Outdoors briefly

Admin rules hearing scheduled

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will hold a public hearing to address proposed new rules and amendments to North Dakota Administrative Code Title 30. The hearing is scheduled for 1:15 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5, at the agency’s main office in Bismarck.

The purpose of the proposed rule changes is to implement statutes. The proposed rules changes are not expected to have an impact on the regulated community in excess of $50,000.

The purpose and an explanation of the proposed rule changes follow:

Chapter 30-03-01.1 Bait Vendors. Changes dealing with smelting for bait vendors in recreational fisheries (reinstates old language formerly found in old fishing proclamations). Clearly defining what bait is legal to import into North Dakota. Other changes include allowing for permitted private fish ponds to be stocked by bait vendors with fathead minnows, a relaxation of an equipment size restriction for wholesale bait vendors, and eliminating some reporting requirements.

Chapter 30-03-03 Construction and Use of Fish Houses for Winter Fishing. A change to insert the word “unoccupied” structure. This will allow any structure to be on the ice as long as it is occupied. In the end this regulation will further assist in the enforcement of potential “litter” of a structure first on the ice and then sinking into the water.

Chapter 30-04-02-01 Public Access and Use. A change to increase the penalty amount for certain violations as long as it is written or posted accordingly.

Chapter 30-04-02-05 Firearms. An amendment to prohibit the use of tracer rounds and/or exploding targets on all wildlife management areas.

Chapter 30-04-02-14.1 Tree Stands and Ground Blinds. An amendment to add permanent and portable ground blinds. Also, currently all tree stands on wildlife management areas must be identified with a metal or plastic tag displaying the owner’s name, address and telephone number. By adding language, the Department is proposing to clarify that the identification tag needs to be visible for enforcement inspection.

The proposed rules may be reviewed at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expy., Bismarck, ND 58501-5095, or on the Department’s website at (gf.nd.gov). A copy of the proposed rules may be requested in writing, or by calling (701) 328-6305, or emailing ndgf@nd.gov. Written or oral comments on the proposed rules must be received by Sept. 15, 2013 for consideration.

HIP certification required

All migratory game bird hunters are reminded that Harvest Information Program registration is required Sept. 1. However, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department recommends early Canada goose season hunters get HIP certified before Thursday’s opener.

HIP certification is required for hunting ducks, geese, swans, mergansers, coots, cranes, snipe, doves or woodcock. Game management section leader Mike Johnson said HIP registration provides the Game and Fish Department with a database of names and addresses of migratory bird hunters, and a sample of these hunters will receive a questionnaire regarding hunting activity and number of birds harvested.

“This information allows us to make sound decisions concerning hunting seasons, bag limits and population management,” Johnson said. “Hunter compliance is essential in order to obtain reliable estimates of the annual harvest of all migratory game bird species.”

Hunters who purchase a license through the department’s electronic licensing system (gf.nd.gov) or instant licensing telephone number at (800) 406-6409 can easily get HIP certified. Otherwise, hunters can access the Game and Fish website, or call (888) 634-4798 and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate.