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Leier: Questions to, and answers from North Dakota Game and Fish

Fargo Questions tend to flow with the seasons, and while hunting is starting to gain ground, fishing continues to lead my list of phone, email and other random inquiries. Here's a sample of some questions the North Dakota Game and Fish Department...

Fargo

Questions tend to flow with the seasons, and while hunting is starting to gain ground, fishing continues to lead my list of phone, email and other random inquiries. Here's a sample of some questions the North Dakota Game and Fish Department typically receives, with answers from the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov.

Why can't I release fish held in a livewell at the end of a fishing outing?

If allowed, fish that were stressed (e.g. on stringers, possibly not in a functional live well, etc.) would experience delayed mortality after being released. The fish may swim away but may not be healthy and eventually die. Further, if the release of a fish (or two) at the end of the day was allowed, it could possibly lead to high-grading or culling.

High-grading is the practice of selectively harvesting fish - catching a fish, reducing it to creel (e.g. in a livewell), and then later releasing the fish after catching additional fish of a more preferable size. High grading is and has been against the law for at least the past 60 years in North Dakota. Allowing for some release of fish after being reduced to creel, would at the very least, complicate enforcement and at its worse, greatly confound overall fishing regulations.

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How do I properly transport cleaned fish? Do these same regulations apply after I get the fish home, and later transport them to another location for consumption or to give away?

The current regulation regarding transportation of cleaned fish reads: "The packaging of fish away from one's permanent residence must be done in such a manner that the number of fish in each package may be easily determined."

This applies whether the fillets are fresh or frozen and does not change after the fish reach a permanent residence and are later transported to another location. Laying out individual fillets (versus stacking or clumping) before freezing is highly recommended. Remember, at no time may a person transport more than his or her possession limit.

Fish that are given away must still be packaged in a manner that the number can be easily determined and must include the name of the person gifting the fish, fishing license number, phone number, date, and species and number of fish given away.

Can I bring nightcrawlers, wax worms or leeches from another state into North Dakota?

Terrestrial bait such as night crawlers and wax worms can be legally transported into North Dakota. However, that is not the case for aquatic bait such as leeches (and minnows). Regulations specify "no live aquatic organisms may be imported into the state by anglers."

Inforum searchword: outdoors

Leier, a biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in West Fargo, can be reached at dleier@nd.gov

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Leier's blog can be found online

at www.areavoices.com

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