N.D. Game and Fish to host meetings on mountain lion management

Mountain lions will be the focus of three public meetings coming up later this month across North Dakota.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is hosting the meetings to discuss the status of the state’s mountain lion population. In a news release, the department said results of a two-phase research project and biological findings from animals killed by hunters over the last decade show the population has steadily declined over the past several years.

“We want to share what we’ve learned about managing mountain lions in North Dakota over the last 10 years,” Jeb Williams, wildlife division chief, said in the news release. “Considering what we knew about mountain lions in North Dakota prior to 2005, which was very little, the information gathered in the last decade is significant.”

Meeting dates and locations to discuss what state wildlife managers have learned are as follows:

  • Feb. 23: 7 p.m., Game and Fish Department headquarters, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck.
  • Feb. 24: 7 p.m., Fargo Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Ave. S.
  • Feb. 29: 7 p.m., Killdeer, N.D., Cobblestone Hotel and Suites, 158 Rodeo Drive.

North Dakota has had a mountain lion hunting season every year since 2005. The Game and Fish Department, in conjunction with researchers from South Dakota State University, launched the first part of a two-phase research project in 2011. Phase II is expected to be completed in 2017, the Game and Fish news release indicated.

“We have made amazing headway in the last four years, and by the time Phase II is done we will have a really good handle on this population,” said Stephanie Tucker, furbearer biologist.

Fishing guides won’t be allowed on Lake Alice, other federal refuges

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided against allowing fishing guides to operate on Lake Alice near Devils Lake.

Part of Lake Alice National Wildlife Refuge, the federally managed lake was open to ice fishing for the first time this winter. Guiding is considered a commercial venture, and the service requires the public to have the opportunity to comment on allowing such activities before granting special use permits for guiding on federal refuges.

Matt Sprenger, project leader for the service’s Devils Lake Wetland Management District, said the office received 50 comments during a three-week public input period that ended Jan. 26. None of the comments indicated guiding would benefit recreational fishing on Lake Alice and other refuges in the Devils Lake district in a meaningful way, Sprenger said. Three guide services had applied for special use permits to guide on Lake Alice, which if approved would have covered eight guides.

Fifth Anna Kozel Vintage Sled Show in EGF features more than 100 snowmobiles

Saturday’s fifth Anna Kozel Vintage Sled Show in East Grand Forks featured 104 vintage snowmobiles and a large crowd that converged below the Blue Moose to check out and admire the sleds.

The annual event is a fundraiser for Relay for Life and is named for Anna Kozel, an East Grand Forks woman who died of cancer in 2010.

Art Seydel of East Grand Forks won the Media's Choice, Mayor's Choice and People's Choice Award for the replica of the 1972 Viking he raced in the Winnipeg to St. Paul International 500.

Art Seydel of East Grand Forks won the Media’s Choice, Mayor’s Choice and People’s Choice Award for the replica of the 1972 Viking he raced in the Winnipeg to St. Paul International 500. (Brad Dokken photo)

I had a story about the show in Sunday’s Herald, but award winners  weren’t available Saturday at press time. Snowmobile models and the year they were manufactured were not included in the results (except for Art Seydel’s 1972 Viking, which I picked as the Media’s Choice winner and which also won a handful of other categories), but here is a list of the winners provided by Merlyn Werner of East Grand Forks, one of the show’s organizers:

Farthest Traveled: Steve Peterson, Surrey, N.D., 203 miles.

Kids Participation: Ryder Bestland, Hunter Girodat, Chase Girodat, Mathew Klopp, Chris Nelson & Gage Omdahl.

Best Original: First — Lloyd Gering, Garson Man.; Second — Todd Grabanski, East Grand Forks; Third — Mark Olson Devils Lake.

Best Restored: First, Dan Egge, Pelican Rapids Minn.; Second — Mathew Klopp, Argyle, Minn.; Third — Dick Krogstad, Thief River Falls.

Retired Race : First — Archie Simonson Grand Forks; Second — Steve Peterson, Surrey, N.D.; Third — Art Seydel East Grand Forks.

People’s Choice : First — Art Seydel East Grand Fork; Second — Kyle Kozel, East Grand Forks; Third — Steve Peterson, Surrey, N.D.

Mayor’s Choice: Art Seydel, East Grand Forks.

Media’s Choice: Art Seydel, East Grand Forks.

My story on the show, along with a video clip and photos from Herald photographer Eric Hylden, is available here. More information on the show, which is held the first Saturday in February, is available here.