BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — It’s the time of year when ice and snow freeze our waters, and so the rules and regulations of ice fishing are taking center stage. This week’s message from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is a triple-header, concerning the registration and rulings for spearfishing and fish houses as well as the unveiling of their new Coyote Catalog.

The first thing to be addressed is proper registration for darkhouse spearfishing. ND Game and Fish would like to remind all individuals that they are required to possess a valid fishing license (ages 16 and older) to partake in the activity, and must also register online at ND Game and Fish’s website. In terms of the fish that one is allowed to hunt using such a method, northern pike and non-game fish are legal all across the states, while Walleye can be speared only at Stump Lake, the Devil’s Lake complex, and the Missouri River System up to the first vehicular bridge.

All waters open to hook-and-line fishing are open to darkhouse spearing except the following locations:

  • East Park Lake, West Park Lake, and Lake Audubon in McLean County
  • Heckers Lake in Sheridan County
  • Lake Ashtabula in Barnes and Griggs Counties
  • Larimore Dam in Grand Forks County
  • McClusky Canal
  • New Johns Lake in Burleigh County
  • Red Willow Lake in Griggs County
  • Whitman Dam in Nelson County
  • Wood Lake in Benson County

Continuing onto the topic of fishing, ND Game and Fish next took the opportunity to discuss fish house regulations. It was stated that while fish houses don’t require a license, any fish house left unoccupied on ND waters must be made of materials that allow it to float. Additional rules regarding fish houses include the following:

  • Occupied structures do not require identification, but any unoccupied fish house must have an equipment registration number issued by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, or the owner’s name and address or telephone number displayed on the outside in readily distinguishable characters at least 3 inches high.
  • Fish houses may not be placed closer than 50 feet in any direction to another house without the consent of the occupant of the other fish house.
  • All unoccupied fish houses must be removed from all waters after midnight, March 15.

For more information on either of these regulations, anglers and spearfishers should refer to the 2022-24 North Dakota Fishing Guide.

Moving out of the water, the final topic discussed in this week’s press release concerns the reopening of the state Coyote Catalog — a statewide effort designed to connect hunters and trappers to landowners dealing with coyotes in their areas. Throughout the winter, this helps hunters receive information on participating landowners, who they can then contact to make arrangements.

Anyone who has previously registered for the catalog will need to do so again in order to reactivate their name in the database. Landowners can sign up on this page, and hunters and trappers can do so using this link.

All landowners experiencing coyote depredation of livestock should first contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services before taking further action. The catalog will remain active through March 31.

For more information on the Coyote Catalog, contact Ryan Herigstad with ND Game and Fish at 701-595-4463 or, or Colby Lysne at the Department of Agriculture at 701-390-7571 or