ND crews working around the clock to restock waterways

Published: May. 28, 2020 at 3:58 PM CDT
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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department says they've sold a record number of fishing license this season, which requires crews stocking the state waterways to work harder.

This year, the department has sold 26,000 more license more than this time last year.

Over the past six weeks, field crews have been working around the clock to spawn and restock fish around the state.

With a wet fall, there would be more to stock this spring.

"We had a tremendous amount of rain on the landscape of North Dakota. So we have a wonderful opportunity to stock a whole lot more lakes than normal, in fact, we have a record number of lakes out there," said Greg Power, Fisheries division chief.

Power said the fish are on a clock, which speeds up the time crews have to finish the work.

"The demand was even more than normal, and then COVID," said Power.

Field crews took extra precautions such as wearing masks and installing plexiglass on work benches, but the work had to be done.

"The fish spawning and moving the fish into lakes, that sets the table for years to come, so it was really critical," said Power.

In order to keep waterways stocked, and anglers happy.

"There's a couple million pike that are being stocked statewide right now, and probably more important are the walleye because we have all these new lakes out there. But we'll be stocking in the neighborhood of 10 million walleye," said Power.

Producing the next big catch fishers will reel in.

Power said field crews have begun stocking lakes with fish, and will continue to for the next couple of weeks.