NDSFC History  

North Dakota Sportfishing Congress History Roots of the North Dakota Sportfishing Congress go back to the summer of 1985. The idea was first promoted by Lee Klapprodt of Bismarck and Bob Schmidt of Fargo. Both believed the time had come for anglers across the state to develop a unified voice that could respond to a wide range of issues concerning the fishery resource and recreational fishing. Results of a survey of the state’s many fishing clubs indicated there was indeed interest in developing a state umbrella organization.

With the support of Game and Fish Commissioner, Dale Henegar and Fisheries Chief, Jim Ragan, the two anglers planned to pull together fishing club representatives to get the ball rolling. Climbing on board with the idea were Bill Mitzel publisher of the Dakota Country Magazine and Gerry Rafftery, fishing columnist for the Fargo Forum newspaper. Without their help in promoting the idea the Congress may never have happened.The planning came together with the first meeting held March 1, 1986. Klapprodt and Schmidt drafted a constitution and asked each fishing club to send two representatives and be prepared to pay a $50 club membership fee. The original mission of the Sportfishing Congress was simply stated: To preserve, promote, and improve the quality of sportfishing in North Dakota. A set of goal statements outlined how the Congress would go about representing anglers. One of the first tasks was to develop a fast communications network in the form of a “phone tree.” That mechanism still serves the Congress very well in getting important information to members and ultimately to state decision makers.Some of the issues the NDSFC is currently working on are: Input on the Army Corps. of Engineers Missouri River Master Manual, Missouri River Bank Stabilization, and continue to work with the North Dakota Game and Fish Dept. towards enhancing what are already some of the premier fisheries in the country.

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