Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Drain Water from Boats

North Dakota anglers and water recreationists are reminded that all water must be drained from boats before leaving a water body.

 

This regulation, intended to help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species, includes all watercraft and associated bilges, livewells, baitwells and motors. However, anglers can transport fish on ice in a separate container.

 

In addition, 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.

 

Other ANS regulations require:

  • All aquatic vegetation must 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. 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 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.
  • Transportation of live white suckers, other than within Richland, Cass, Traill, Grand Forks, Walsh and Pembina counties, is illegal.

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

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.

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

zebra-mussel

 

 

Three adult zebra mussels found last week on Sorlie Bridge in Grand Forks serve as a reminder for local entities and water recreationists to thoroughly check for new aquatic nuisance species infestations when pulling and storing fishing piers, boat docks and lifts prior to ice up.

 

North Dakota Game and Fish Department ANS coordinator Fred Ryckman said the adult mussels were found on Red River sampling equipment by staff from the U.S. Geological Survey.

 

“This does not come as a surprise to us since earlier this summer one zebra mussel adult was found in Fargo, and many veligers were found along the entire length of the Red River,” Ryckman said. “This definitely serves as a reminder to look for zebra mussels now during winter prep work.”

 

Zebra mussels will attach to hard surfaces, such as fishing piers, boat docks and lifts, especially the undersides or other areas not exposed to direct sunlight. Ryckman said the three adults on Sorlie Bridge were attached to an aluminum pipe approximately three feet below the surface of the water.

 

If mussels are found, citizens are requested to leave the suspicious mussel attached, take a digital picture, and report findings immediately to a local Game and Fish Department district office. Pictures of zebra mussels are available on the 100th Meridian Initiative website at 100thmeridian.org/.

 

Game and Fish implemented two new emergency rules because of this year’s findings along the Red River, each designed to prevent the spread of zebra mussels outside the river.

 

The emergency rules are as follows:

 

  • ·         Anglers may no longer transport live bait in water away from the Red River. That means 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 the rest of the state, anglers can transport live bait in water in containers of 5 gallons or less in volume.
    • ·         All boats and other watercraft must have their plugs pulled when exiting the river, and plugs must remain pulled when the watercraft leaves the access area. In addition, all boats entering North Dakota must have their plugs pulled. This rule would also apply on any other waters where Class I ANS, including zebra mussels, are discovered in the future.

 

These new regulations and are in addition to other statewide aquatic nuisance species rules that are already in place. These include:

 

  • ·         water must be drained from watercraft, including from livewells and bilges, prior to leaving a water body;
  • ·         bait buckets and/or any container of 5 gallons or less in volume can be used to transport legal live baitfish or other bait in water;
  • ·         fish species other than minnows in containers of 5 gallons volume or less may not be held in water and/or transported in bait buckets/containers when away from a water body;
  • ·         no aquatic vegetation, or parts thereof, shall be in or on watercraft, motors, trailers and recreational equipment when out of water;
  • ·         all water must be drained from all watercraft and recreational, commercial, and construction equipment bilges and confined spaces, livewells and baitwells, when out of water or upon entering the state.

zebra-mussel