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North Dakota Game and Fish updates- Dec. 23, 2019


December 23, 2019

Free Ice Fishing Weekend

North Dakota’s free ice fishing weekend is Dec. 28-29. Resident anglers may fish or spear that weekend without a license. All other ice fishing regulations apply.

Those interested in darkhouse spearfishing, however, must register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department prior to participating. Registration is available by visiting the Game and Fish website, Legal fish are northern pike and nongame species.

Mountain Lion Late Season Closes in Zone 1, Conditional Season to Open

Mountain lion hunting during the late season in Zone 1 is closed immediately. The zone’s late-season harvest limit was reached after the seventh cat was taken.

A conditional season in Zone 1 will open Dec. 21 for hunters to pursue the additional two mountain lions that were not taken during the early season. The Zone 1 early season harvest limit was eight cats, and only six were taken.

The conditional season will close March 31, 2020 or immediately once the second cat is taken. Early season regulations apply, which means hunters are not allowed to use dogs. In addition, hunters who harvested a lion during the early or late season are not eligible to participate.

Zone 1 includes land south of ND Hwy 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Hwy 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Hwy 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along ND Hwy 8 to ND Hwy 200, then west on ND Hwy 200 to U.S. Hwy 85, then south on U.S. Hwy 85 to the South Dakota border.

The mountain lion season in Zone 2, which is the rest of the state outside Zone 1, has no harvest limit and is open through March 31, 2020.

Watercraft Registrations Online

North Dakota watercraft owners are reminded that 2020 is the first year of a new three-year registration period.

Watercraft registrations must be renewed online by visiting My Account at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, A credit card is required.

The price to register motorboats in North Dakota under 16 feet in length, and all canoes, is $18, motorboats from 16 feet to less than 20 feet in length is $36, and motorboats at least 20 feet in length is $45. Fees are prorated.

In addition, Senate Bill 2293, passed by the 2019 state legislature, created an aquatic nuisance species program fund in the state treasury. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, this new state law establishes an ANS fee of $15 for each motorized watercraft registered in North Dakota to run concurrent with the three-year watercraft registration period.

For motorized watercraft operated on waters in North Dakota and not licensed in North Dakota, the state law establishes an ANS fee of $15 to be paid for each calendar year, and to display an ANS sticker on the watercraft.

New watercraft owners can attach the required documentation, such as the bill of sale or proof of taxes paid, with the online purchase, or send in the required documentation via mail. A 10-day temporary permit will be issued to allow for processing and delivery of registration and decals. For timely processing, Game and Fish encourages watercraft owners to submit attachments online.

The 2020-22 watercraft registration cycle begins Jan. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2022.


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