North Dakota's Dark-house Spearfishing Season Opens Dec. 1, 2002

ND G&FD

11/06/02

Ice is quickly forming on North Dakota's lakes and it won't be long until dark-house spearfishing is allowed on many of the state's water bodies.

North Dakota's dark-house spearing season begins Dec. 1 and continues through Feb. 28. Legal species are northern pike and nongame species.

The only significant change to last year's inaugural season involves marking a hole left in the ice. When a dark house is moved or a hole larger than 12 inches in diameter is left in the ice, the hole must be adequately marked with a natural object (such as a tree branch or tumbleweed) visible from a minimum of 150 feet.

All individuals who participate in dark-house spearfishing will have to register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Register on the web to dark-house spearfish, or do so through any game and fish department office. Last year, 1,255 individuals registered.

Other regulations include:

Allowed for all residents with a valid fishing license, and those under the age of 16.
Nonresidents whose state allows North Dakota residents to participate in dark-house spearfishing can dark-house spearfish in North Dakota with a valid fishing license. Of the neighboring states only Minnesota does not allow nonresident dark-house spearfishing.

A spear is counted as a pole (line) while dark-house spearfishing.

Pneumatic or rubber band powered spear guns are not allowed.

No size limit on ice hole in lakes where dark-house spearing is allowed. However, hook and line fishing is legal only in holes no larger than 12 inches in diameter.

Legal live baitfish, except white sucker, and artificial lures can be used as decoys.

Daily/possession limits are the same as for hook and line fishing.

Dark-house spearing is allowed only in the following areas: Silver Lake, Benson County; Powers Lake, Burke County; Rice Lake, Emmons County; Juanita Lake, Foster County; Lake Etta/Alkaline complex, Horsehead Lake, and Round Lake, Kidder County; Flood Lake, LaMoure County; Beaver Lake and West Napoleon Lake, Logan County; Buffalo Lodge Lake, McHenry County; Coldwater Lake and Dry/Goose Lake, McIntosh County; Cavanaugh Lake, Devils Lake, Morrison Lake, and Sweetwater Lake, Ramsey County; Carpenter Lake and School Section Lake, Rolette County; Buffalo Lake, Sargent County; Grass Lake, Sargent/Richland counties; Coal Mine Lake, Sheridan County; Mallard Marsh and Spiritwood Lake, Stutsman County; Lake Laretta, Nelson County; Cottonwood Lake, Williams County; Lake Sakakawea from Garrison Dam to Highway 85 bridge at Williston; and Lake Oahe from South Dakota border to McLean Bottoms boat ramp.

Results of last year's first-ever dark-house spearfishing season are in the North Dakota OUTDOORS magazine's November issue. To order a copy of the magazine, send $2 to North Dakota OUTDOORS, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095.