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Aquatic Nuisance Species


Aquatic nuisance species, whether they are animals such as the zebra mussel or plants such as curly-leaf pondweed, threaten fishing, boating, swimming, and other water-based activities. In states where they have become established, ANS have proven expensive to combat and difficult or impossible to control or eradicate. A number of them are already in our waters, but others found in nearby states have yet to arrive. With some simple preventive effort by all of us who use the outdoors, we can reduce or even eliminate their spread to our waters.

Zebra Mussel

ANS Regulations

  1. All aquatic vegetation must be removed from boats, personal watercraft, trailers, and fishing and hunting equipment such as fishing poles, bait buckets, lures, duck decoys, and waders before leaving a body of water. That means "vegetation free" when transporting watercraft and/or equipment away from a boat ramp, landing area or shoreline.
  2. All water must be drained from boats and other watercraft, including bilges, livewells, baitwells and motors before leaving a water body.
  3. Live aquatic bait or aquatic vegetation may not be transported into North Dakota.
  4. All water must be drained from watercraft prior to entering the state.

Emergency Aquatic Nuisance Species Rules in Place on Red River

  1. Anglers may no longer transport live bait in water away from the Red River. That means all water must be drained from bait buckets as anglers leave the shore, or remove their boat from the water. Anglers must properly dispose of unused bait away from the river, as dumping bait in the water or on shore is illegal. In the rest of the state, anglers can transport live bait in water in containers of 5 gallons or less in volume.
  2. All boats and other watercraft must have their plugs pulled when exiting the river, and plugs must remain pulled when the watercraft leaves the access area. In addition, all boats entering North Dakota must have their plugs pulled. This rule would also apply on any other waters where Class I ANS, including zebra mussels, may be discovered in the future.

Additional Boat Cleaning Recommendations

  • Power wash the exterior and interior of the boat and trailer at a commercial carwash to remove small plant fragments and remove items clinging to the hull.
  • Disinfect boat, livewell and baitwell, the bilge, confined spaces and other equipment with a solution of one part chlorine bleach to 20 parts warm water or wash the equipment with water that is hotter than 140 degrees Fahrenheit or air dry boat and trailer for several days in dry weather.

Places where aquatic nuisance species can hide and hitchhike to new waters (hitch, livewell, mud and water on floor, lines, trailer frame, boat hull, rollers, prop, axles/wheels, boat motor).


Other Resources

ND Outdoors Video - ANS Rules   03/26/2013 (01:53 min. long)

ANS Brochure | ANS Poster