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ANS Monitoring Continues

Monday, July 23, 2012

An ongoing effort to monitor state waters for aquatic nuisance species has not produced any significant discoveries this year.

Fred Ryckman, ANS coordinator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said only one limited infestation – curly leaf pondweed – was found at Lake Elsie in Richland County.

“There were only a few individual plants in Lake Elsie, and they likely are already dying back for the year,” Ryckman said. “However, anglers and other water recreationists should take extra time to inspect, clean and drain equipment before leaving the lake.”

After documenting silver carp in the James River in 2011, this year’s monitoring efforts, and the recent fish kill in the James River downstream of LaMoure, did not yield any silver carp. “Only time will tell, but hopefully this summer’s extremely low flows in the James are harsh enough to eliminate whatever population remnants of silver carp that are present.”

Ryckman said it is vital that anglers and other water recreationists follow ANS regulations. “Our monitoring efforts will continue, and we ask those on the water to do their part as well,” he said.

Current law states all water must be drained from watercraft prior to leaving a water body, including livewells. This means fish, including bait, cannot be transported across land in a livewell containing water. However, bait buckets and/or any container of five gallons or less in volume can be used to transport legal live baitfish or other aquatic bait in water. All other fish species may not be held in water and/or transported in bait buckets/containers when away from a water body. Transportation of fish in or on ice is allowed.

In addition, any aquatic vegetation, or parts thereof, is not allowed on watercraft, motors, trailers and recreational equipment when out of water. Time out of the water needed to remove aquatic vegetation at the immediate water access area is allowed.

All built-in structures to boats, including livewells and bait compartments, and containers (bait buckets) used to transport legal live bait, must also be free of aquatic vegetation.

Game wardens will continue to enforce ANS regulations and violations will be dealt with appropriately according to the law.