Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Watercraft Registrations Online

North Dakota watercraft owners are reminded that 2020 is the first year of a new three-year registration period.

 

Watercraft registrations must be renewed online by visiting My Account at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. A credit card is required.

 

The price to register motorboats in North Dakota under 16 feet in length, and all canoes, is $18, motorboats from 16 feet to less than 20 feet in length is $36, and motorboats at least 20 feet in length is $45. Fees are prorated.

 

In addition, Senate Bill 2293, passed by the 2019 state legislature, created an aquatic nuisance species program fund in the state treasury. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, this new state law establishes an ANS fee of $15 for each motorized watercraft registered in North Dakota to run concurrent with the three-year watercraft registration period.

 

For motorized watercraft operated on waters in North Dakota and not licensed in North Dakota, the state law establishes an ANS fee of $15 to be paid for each calendar year, and to display an ANS sticker on the watercraft.

 

New watercraft owners can attach the required documentation, such as the bill of sale or proof of taxes paid, with the online purchase, or send in the required documentation via standard mail. A 10-day temporary permit will be issued to allow for processing and delivery of registration and decals. For timely processing, Game and Fish encourages watercraft owners to submit attachments online.

 

The 2020-2022 watercraft registration cycle begins Jan. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2022. The online registration will be available mid-December.

Water Recreationists, Property Owners Asked to Help Search for ANS

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is asking water recreationists and property owners to check for zebra mussels and other aquatic nuisance species when removing boat lifts, docks and other equipment from area lakes.

ANS coordinator Jessica Howell said zebra mussels attach to hard surfaces that are left in the water for long periods of time, first settling in tight spaces and areas that are protected from sunlight. She said this can make searching for them in the lake difficult when there are few mussels present.

“It makes it easier to do a thorough search on equipment when it’s taken out of the water in the fall,” Howell said. “Pay special attention to wheel wells, right angles on frames, and areas that are otherwise protected from sunlight. Feel for attached organisms that have small hair-like structures holding them in place. Small mussels can feel like rough sandpaper, and adults can be as large as two inches long.”

Howell said if you think you’ve found a zebra mussel, take pictures, write down any relevant information such as how many were found and where, and report it online at the Game and Fish website gf.nd.gov/ans, or email Howell at jmhowell@nd.gov.

Zebra mussels are native to the Black and Caspian seas and were introduced to the United States in the mid-1980s. Since then, they have caused massive damage to infrastructure, increased costs to electric and water users, and altered the ecosystems into which they were introduced. They were first discovered in North Dakota in the Red River in 2015 as a result of downstream drift from infested Minnesota lakes. Most recently, zebra mussels were discovered earlier this year in Lake Ashtabula.

“Help stop the spread by reporting anything that seems out of place, and remember to clean, drain and dry equipment before moving between waters,” Howell said.

Hunting from Duck Boats Require Safety

Waterfowlers hunting from boats are encouraged to wear properly-fitted life jackets while on the water.

 

Hunting jackets with life jackets already built in are light and comfortable to wear. In addition, wearing a life jacket will not only keep the overboard hunter afloat, but also slows the loss of critical body heat caused by exposure to cold water.

 

Capsizing and falling overboard from small boats are the most common types of fatal boating accidents for hunters.

 

Eight people have drowned in state waters since 1998 while hunting from a boat, and none were wearing life jackets.

Boats Need 2017-19 Registration

 

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North Dakota boat owners are reminded that 2017 is the first year of a new three-year registration period.

Boat registrations can be renewed online by clicking on “buy and apply” at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. In addition, boat owners should receive their registration mailing in early January.

The price to register motorboats under 16 feet in length, and all canoes, is $18, motorboats from 16 feet to less than 20 feet in length is $36, and motorboats at least 20 feet in length is $45.

The new boat registration cycle begins Jan. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2019.

Also, anyone buying a new or used watercraft can generate a 10-day temporary permit online that is valid until the registration is processed.

