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Threat of Exotics in State Waters Continues

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Now that the ice has finally left North Dakota’s lakes and rivers, boaters and anglers are starting to enjoy summer recreation opportunities. With more than 400 water bodies covering the state, outdoor recreationists are once again reminded to help prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota.

Robert Timian, State Game and Fish Department enforcement division chief, said ANS violations include both warnings and citations. “Warnings serve a purpose in some occasions, but citations will become more commonplace this summer,” he said. “We need to continue to send a message that we are serious about the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota.”

Current law states all water must be drained from watercraft prior to leaving a water body, including livewells. This means fish, including bait, cannot be transported in a livewell containing water. However, 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. All other fish species may not be held in water and/or transported in bait buckets/containers when away from a water body. Transportation of fish in or on ice is allowed.

In addition, no aquatic vegetation, or parts thereof, shall be in or on watercraft, motors, trailers and recreational equipment when out of water. Time out of the water needed to remove aquatic vegetation at the immediate water access area is allowed.

All built-in structures to boats, including livewells and bait compartments, and containers (bait buckets) used to transport legal live bait, must also be free of aquatic vegetation.

Public participation will ensure ANS is not transferred from one lake to another.