Now that the snow has melted people can start dusting off their fishing poles and fueling up their boats.
The North Dakota Department of Game and Fish is doing their part to make the season even more enjoyable for anglers.
The department is pulling catfish out of Lake Sakakawea in Dunn Center and depositing them at community fisheries in the Southwest region like the Dickinson Dike.
“A lot of these fisheries . . . the fish don’t survive from year to year, so every Spring we put catfish and trout in them, ” said Jeff Hendrickson ND Game and Fish Fisheries Supervisor for Southwest District.
Hendrickson also said he is pleased with how the fish are looking.
“They are looking good. The big ones will probably be coming a little later”.
He also said stocking the community fisheries allows people to catch a catfish in their own backyard instead of having to drive 50 miles to Lake Sakakawea.
“I think its great. They can distribute the fish for kids to go catch them and all that. I’m all for it,” said Stan Hausauer, Dunn Center resident.
When Game and Fish goes through their fishing nets for catfish, they will occasionally come across a 20 pound Northern Pike, but Hendrickson said those guys get let off the hook.
“The Northern Pike don’t haul as well, and they are a trophy fish for Lake Sakakawea, so we don’t want to take them out of here”.
Hendrickson said they will stock the Dickinson Dike with about 100 catfish this season, and some of them are up to five pounds right now.
He also expects ponds and lakes to be stocked with 20 pound catfish sometime this season.
Hendrickson said his district will be stocking Belfield Pond, Gaebe Pond in New Salem, Krieg’s Pond in Hebron, and Mirror Lake in Hettinger with catfish this season.
They plan on stocking the community fisheries with more than 500 catfish this season.