Another Possible Drought Raises Concern For Fishing

Last year, agriculture suffered due to a long summer drought.

We put North Dakota first and answered the question.

What does that drought mean for our anglers and waterways as we move into fishing season.

“One of the main things that we struggle with in North Dakota is enough water,” said Greg Gullickson, ND Game and Fish Outreach Biologist.

It’s hard to tell right now, as most of our waterways are frozen over. But last summer’s drought could have an impact on your favorite outdoor activity.

“We lost almost 3 feet of water on this in the last 2 years so that’s concern for our fishery crews,” said Gullickson.

If there is less water in our lakes, then there is less fish, but Gullickson says they have a longstanding plan to combat the problem

“If we notice that the walleyes or the perch are declining, we’ll put it in our management plan and restock it,” said Gullickson.

But the real uncertainty is what another drought year could bring.

“Do we see good spawning conditions for fish across North Dakota and if we don’t have run off there’s a real good risk that there isn’t going to be a solid spawning year or recruitment year,” said Allen Schlag, National Weather Service Hydrologist.

The real experts say drought or no drought it’s about knowing how to hook them.

“If you’re not on them, you’re not going to get fish. You just have to hunt for them,” said Mike Hoff, Fisherman.

And Gullickson agrees.

“Even during some of the other droughts we’ve had, yes it has affected our fishery, the amount of fisheries we have, the amount of places we can go to fish, but we’ll always have fishing in North Dakota,” said Gullickson.

Gullickson adds that the drought also affects land animals.

He says that when the grassy areas dry out if can be hard for the animals to find a food source.

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