Unprecedented flooding caused a slight decline in North Dakota fishing license sales during 2011. According to North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual angler survey, resident licenses were down 2 percent compared to 2010. However, angler participation and effort actually increased.
The survey indicated 111,000 (up 9,000 from previous year) resident anglers fished open water, while 48,000 (up 15,000) residents fished through the ice. “Access was the key for the big increase in winter anglers,” Power said. “We didn’t have the severe winters like we had the previous three years.”
Major North Dakota fishing destinations include Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake and the Missouri River/Lake Oahe. Numerous small lakes and rivers play a large role for anglers as well. According to North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 300 small lakes, reservoirs and rivers in the state receive nearly 50 percent of all fishing effort.
source: North Dakota Game and Fish Department