Outdoor water recreationists are once again reminded to help prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota.
State Game and Fish Department ANS Coordinator Fred Ryckman said there are more than 400 recreational fishing waters across the state, making it imperative for watercraft owners to obey regulations.
“It is the same message year after year, but that just shows how important it is to keep our waterways free of unwanted species,” Ryckman said. “Full public participation and compliance is critical if we want to ensure ANS is not transferred from one lake to another.”
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 5 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.