Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Anglers May Not Bring Aquatic Bait into North Dakota

Anglers are reminded that it is illegal to import all forms of live aquatic bait into North Dakota. This includes minnows, suckers, leeches, waterdogs (salamanders) and frogs.

 

Anglers should buy bait from a licensed North Dakota retail bait vendor. Bait vendors can properly identify species and have taken steps to ensure all bait is clean of any aquatic nuisance species.

 

For more information, refer to the 2018-20 North Dakota Fishing Guide, available at license vendors or online at the state Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.

White Suckers Only Legal in Bois de Sioux, Red Rivers

The state Game and Fish Department reminds anglers that live white suckers are not legal baitfish anywhere in North Dakota, except in the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers.

photo by Craig Bihrle, ND Game and Fish

 

Although anglers can use live white suckers on the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers, and tributaries up to the first vehicular bridge, 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. Dead white suckers which have been preserved by freezing, salting or otherwise treated to inactivate reproductive capabilities are legal bait.

 

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

 

Anglers are also reminded that live baitfish, or other live aquatic bait such as leeches, cannot be transported from another state into North Dakota.

Live White Suckers Only Legal in Bois de Sioux, Red Rivers

The State Game and Fish Department reminds anglers that live white suckers are not legal baitfish anywhere in North Dakota, except for the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers.

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Fisheries division chief Greg Power says that regulation has been in place for most water bodies in the state for more than 20 years, but every spring Game and Fish still gets questions from anglers who wonder if they can use live white suckers for early ice-out northern pike fishing.

“White suckers can and have caused a lot of problems when they get introduced into waters where they were not present,” Power said. “Since we adopted that regulation in 1993, the number of new lakes with introduced white suckers is near zero.”

Although anglers can use live white suckers on the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers and tributaries up to the first vehicular bridge, 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. Dead white suckers which have been preserved by freezing, salting or otherwise treated to inactivate sexual products are legal bait.

Anglers are also reminded that live baitfish or other live aquatic bait such as leeches, cannot be transported from another state into North Dakota.