Before I start, I want to make it perfectly clear that Bismarck is the proud home of the North Dakota State Record Walleye!  If you're an avid fisherman like I am, there are some new rules from ND Game & Fish that you need to know about when it comes to cleaning and transporting your fish.  However, I see some issues with these new regulations.  I adhere to the rules as closely as I can, but sometimes it's easy to make a mistake.  The problem I see with these new regs is that Game & Fish has made it even easier to make an error and then over penalize an honest mistake.  I think the bigger problem is the criminalization of avid sportsmen who do their best to follow the convoluted letter of the law.
Game and Fish just released new fishing regulations in North Dakota. One new regulation pertains to the transportation of cleaned fish. Here is what the new regulation states: "Each individual portion of meat removed from a fish is considered a fillet; 2 fillets are equal to 1 fish..."
The following scenarios were asked of Game and Fish and they provided their responses.
1. If you "zipper" your walleye fillets at the cleaning station, you now have 4 individual portions of meat for each fish which is now considered "two fish." If you were to "zipper" your limit (5 walleye) you would be considered to have 20 individual portions of meat which would be considered 5 fish over the limit.You can no longer do this. Game and Fish stated, "individuals will need to finish cleaning their walleye at home."
2. If you clean just 1 pike boneless at the cleaning station, you could have multiple portions of meat for that 1 pike. But now, according to the new regulations, you have multiple pike in your possession.
3. If your child is assisting you in cleaning a fish and he/she messes up on a fillet and cuts it into multiple portions, you are now considered to have multiple fish. You will have to throw away any extra portions of meat as to not be "over your limit."
It is a criminal offense to have more than your limit of fish in your possession. So now, you or your child could be criminals for filleting fish the wrong way at the cleaning station and keeping the meat even though you NEVER caught and kept more than your limit.  So, whether you're fishing for the new ND State Record Walleye in Bismarck (did I mention that already?), enjoying the outdoors with family and friends or planning a fish fry, be aware!
Here is a link to the new guide:
What do you think?


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