Boat owners purchasing watercraft from private individuals this winter are reminded to register it in their name. Registering a used watercraft purchased from an individual must include proof of transfer of ownership, such as a photocopy of the previous owner’s registration card, a canceled check or a signed note from the previous owner stating transfer of ownership.

Regulations require the boat number to be in contrasting color to the hull in plain vertical block letters at least 3 inches in height, excluding any border, trim, outlining or shading, and must be maintained in a legible condition so the number is clearly visible in daylight hours. The number must read from left to right, and groups of numbers and letters must be separated by a space or hyphen equivalent in width to the letter “M.”

In addition, a validation sticker issued by the Game and Fish Department must be displayed on the boat within 6 inches of the number toward the rear of the boat. No other numbers should be displayed in this area.

Boat owners who do not receive a renewal notice by the end of January should contact the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6335, or email ndgf@nd.gov. Many renewals are likely to be returned because some owners who moved within the last three years did not notify the Department with their new address.

Boats Need 2017-19 Registration

 

North Dakota boat owners are reminded that 2017 is the first year of a new three-year registration period.

 

Boat owners should receive their registration mailing by the end of December. In addition, boat registrations can be renewed online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov, starting Dec. 15.

The price to register motorboats under 16 feet in length, and all canoes, is $18, motorboats from 16 feet to less than 20 feet in length is $36, and motorboats at least 20 feet in length is $45.

The new boat registration cycle begins Jan. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2019.

Also, anyone buying a new or used watercraft can register online and generate a 10-day temporary permit that is valid until the registration is processed.

Boat owners purchasing watercraft from private individuals this winter are reminded to register it in their name. Registering a used watercraft purchased from an individual must include proof of transfer of ownership, such as a photocopy of the previous owner’s registration card, a canceled check or a signed note from the previous owner stating transfer of ownership.

Regulations require the boat number to be in contrasting color to the hull in plain vertical block letters at least 3 inches in height, excluding any border, trim, outlining or shading, and must be maintained in a legible condition so the number is clearly visible in daylight hours. The number must read from left to right, and groups of numbers and letters must be separated by a space or hyphen equivalent in width to the letter “M.”

In addition, a validation sticker issued by the Game and Fish Department must be displayed on the boat within 6 inches of the number toward the rear of the boat. No other numbers should be displayed in this area.

Boat owners who do not receive a renewal notice by Jan. 1 should contact the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6335, or email ndgf@nd.gov. Many renewals are likely to be returned because some owners who moved within the last three years did not notify the Department with their new address.

Summer Safety on the Water

Failure to wear a personal floatation device is the main reason people lose their lives in water recreation accidents.

Safety on the water-wearing life jacket

North Dakota law requires all children ages 10 and younger to wear a personal flotation device while in boats of less than 27 feet in length. The law also requires all personal watercraft users to wear a life jacket, as well as anyone towed on skis, tubes, boards or other similar devices.

Water users should make sure to wear life jackets that are the appropriate size, and in good condition. It is also important that children wear a PFD while swimming.

Water skiers and tubers should wear a life jacket with four nylon straps rather than one with a zipper, because straps are stronger than zippers upon impact with water. Anglers or persons paddling a canoe should opt for a PFD that is comfortable enough to wear for an entire outing.

Water skiers and tubers are reminded it takes three to ski and tube. When a person is towed on water skis or a similar device, an observer other than the operator is required on the vessel.

Swimmers should know the water’s depth as serious injuries can occur from diving into water. Large objects hidden below the water’s surface can lead to significant injury.

North Dakota boaters also are reminded that marine VHF radios are an important part of boat safety that should not be improperly used by operators. These radios are intended for boat operators who are in distress and facing an emergency situation.

Regulations to help ensure safe boating this summer are found in the 2016-18 North Dakota Fishing Guide. A more comprehensive listing is available in the North Dakota Boat and Water Safety Guide or the Boat North Dakota education book. These guides are available online at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, by email at ndgf@nd.gov, or at a local Game and Fish Department office.