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North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department

Aquatic Nuisance Species

Plants and animals that are brought into an area in which they did not evolve are often referred to as 'introduced' and/or 'nuisance' species. These species may have hitched a ride on a boat, plane or other transport, or they may have been brought in as pets that later escaped or were released into the wild.

'Nuisance species' are species that adapt readily to the new environment and out-compete native species for food and other resources. This can cause the reduction and sometimes even extinction of the native species with which they compete.

Water Milfoil

In North Dakota we have a number of nuisance species including several 'Aquatic Nuisance Species' (ANS). Our actions as park users can have a very significant impact on the spread of ANS in our state. These species are most often spread by watercraft and fishing equipment that are used in an infested area then moved and used in new areas without first being properly cleaned.


North Dakota Laws

In an effort to combat the spread of ANS in the state, ND has enacted laws concerning the removal of vegetation and water from boats and equipment when leaving an ND water body.

North Dakota law requires all anglers and boaters to remove vegetation from all watercraft and equipment before leaving a water body. This includes boats, motors, trailers, fishing poles, lures, bait buckets, float tubes, waders, etc. In addition, all water must be drained from bilges, livewells, baitwells, etc., upon leaving a water body.

ANS Laws

Inspect - all equipment for ANS

Remove - all vegetation from boats and equipment

Drain - water from livewells and bilge at the boat ramp

ANS on Boat
ANS on Boat
  • Aquatic Bait:
  • Do not dump aquatic bait in the water - it must be properly disposed of or buried
  • Aquatic Bait must not be imported into ND
  • Aquatic Bait can only be transported within the state in containers that are 5-gallons or less

Please see the ND Game and Fish page at http://www.gf.nd.gov/fishing/aquatic-nuisance-species for detailed information on laws, regulations and species.