Take Me Fishing lists ‘Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots’

North Dakota didn’t have any destinations on the list, but four Minnesota state parks were among the “Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots” list from the Take Me Fishing organization.

To qualify for the list, Take Me Fishing said the places had to be within an hour’s drive of a  major city or town, have a body of water known for having plenty of common fish species, be part of a park that offers family friendly amenities and offer plenty of places to cast a line such as fishing piers and boat ramps.

The four Minnesota destinations were Itasca State Park near Park Rapids, No. 48; William O’Brien State Park, Marine on St. Croix, No. 96; Fort Snelling State Park, West St. Paul, No. 98; and Father Hennepin State Park, Isle, No. 99.

Topping the list was Lake Berryessa, Pleasure Cove Resort and Marina, Napa Valley, Calif.

To see the full list of top 100 destinations, click here.


Turtle River State Park gets new stocking of rainbow trout

Park manager Steve Crandall of Turtle River State Park near Arvilla, N.D., just emailed and said the park just got its last spring batch of rainbow trout this afternoon from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. The park got about 1,500 rainbow trout weighing about a half-pound each, Crandall said — more than twice as many trout as usual — and no additional stocking is planned until late September once the Turtle River cools off.

“River is warming up fast, so we encourage folks to come catch ’em,” Crandall said in an email.

The park sells North Dakota fishing licenses and has a small variety of Berkeley Power Bait for sale at the Visitor Center, Crandall said. “Loaner” fishing rods also are available for anyone who needs one.

N.D. paddlefish season to close early

Another strong harvest has prompted the North Dakota Game and Fish Department to close the paddlefish season early. Game and Fish officials today said the snagging season will close at 10 p.m. CDT Sunday, but Sunday is a snag-and-release only day so no fish can be kept.

Here’s the news release Game and Fish issued this morning:

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department announced today that the state’s 2014 regular paddlefish snagging season will close at 10 p.m. Central Daylight Time, Sunday, May 18, to protect the population level of the fish. However, snaggers are reminded that Sunday is a snag-and-release only day.

The 2014-16 fishing proclamation allows for the Game and Fish director to close the snagging season early if it appears more than 1,000 paddlefish will be harvested. Fisheries chief Greg Power said it’s been another successful year. “The unique thing is that half the harvest was large, presumably old females,” Power said. “Relatively high water levels perhaps contributed to the harvest of so many females.”

An additional four-day snag-and-release season will begin Monday, May 19 and run through Thursday, May 22. Paddlefish snaggers with an unused paddlefish tag can continue snagging during the additional snag-and-release season, but must release all fish immediately. Snaggers who already used their tag on a harvested paddlefish are not allowed to participate in the additional snag-and-release period.

Beginning Monday, snag-and-release is legal only in that area of the Missouri River starting on the north shore from the Confluence boat ramp then east (downstream) one-half mile, and that area of the Missouri River starting on the south shore from the Confluence with the Yellowstone River then east (downstream) one-half mile (both areas will have boundary signs).

Paddlefish snagging is allowed only from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (CDT) during each day of the additional four-day season. The use or possession of a gaff on snag-and-release days is illegal.