Spring Storm in the Great Basin Red Cliffs Desert Tortoise Reserve After a Spring Storm in the Great Basin Hunting Upland Birds at Kingsbury Lake Waterfowl Production Area Sandhill Migration on the Platte River Badlands Sunrise The Green River at Ouray NWR North Park Lupines Moab Sunset

New Hunting and Fishing Opportunities


Hunting at Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas. Photo by USFWS.


Overview: 2020-2021 Hunting and Sport Fishing Season

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes opening and expanding hunting and sport fishing opportunities on national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries for the 2020-2021 season. Hunting and sport fishing opportunities are authorized and provided on Service lands in accordance with federal, state, and tribal (where applicable) regulations and seasons.


The Service will carry out a public process to assess environmental impacts of these proposed openings and expansions prior to the 2020-2021 hunting and sport fishing season. To learn more about the proposed opportunities, review the information below for each refuge and hatchery or contact the appropriate refuge or hatchery staff.


For general questions about hunting and sport fishing opportunities, please contact Bernardo Garza, Hunting and Fishing Coordinator, at 303-236-4377 or bernardo_garza@fws.gov.




Timeline and Next Steps

Refuge and hatchery staff will provide opportunities for public comment, as appropriate, over the coming months, along with sharing additional details about proposed openings and expansions. Following the comment periods (where applicable), the Service will analyze comments received and make a final determination about each proposed opening or expansion.


The Service intends to make final determinations regarding these proposals in time for the 2020-2021 hunting and sport fishing season.


Sites by State


North Dakota

    North Dakota Limited-interest National Wildlife Refuges

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes opening 39 limited-interest national wildlife refuges to hunting opportunities and 34 limited-interest national wildlife refuges to sport fishing opportunities in North Dakota. The Service is holding an initial public scoping period on this proposal through October 31, 2019 whereby we are accepting comments and hosting local public meetings to solicit public input.


    Limited-interest refuges, commonly referred to as “easement refuges,” were acquired from willing landowners, primarily during the 1930s. The purpose of easement refuges is to support waterfowl populations by providing high-quality resting and feeding areas. With an easement refuge, the land remains in private ownership and access to the land is controlled by individual landowners.


    Following the October 2019 public scoping period, the Service will seek public comments on a proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Conservation Plan for North Dakota Limited-interest National Wildlife Refuges as part of our responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Additional details will be posted on this website.


    Please submit comments or ideas during the initial public scoping period by October 31, 2019 to Frank Durbian, Project Leader, Northwest North Dakota Wetland Management District via email at frank_durbian@fws.gov, or via postal mail at:

      Frank Durbian, Project Leader
      Northwest North Dakota Wetland Management District Headquarters
      681 Salyer Road
      Upham, ND 58789

    Comments submitted via postal mail must be postmarked no later than October 31, 2019.


    Public Scoping Meetings:

    • Bismarck – October 15, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., North Dakota Game and Fish Office, 100 North Bismarck Expy, Bismarck, ND 58501
    • Devils Lake – October 16, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Sullys Hill NGP, 2107 Park Drive, St. Michael, ND 58301
    • Minot – October 17, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Staybridge Suites, 3009 South Broadway Street, Minot, ND 58701
    • Jamestown – October 22, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Gladstone Inn, 111 2nd Street NE

 

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2019-2020 Hunting and Sport Fishing Season »


Hunting at Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas. Photo by USFWS.


Overview: 2019-2020 Hunting and Sport Fishing Season

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes expanding hunting and fishing opportunities on several national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries for the 2019-2020 hunting and fishing season. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service accepted public comments from May 23 to June 21, 2019.


For minor changes to existing hunting and fishing opportunities deemed by the Service not to be environmentally significant (individually or combined), we developed a categorical exclusion (CE). Details on the CE for each applicable national wildlife refuge are listed by state in the documents below.


For new or significant expansion(s) of existing hunting and fishing opportunities, we prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA). Details on the proposed alternatives in the draft EA that were open to public comments for each applicable national wildlife refuge and national fish hatchery are listed by state in the documents below.


To learn more and get involved, please explore the specific information provided for each national wildlife refuge and/or national fish hatchery of interest. You may also contact refuge or hatchery staff for further information about a CE, or to share your comments about a draft EA.


For general questions about hunting and fishing opportunities, please contact: Bernardo Garza, Regional NEPA Coordinator, 303-236-4377, bernardo_garza@fws.gov



Timeline and Next Steps

Following the public comment period, the Service will analyze comments received, publish a final EA for each applicable refuge and hatchery, and make a final determination about the proposed hunting and/or fishing expansion.


The Service aims to make a decision regarding these hunting and fishing proposals in time for the 2019-2020 hunting and fishing season. Hunting and fishing opportunities are and will continue to be authorized and provided in accordance with Federal, State, and Tribal regulations and seasons (where applicable).


Sites by State


Colorado


Kansas


Montana


Nebraska

    Valentine National Wildlife Refuge

    Valentine National Wildlife Refuge proposes extending the refuge’s coyote hunting season from September 1 through March 31 (currently the refuge’s coyote hunting season is November 13 through March 15). For additional information, please contact: Juancarlos Giese, Refuge Manager, at 402-376-3398 or Juancarlos_Giese@fws.gov.


North Dakota

    Valley City National Fish Hatchery

    Valley City National Fish Hatchery proposes expanding recreational fishing opportunities by allowing anglers to access the Sheyenne River with watercraft to fish at an identified access point and bank fish along the shore bordering the hatchery, and facilitating angling at the Kids Pond. Public comments on this proposal were accepted from May 23 to June 21, 2019. For questions, contact Connie Young-Dubovsky, Fish Biologist, 303-236-4506.


Wyoming

 

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: October 09, 2019
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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