Outdoors briefly

Remove permanent fish houses by Friday

State law requires permanent fish houses to be removed from North Dakota waters by midnight Friday.

Nancy Boldt, water safety coordinator for the State Game and Fish Department, said anglers should exercise caution because mild weather conditions can quickly result in unstable ice conditions.

“It is always important to check ice thickness, as warm temperatures with a high sun will rapidly deteriorate ice conditions this time of the year,” Boldt said.

In addition, Boldt said anglers should be aware of the amount of snow on the ice. “The pressure from the weight of the snow and ice cause water to seep around shore, as well as through cracks and fishing holes,” she added. “The bottom line is that several inches of slush under fresh snow make traveling difficult because vehicles drop through the top layer and end up stuck.”

Fish houses may be used after Friday if they are removed daily.

Darkhouse spearfishing season closes Friday

Anglers are reminded that North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season closes Friday.

Individuals who would still like to get out for the first time this year must register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Registration is available through the department’s website, (gf.nd.gov), or through any Game and Fish Department office.

Fishing, hunting report on expenditures finalized

Fishing and hunting in North Dakota contributed an estimated $1.4 billion in annual input to the state’s economy, according to a report by the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at North Dakota State University.

The report, commissioned by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, tracked hunter and angler expenditures for the 2011-12 hunting and fishing seasons, and is similar to other studies conducted periodically since the late 1970s.

Overall, anglers and hunters in North Dakota spent $642.9 million dollars on equipment, vehicles, boats, travel, lodging, food and many other items. In addition, these expenditures generated nearly $727 million in secondary economic benefits, gross business volume, secondary employment and state-level tax collections, according to the NDSU researchers.

According to the report, resident hunters and anglers accounted for $555.7 million of total expenditures, while nonresidents contributed $78.6 million. Anglers spent $425 million and hunters $217 million.

These direct and indirect expenditures from resident hunters and anglers generated approximately $35 million in state-level tax collection. Non-residents generated another $5 million.

Compared to spending in the 2001-02 season, total direct expenditures by resident hunters and anglers increased by $43.6 million, and by $4 million for non-residents.