Bids open on Drayton Dam Project, North Dakota sets nonresident bow tags etc.

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Mar. 12—ST. PAUL — Bids on a project to replace the Drayton Dam on the Red River at Drayton, North Dakota, with a rock-riffle structure that accommodates fish passage and is safer for recreational users opened Wednesday, March 9.

Prospective contractors must submit their bids to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ St. Paul office by 2 p.m., April 12,

according to a notice

posted on the website.

The project, as described on the website, involves replacing the existing lowhead dam with a rock passageway “as a mitigation measure for the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project.”

The project will occur largely in-channel, and the new structure will be constructed upstream from the existing dam. A set of boulder weirs ending at the site of the existing dam will accommodate fish passage, and the new structure will maintain upstream water levels.

The design is similar to the Riverside Dam rapids in Grand Forks and other dams that have been modified into rock-riffle structures in the past two decades on the Red River. The Drayton Dam is the last of eight dams on the U.S. side of the Red River to be modified as part of efforts to “reconnect the Red” that have been ongoing since the late ’90s. — Brad Dokken

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will offer 810 any-deer bow licenses to nonresident hunters in 2022.

Prospective bow hunters can apply online beginning Tuesday, March 15, on the Game and Fish website, The deadline for applying is Friday, April 15.

Up to five hunters can apply together as a party. A lottery will be held if more applications are received than licenses available. A total of 1,767 people applied in 2021, when 780 any-deer archery licenses were available.

The number of nonresident any-deer bow licenses available is 15% of the previous year’s mule deer gun license allocation. — Herald staff report

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is offering free seed for this year’s growing season to landowners interested in planting food plots for pheasants and other wildlife.

Kevin Kading, private land section leader for Game and Fish in Bismarck, said rather than a traditional corn or sunflower food plot, the department is offering a seed mix that provides increased plant diversity, including flowering plants from spring through fall, which will attract insects, the major diet component of pheasant chicks. Additionally, he said the mix will provide needed cover during spring and summer, as well as a winter food source. Other wildlife species will also benefit from this mix.

“Most Game and Fish food plots are part of the department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen program,” Kading said. “This

food plot campaign

does not require a PLOTS contract, but we are asking participating landowners to allow reasonable public access, which could mean simply providing access permission to hunters from time to time, putting up ‘Ask Before You Enter’ signs around the area, or not posting the surrounding land.”

Participating landowners can’t charge a fee for hunting. The department will provide enough seed to cover up to 5 acres at no cost to the landowner.

Landowners interested in receiving the food plot seed

must sign up online

by April 1. Seed will be available in April at Game and Fish offices in Bismarck, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Harvey, Dickinson, Williston and Riverdale.

Game and Fish private land biologists can provide technical assistance on food plot location and site preparation.

Landowners interested in additional financial incentives may be considered for the PLOTS program as well. More information is available by

contacting a private land biologist

at any Game and Fish office in the state or by sending an email to

. — Herald staff report

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is offering a grant of up to $1,000 to local clubs or communities to support high school trap shooting.

Applications must be submitted before April 1,

and teams that have received a grant in the past are not eligible.

Grants are intended to offset costs for purchasing gear such as eye and hearing protection, vests, shell bags and magnetic barrel rests.

Applications are available on the Game and Fish website at

For more information, contact Marty Egeland, Game and Fish education section leader, at (701) 328-6612, or email

. — Herald staff report

FARGO — Audubon Dakota is encouraging homeowners and others to do their part for migrating birds by participating in the

“Lights Out for Birds”


Lights Out is a national effort to help birds make it to their destinations safely.

Spring migration in the Dakotas begins March 15 and continues through May 31, and fall migration generally occurs from Aug. 15 to Nov. 15. Every year, millions of birds migrate through North and South Dakota.

