game and Fish Department. Many renewals are likely to be returned because some owners who moved within the last three years did not notify the department with their new address.
Coyote Catalog will be available
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department have reopened the "Coyote Catalog" to connect coyote hunters and trappers with landowners who want fewer coyotes in their areas. The Coyote Catalog is an online database similar to the one the Game and Fish Department uses to connect deer hunters with farmers and ranchers.
"We've had a lot of success matching deer hunters with landowners," said NDG&F director Terry Steinwand. "We hope the Coyote Catalog works out just as well."
State ag officials estimate livestock producers in North Dakota lost more than $1 million last year to coyotes. At the same time, coyotes are a popular furbearer species for hunters and trappers.
"I encourage landowners, especially farmers and ranchers who have problems with coyote depredation, to sign up for the Coyote Catalog," said agriculture commissioner Doug Goehring. "Hunting and trapping are valuable tools in managing these predators."
Landowners can sign up on the NDDA website at (nd.gov/ndda/coyote-catalog). Required information includes county and contact information.
Hunters and trappers can sign up at the NDGF website at (gf.nd.gov). The Coyote Catalog will remain active through March 31.
Intensive ANS efforts continue
Statewide monitoring efforts for aquatic nuisance species in 2013 resulted in only one new infestation curly-leaf pondweed in Grass Lake in Richland County.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department ANS coordinator Fred Ryckman said for the second consecutive year, no zebra mussels were detected in the Otter Tail and Red rivers at Wahpeton, where immature zebra mussels were found in both 2010 and 2011.
"This is encouraging news," Ryckman said. "However, adult zebra mussels discovered last year in Minnesota's Otter Tail drainage continue to move closer to North Dakota. In addition, adult zebra mussels were documented this fall in Lake Winnipeg, which is of great concern to Manitoba officials."
Statewide monitoring efforts also indicated known populations of ANS in existing North Dakota water bodies are generally stable, and in some instances are even in decline. Ryckman said a few adult silver carp were again observed in the James River below Jamestown Dam, after having moved upstream into North Dakota during the extremely high flows in 2011.
Game and Fish will continue intensive monitoring for ANS in 2014. In addition, the department will also continue its ANS information and education campaign, and enforcement efforts with the intent of full compliance with existing rules and regulations.
3F2 mule deer tests positive
A mule deer taken from unit 3F2 during the deer gun season has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
Dan Grove, North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife veterinarian, said a hunter shot the adult buck in western Grant County and submitted the head for testing as part of the hunter-harvested surveillance program. Testing was performed at Michigan State University. Game and Fish is awaiting verification of initial tests results from a national lab in Ames, Iowa. The lab still has some 3F2 samples to test, as well as all samples from the eastern third of the state.
This is the fourth deer, and first buck, to test positive for CWD since 2009, and all were from taken from unit 3F2 in southwestern North Dakota. All four were within the same general area. 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.