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Threat of Exotics in State Waters Continues

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Silver carp are the latest threat in the ongoing campaign to stop the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota, which features 360-plus fishing waters.

However, silver carp aren’t the only ANS threat in a state that is fortunate not to have big management problems with new or expanded exotic populations.

Robert Timian, North Dakota Game and Fish Department enforcement division chief, said ANS violations brought more warnings than citations in the past, but after years of informing the public about the harmful consequences of aquatic nuisance species, things will change.

“Warnings are good during the information phase, but then you need to take direct action,” Timian said. “Citations send a message that we are serious about the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota.”

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 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 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, no aquatic vegetation, or parts thereof, shall be in or 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.