According to Audubon Dakota, migrating birds use natural cues to navigate the night sky, and light pollution from buildings and brightly lit homes can confuse and disorient birds. Once drawn to cities and suburbs, birds often fly into buildings or circle them until they collapse from exhaustion. Up to 1 billion birds are lost to collision and exhaustion every year in North America.

Audubon offers these tips for community members and building managers to help migratory birds between midnight and dawn:

* Turn off nonessential lights.

* Turn off or dim lobby and atrium lights.

* Turn off or dim interior home lighting.

* Turn off lights before leaving the home or office.

* Draw blinds and close curtains.

* Ensure outside lights are aimed down and well shielded.

* Install motion sensors on outside lights to minimize use.

* Share Audubon’s message with family and friends using the hashtag #LightsOutforBirds.

* More info: — Herald staff report

MISSOULA, Mont. — Seeking to maintain public access for hunters and anglers to the nation’s wildlife refuges, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Rifle Association, Safari Club International and Sportsmen’s Alliance have filed to intervene in a lawsuit by an environmental group suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Center for Biological Diversity wants to thwart hunting and fishing access to 2.3 million acres of public land across 106 wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries.

“It is imperative that we act on behalf of our members who support public access to these federal lands, many of which were purchased with dollars generated by hunters,” Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO, said in a statement. “RMEF remains a staunch advocate for access and has done so since our founding as a conservation organization nearly 38 years ago. We stand with professional wildlife managers, biologists and sportsmen and women nationwide calling for the dismissal of this blatant effort seeking to deny public access to public lands.”

In August 2020, the Trump administration announced the single largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities in Fish and Wildlife history. One year later, the Biden administration made a similar announcement by expanding access to 434 locations within the National Wildlife Refuge System for hunting as well as 378 places to fish.

“Increasing access to outdoor recreation opportunities is essential to advancing the administration’s commitment to the conservation stewardship of our public lands,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement at the time. “Responsible hunting and fishing helps to promote healthy wildlife habitats while boosting local recreation economies.”

In February 2022, the FWS announced it doled out a single-year record of $1.5 billion generated by hunters and anglers for nationwide conservation efforts.

“We’ve said it again and again, plus the numbers bear it out that hunting is conservation,” RMEF’s Weaver added. “These frivolous lawsuits by anti-hunting groups are simply reckless anti-conservation.” — Herald staff report

WALKER, Minn. — The nonprofit MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation and Coalition has hired former Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Holsten as the new executive director. He joined the organization March 1.

“Mark’s experience in the Minnesota Legislature and Department of Natural Resources will help us bring a strong voice for anglers as we seek bonding money for improvements in our fish hatcheries and boat accesses,” Ron Schara, MN-FISH Foundation president, said in a statement.

Holsten, who served as DNR commissioner from 2007 to 2011 and deputy commissioner between 2003 and 2007, replaces Chip Leer, a founding member of the MN-Fish Sportfishing Foundation board and the organization’s first executive director.

Holsten also served 10 years in the Minnesota House of Representatives, chairing both the Environmental and Natural Resources Finance and Regulated Industries committees during his terms. He is a founding member and former chairman of the bi-partisan Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance caucus.

“I’m honored to be working with the MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation to help bring a voice to the ‘State of Fishing,'” Holsten said in a statement. “This organization was founded by leading anglers who care about fishing in the state and work hard to ensure all anglers have access to high-quality fishing.”

Free MN-Fish Foundation memberships are available online at

. Anglers also can join in person at the foundation’s booth at the Northwest Sports Show, which began Thursday, March 10, and continues through Sunday, March 13, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. — Herald staff report

ST. PAUL — Bills in the Minnesota Legislature would eventually expand boater education requirements to include boaters of all ages born after a certain date and not just youth operators.

Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, and Rep. Erin Koegel, DFL-Spring Lake Park, introduced the legislation in the Senate and House, respectively.

In a news release, the National Marine Manufacturers Association said it supports the companion bills — SF3392



. The legislation would not affect nonresidents or resident boaters born after Jan. 1, 1987. — Herald staff report

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