Hoeven: Fish & Wildlife Service Proposes Opening Four Wildlife Refuges in North Dakota for Sport Fishing

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to expand 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.

“Today’s proposed rule is welcome news for sportsmen and women across North Dakota,” said Hoeven. “Our state has a rich tradition of outdoor recreation. The new opportunities for fishing near Devils Lake will help continue that tradition while also contributing to the state’s economy.”

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.