Hoeven Announces Final Rule Opening Four Wildlife Refuges in Northeastern North Dakota for Sport Fishing

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a final rule expanding fishing opportunities at four wildlife refuges in the Devils Lake Wetland Management District in North Dakota. The rule would allow sport fishing for the first time at the Ardoch National Wildlife Refuge, the Lake Alice National Wildlife Refuge, the Rose Lake National Wildlife Refuge and the Silver Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The refuges are open immediately. Ice fishing and vehicles are permitted in all refuges as conditions allow on designated roads and nonvegetated ice areas.

Other details are as follows:

  • Ardoch National Wildlife Refuge – Shore fishing allowed in designated areas. Boats are prohibited.
  • Lake Alice National Wildlife Refuge – Open only for ice fishing. Boats are prohibited.
  • Rose Lake National Wildlife Refuge – Boats allowed on refuge waters south of Nelson County Road 23. Boats prohibited elsewhere. Shore anglers are directed to park in the designated parking lot.
  • Silver Lake National Wildlife Refuge – Boats allowed on Silver Lake and refuge waters south of the confluence of the Mauvais Coulee and Little Coulee from May 1st through September 30th each year. Other water activities are prohibited, such as sailing and skiing.

“Hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation are important parts of our tradition and identity,” said Hoeven. “I am working to support that heritage. This announcement finalizes the agency’s proposal to open new opportunities for sport fishing in our state, which is great news for North Dakota’s sportsmen and will support greater economic activity in the Devils Lake region.”

As a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Hoeven is working to support outdoor recreation across the nation. He is a cosponsor of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015, legislation introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) that would increase access to hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation opportunities. The bill contains a range of provisions including:

  • The Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage Opportunities Act, which protects the public’s right to recreational hunting, fishing and shooting on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands.
  • The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, which exempts lead-shot ammunition and lead fishing tackle from being regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act, leaving the existing authority to state fish and game agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Bows Transported through National Parks provision to prevent the National Park Service from restricting the lawful transport of bows and crossbows through national parks. Currently, firearms can be transported through national parks, but not bows.
  • Reauthorizes the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through 2019.
  • The Making Public Lands Public Act, which requires the greater of 1.5 percent or $10 million of annual Land and Water Conservation Funds for improving recreational access to existing federal lands.
  • The HUNT Act, which directs all federal public land management agencies to improve access to high priority federal lands where hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation are permitted.
  • The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, which helps states build and maintain shooting ranges on federal and non-federal lands.