ND: Anglers, Boaters Must Follow Aquatic Nuisance Species Rules
Over the past three years, North Dakota has implemented several
new rules intended to reduce the risk of aquatic nuisance species
transfer throughout the state.
The most recent of those rules, according to State Game and Fish
Department fisheries chief Greg Power, is a requirement that
anglers in all cases must now drain their boat’s livewell when
leaving a lake or river. Previously, anglers could maintain water
in their livewell if they were transporting fish.
“This new rule went into effect last October,” Power said, “but
this spring is the first time most anglers will be affected by
Pulling plugs and draining water from livewells, baitwells and
bilges must be conducted within the access site, which includes
parking lots immediately adjacent to the ramp. Anglers should
continue to practice proper boat ramp etiquette, Power said, by
pulling their boat away from the ramp during busy times to complete
all needed draining.
Anglers may use ice in a container to transport fish away from a
water body, Power noted.
Also part of the October 2010 rule change is that traditional
bait buckets and/or any container of five gallons or less in volume
can be used to transport legal live baitfish and other bait in
water. All other fish species, including game fish, may not be held
in water and/or transported in bait buckets/containers when away
from a water body. Game fish cannot be held in water in any
container (e.g. cooler) on shore, unless the water is from melting
Other laws in place since 2008 include:
All water and aquatic vegetation must be drained or removed from
watercraft prior to entering the state. No live aquatic organisms
(e.g. fathead minnows, frogs, leeches, etc.) may be imported into
All aquatic vegetation must be removed from boats, personal
watercraft, trailers and associated equipment such as fishing
poles/lures before leaving a body of water. Although time out of
water needed to remove aquatic vegetation is allowed, all equipment
must be free of vegetation when transporting watercraft and
equipment away from a boat ramp, access area or shoreline. This
includes livewells and other internal compartments, and containers
such as bait buckets.
Reference the ANS link on the Department’s website at
http://gf.nd.gov/fishing/ans-faqs.html for additional