Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Aquatic Vegetation Deserves Attention

 

Extensive vegetation growth along docks and boat ramps serves as a good reminder for anglers and boaters to follow aquatic nuisance species regulations.

 

North Dakota Game and Fish Department ANS coordinator Jessica Howell said the Department has received reports of increased vegetation in local waters.

 

“Aquatic plants can be the most abundant in the warmer months due to a combination of available nutrients, light and steadily increasing water temperatures,” Howell said.

 

State regulations require all aquatic vegetation be removed from boats, personal watercraft, trailers and fishing equipment such as fishing rods, bait buckets, lures and waders before leaving a body of water. Howell said that means “vegetation free” when transporting watercraft and/or equipment away from a boat ramp, landing area or shoreline. She said time out of the water needed to remove aquatic vegetation at the immediate water access area is allowed.

 

“Some plant species are highly invasive, and other ANS can hitch a ride in vegetation as well,” Howell said.

 

In addition to removing vegetation, other ANS regulations require:

 

  • All water must be drained from boats and other watercraft, including bilges, livewells, baitwells and motors before leaving a water body. Anglers can transport fish on ice in a separate container.
  • 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.
  • All legal live aquatic organisms used by anglers, including legal baitfish (fathead minnows), amphibians (salamanders and frogs), invertebrates (crayfish and leeches) and insects must be purchased and/or trapped in North Dakota. Anglers can transport live bait in water in containers of five gallons or less in volume. The only exception is that anglers may not transport live bait in water away from the Red River (Class I ANS infested waters). At 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.

clean under boat

Traveling Boaters Should Check Border State and Provincial ANS Regulations

North Dakota boaters who are traveling to other states or Canadian provinces should check the aquatic nuisance species regulations of their destination to make sure they are in compliance.

While many of North Dakota’s ANS prevention regulations are similar to surrounding states and provinces, state Game and Fish Department ANS coordinator Jessica Howell says there are some subtle differences that could lead to travel interruption or citations depending on the circumstances.

“Removal of all water and vegetation, as well as pulled plugs while traveling, are generally the rule in neighboring states and provinces,” Howell said, “but there are some places where ‘dry’ is also a requirement, meaning no residual water anywhere in the boat.”

Mandatory boat inspections may be required based on destination or route taken. For example, Howell said anyone pulling a boat into Canada will likely have it inspected at a border crossing. Some states, including Montana, have inspection checkpoints along highways, and some lakes have inspectors at boat ramps. Any boats that are not in compliance will likely get delayed in their travels or be prevented from launching, Howell added.

In addition, Howell said boats on Canyon Ferry or Tiber reservoirs in Montana will need to be decontaminated when leaving. “There is a greater chance of being stopped for inspection in Montana because of zebra mussel findings,” she said.

Boaters should be aware of regulations for not only their destination, but for any states they are traveling through. More information on bordering state and provincial ANS regulations is available at the following web addresses.

North Dakota ANS regulations are as follows:

  • All aquatic vegetation must be removed from boats, personal watercraft, trailers and fishing equipment such as fishing poles, bait buckets, lures 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. Time out of the water needed to remove aquatic vegetation at the immediate water access area is allowed.
  • All water must be drained from boats and other watercraft, including bilges, livewells, baitwells and motors before leaving a water body.
  • 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.
  • Transportation of fish in or on ice is allowed.
  • Live aquatic bait or aquatic vegetation may not be transported into North Dakota.
  • All legal live aquatic organisms used by anglers, including legal baitfish (fathead minnows), amphibians (salamanders and frogs), invertebrates (crayfish and leeches) and insects must be purchased and/or trapped in North Dakota.
  • 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 gallons or less in volume.

It’s Important to Protect North Dakota Waters

Outdoor water recreationists are gearing up for another season on the open water. With that in mind, boaters and anglers are once again reminded to help prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota.

zebra-mussel

State Game and Fish Department ANS coordinator Jessica Howell said as other states continue to find new ANS, such as Montana, it’s more important than ever to protect North Dakota waters from these harmful plants and animals.

“It’s vital everyone does their part by following regulations,” Howell said. “In addition, anglers and boaters traveling to other states or provinces should check their ANS regulations, as them may be different from North Dakota’s.”

Current North Dakota regulations require:

  • All aquatic vegetation must be removed from boats, personal watercraft, trailers and fishing equipment such as fishing poles, bait buckets, lures 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. Time out of the water needed to remove aquatic vegetation at the immediate water access area is allowed.

  • All water must be drained from boats and other watercraft, including bilges, livewells, baitwells and motors before leaving a water body.

  • 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.

  • Transportation of fish in or on ice is allowed.

  • Live aquatic bait or aquatic vegetation may not be transported into North Dakota.

  • All legal live aquatic organisms used by anglers, including legal baitfish (fathead minnows), amphibians (salamanders and frogs), invertebrates (crayfish and leeches) and insects must be purchased and/or trapped in North Dakota.

  • 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 gallons or less in volume.

Have You Seen? Silver Carp Update

 

Silver Carp Update

When silver carp were discovered in the James River several years ago, biologists knew they had their work cut out for them to prevent the aquatic nuisance species from spreading.

In this week’s North Dakota Outdoors, Tom Jensen shows us how the Game and Fish Department is using a unique approach to monitor the carp to see if they are breeding.

Related Links

https://gf.nd.gov/ans - ANS information including species list, infested waters, regulations, etc.

Waterfowl Hunters Reminded of ANS Regulations

Waterfowl hunters are reminded to do their part in preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species into or within North Dakota.

Waterfowl hunters must remove plants and plant fragments from decoys, strings and anchors; remove plants seeds and plant fragments from waders and other equipment before leaving hunting areas; remove all water from decoys, boats, motors, trailers and other watercraft; and remove all aquatic plants from boats and trailers before leaving a marsh or lake. In addition, hunters are encouraged to brush their hunting dogs free of mud and seeds.

140924 waterfowl ANS

Cattails and bulrushes may be transported as camouflage on boats. All other aquatic vegetation must be cleaned from boats prior to transportation into or within North Dakota.

In addition, drain plugs on boats must remain pulled when the boat is in transit away from a water body.

More ANS information, including regulations, is available by visiting the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.

Threat of Exotics in State Waters Continues

 

Outdoor water recreationists are once again reminded to help prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota.

clean under boat zebra-mussel

Current regulations require:

·         All aquatic vegetation must be removed from boats, personal watercraft, trailers and fishing equipment such as fishing poles, bait buckets, lures 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. Time out of the water needed to remove aquatic vegetation at the immediate water access area is allowed.

·         All water must be drained from boats and other watercraft, including bilges, livewells, baitwells and motors before leaving a water body.

·         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.

·         Transportation of fish in or on ice is allowed.

·         Live aquatic bait or aquatic vegetation may not be transported into North Dakota.

·         All legal live aquatic organisms used by anglers, including legal baitfish (fathead minnows), amphibians (salamanders and frogs), invertebrates (crayfish and leeches) and insects must be purchased and/or trapped in North Dakota.

·         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 gallons or less in volume.

Have You Seen? ANS and Zebra mussels

This weeks North Dakota Outdoors webcast is now available. The topics this week is aquatic nuisance species

Find out more about zebra mussels in the Red River and the new ANS rules in place in North Dakota in this week’s webcast with ANS coordinator Jessica Howell. Watch the video right here or click this link:  http://gf.nd.gov/publications/television/outdoors-online-webcast

More information on aquatic nuisance species is right here or at this link: http://gf.nd.gov/ans

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Weekly Webcast on ANS and zebra mussels