Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Traveling Boaters Take Note of ANS Regulations

Traveling Boaters Take Note of ANS Regulations

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


Mandatory boat inspections may be required along highways or at lakes based on destination or route taken. In general, to ensure compliance boaters are encouraged to clean, drain and dry equipment.

  • Clean: remove plants, animals and excessive mud from trailers, hulls, motors and other equipment such as fishing rods.
  • Drain: drain all water, including bilges, livewells and bait buckets.
  • Dry: allow all equipment to dry completely, as an inspection might be failed in a neighboring state if any standing water is present. If necessary, use sponges or towels to remove excess water and leave compartments dry.

More information on bordering state and provincial ANS regulations is available at the following web addresses.

A summary of North Dakota ANS regulations include:

  • All aquatic vegetation must be removed from all equipment before leaving a body of water. In addition, it is illegal to import any aquatic vegetation into the state.
  • 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 equipment during any out-of-water transport. This includes livewells.
  • Transportation of fish in or on ice is allowed.
  • All legal live aquatic bait, including legal baitfish and leeches, must be purchased and/or trapped in North Dakota and may not be imported. Anglers should also check bait regulations in other states, as many have rules similar to North Dakota’s.
  • In North Dakota waters not infested with Class I ANS species, anglers can transport live bait in water in containers of five gallons or less in volume.
  • Live bait may not be transported in water away from the Red River (Class I ANS infested waters). Drain water from bait buckets before leaving the water, and properly dispose of unused bait away from the river, as dumping bait in the water or on shore is illegal.


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