Darkhouse spearfishing opens at ice-up
North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season opens on most state waters whenever ice-up occurs. Legal fish are northern pike and nongame species.
Prior to this year, the darkhouse spearfishing season had opened on Dec. 1.
All individuals who participate in darkhouse spearfishing must register online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. In addition, anglers age 16 and older must possess a valid fishing license.
Spearers and anglers are reminded that materials used to mark holes must be in possession as soon as a hole greater than 10 inches in diameter is made in the ice.
North Dakota residents who do not have a fishing license may spear during the winter free fishing weekend Dec. 29-30, but they still need to register to spear.
Fishing tournaments require 30-day notice
Organizers planning fishing tournaments, including ice fishing contests this winter, are reminded to submit an application along with fishing tournament regulations to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department at least 30 days prior to the start of the event.
The 30-day advance notice allows for review by agency staff to ensure the proposed tournament will not have negative biological consequences or conflicts with other proposed tournaments for the same location or time.
Fishing tournaments may not occur without first obtaining a valid permit from the department.
In addition, the number of open-water tournaments on lakes Sakakawea and Oahe, the Missouri River and Devils Lake are capped each year, depending on the time of the week, year and location.