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Bait Regulations

Live white suckers are not legal baitfish in North Dakota, except in the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers.

Anglers can use live white suckers on the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers, and tributaries up to the first vehicular bridge; however, they are illegal elsewhere. Fathead minnows, sticklebacks and creek chubs are the only legal live baitfish outside of the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers.

The transportation of live white suckers, other than in Richland, Cass, Traill, Grand Forks, Walsh and Pembina counties, is illegal.  

In addition, it is illegal for anglers to import minnows and other forms of live aquatic bait, such as leeches and frogs, into North Dakota. 

When purchasing live aquatic bait, anglers must buy from a licensed North Dakota retail bait vendor. Bait vendors can properly identify species and ensure all bait is clean of any aquatic nuisance species.

For more information, refer to the 2024-26 North Dakota Fishing Guide, available at license vendors or online at the state Game and Fish Department website,