Aquatic Nuisance Species

Zebra Mussel

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.

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. Live aquatic bait or aquatic vegetation may not be transported into North Dakota.
  3. All water must be drained from boats and other watercraft, including bilges, livewells, baitwells and motors before leaving a water body.
  4. All drain plugs that may hold back water must be removed, and water draining devices must be open, on all watercraft and recreational, commercial, and construction equipment bilges and confined spaces, during any out-of-water transport of same.
  5. Anglers may not transport live bait in water away from the Red River (Class I ANS infested waters). 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 all other waters not infested with Class I ANS species, anglers can transport live bait in water in containers of five (5) gallons or less in volume.


Additional Boat Cleaning Recommendations

  • Power wash the exterior and interior of the boat and trailer at a commercial car wash 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

ANS Brochure | ANS Poster