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I started my Facebook group last year, but we are starting to grow despite the pandemic. Now that I am officially part of CAG again, I will be promoting CAG memberships, not just talking about CAG with my Facebook group members. Here in North Dakota we face many more obstacles than in other states. Chumming is not allowed and the rules are not clear on exactly what is considered chumming and they have left the interpretation of the laws up to their officers, which is never a good idea. It is difficult enough to get clear rulings from centralized officials for fishing regulations, but having to deal with each individual officer is going to be very difficult and frustrating at times. Attempting to find ways of attracting carp and still catching decent numbers of fish without breaking the chumming regulation is the most difficult task when fishing for carp in North Dakota. If I can figure out who to talk to in the legislation, I will try and find a way to work out a compromise to allow light chumming with certain environmentally safe carp baits, but everything is against me and that goal is probably not practical. Common carp are considered an invasive species in North Dakota because they tend to very heavily populate venues and thus are thought to put a strain on the food sources for Indigenous fish species. Unchecked bow fishing has increased carp numbers because larger females who help control the carp population are being targeted and killed first resulting in more smaller carp replacing the bigger carp. Bow anglers think they are wiping out carp, but all they are really doing is changing the venue's carp biomass from healthy size ranges to all small fish that are harder to hit with an arrow. Scientific evidence of large female carp consuming their rivals eggs has been ignored here in the USA because the studies were done in the UK and the funds directing the studies here in the USA are more aimed at removing all Naturalized Fish Species and labeling them all Invasive. Some Fishery Biologist who promote bow fishing have stated scientific studies that point out that the carp are disrupting certain aquatic plants, replacing certain indigenous sucker species that occupy similar niches, and reproduce in large numbers thus putting a strain on food supplies in certain bodies of water, but many of these studies are only true in very small segments of venues or in only a few venues and not proof that common carp are environmentally destructive. The promotion of bow fishing is the biggest issue for the lack of larger fish in North Dakota and the increase numbers of smaller fish in many of the lakes that contain carp. There is also an ongoing war to remove carp from smaller lakes and streams and keep them out. Trout, Walley, and Bass are the primary fish species bringing revenue to the North Dakota through tourism and carp do not attract money so there is no reason, except maybe one, to keep them when many organizations here want them destroyed. The one being the fact that common carp eat Zebra Mussels and can help stop this environmentally destructive mussel species from infecting North Dakota waters, but many Fishery Biologist are either unaware of this or refuse to acknowledge it as money being given to their programs is sometimes coming from organizations that want carp eradicated. Right now my only goal is to help promote carp fishing within North Dakota and I hope that our numbers will grow large enough that we will have a voice and can get some changes made to the laws including some bow angling regulations that do not allow hunters to target common carp over 20 pounds. I am also hoping to find someone who can rewrite the chumming regulations to allow for some light chumming such as using the method feeder. I have already been told that the method idea would be considered chumming because the bait is molded around the lead instead of the hook and even putting the hook into the mold is not enough to change the ruling. For that reason, we are using the Pay Laker idea of molding the ground bait around the hook-bait, which the head of North Dakota Game and Fish said would be legal, but he also said it is officially up to my local Game and Fish officer at each venue to determine what is chumming and what is not. PVA bags can be used to hold the pack bait in place around the hook-bait, but using them to put free offerings into the water has been frowned on by officials. They feel this would violate the chumming regulations even if the bag is attached to the hook because the bait is free once the bag melts. Attempting to find baits that attract carp from long distances and numbers of fish into an area seems to be the main focus along with fishing only areas where carp are already actively feeding on natural food sources. Although we have still managed to catch numbers of carp at times, the wait time is far more than it would be if chumming was permitted. Because of a foot injury I had in 2019 and 2020, I was unable to walk far thus limiting my carp fishing success. Being able to walk again and stalk big carp should help increase my fishing success in 2021. Those interested in fly fishing for carp will find that North Dakota is a perfect place to live because the water is often clear. The only drawback being the carp are easily spooked because of bow fishing activity. Feeding the birds is not permitted and heavily enforced in some areas, so finding those opportunities is also difficult. Getting carp to take bread on the surface is much easier when you can chum or when people are feeding the birds. So, you can see we have a lot to overcome to be successful at carp fishing in North Dakota, but I look forwards to the 2021 season and hope to have more success especially catching larger carp. Anyone planning to fish for carp in North Dakota can contact me, and I will help you find carp to catch. We are still searching for places to catch really big fish, but I have some new venue options this year that could prove fruitful. Anyone who is a CAG member living in North Dakota is welcome to also join my Facebook Group. Most of our activity will be conducted through that group to avoid bow anglers getting information on where we are catching the biggest carp in North Dakota. If we find a good venue, we hope to keep it full of monster carp and not open it up to being targeted by the many bow anglers who kill unreal numbers of fish. Paul Scott (Paul Zucca-Scott on Facebook). North Dakota Carp Fishing Group on Facebook. 

Lake Audubon carp 2020.JPG

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Edited by Silurus_glanis
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That is a long dissertation. Good luck with carp angling in North Dakota. I have posted on the FB page that I have never seen a carp eating fish eggs, even where there was a good population of carp. Getting ready to catch some carp on the fly here in SE TN. Tight lines!!

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HI Paul, Welcome back and thanks for sharing the issues you face in ND. I've been sharing the NACA Magazine with local Fisheries folk and it seems to help start positive conversations about the popularity of carp angling and the methods we use to catch them. Here's the link if you don't already have it:

https://issuu.com/northamericancarpangler

 

 

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Hey Paul,

Next spring, I plan to revive the trip I had planned for spring 2019 and come to visit you. The extreme interpretation of no-chumming by local ND officials seems unique to this state, I don't think other no-chumming states would prevent you from using method balls or PVA bags. But then, I prefer to NOT ask overly precise questions in this respect when I travel around...

Edited by Jerome
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