Game and Fish review highlights from 2019

Published: Jan. 5, 2020 at 6:27 PM CST
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In this week's segment of North Dakota Outdoors Mike Anderson sits down with Game and Fish director Terry Steinwand to review highlights from 2019 and assess future challenges.

North Dakota's Outdoors provided many highlights and opportunities in 2019. Fishing is probably at the top of the list.

"I'd say fishing is probably one of the highlights, some of the greatest fishing we've ever had, if not the greatest fishing we've ever had in North Dakota," said Game and Fish director, Terry Steinwand.

And there was more private land open for hunters in 2019, too.

"We're on a slow increase and it seems to be a little jump. Jumped about 30,000 acres for PLOTS, Private Land Open To Sportsmen this year," said Steinwand.

Steinwand says the goal in 2020 is to add an additional 30,000 to 40,000 more acres to the PLOTS program. Big game and upland bird numbers were also a highlight in 2019.

"Moose and elk numbers were up. Deer numbers were up. Pheasant numbers were as expected. I think we hit the mark on every one of those this year," said Steinwand.

Waterfowl numbers were high as well, though hunting was difficult at times, oddly enough, because of all the water on the landscape. There are some challenges heading into 2020.

"Biggest challenges and they're going to be there for years is chronic wasting disease, aquatic nuisance species and keeping license numbers up, making sure people are out there enjoying the resource that we're able to provide," said Steinwand.

Even with many challenges in the outdoors, 2020 is shaping up to be another good year.

"It's just North Dakota outdoors is such a wonderful place to be. I don't know why anybody else would want to live anyplace else other than North Dakota. So it's going to be great in the North Dakota outdoors in 2020," said Steinwand.