Over the last 10 years North Dakota has gradually added a number of rules and regulations designed to slow or prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species.

In 2018, the only new rule is that transportation of live white suckers is illegal other than within Richland, Cass, Traill, Grand Forks, Walsh and Pembina counties in the eastern part of the state. Live white suckers are not legal bait in North Dakota expect in the Red River.

Heading into a new fishing year, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds anglers and boaters that 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.

In addition to removing vegetation, other North Dakota ANS regulations require:

• 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.

• 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.

About The Author

Jason Mitchell

Over the past decade, Jason Mitchell has earned a legendary status as a professional hunting and fishing guide on North Dakota’s Devils Lake. Jason began his career as a guide at an early age and in the span of a decade, built one of the largest open water guide services in existence (Mitchell’s Guide Service head quartered out of Woodland Resort) and was a key member of Devils Lake’s famed Perch Patrol Guide Service during the winter. Mitchell also spent up to seventy five days each fall as a waterfowl hunting guide before expanding into television. During that time, Mitchell logged thousands of hours on the water and ice, earning a reputation for not only being an extraordinary guide, hunter and angler but also a gifted writer, communicator and promoter. Jason’s credibility is grounded by a combination of extensive time on the water, a reputation for honesty and integrity. During Mitchell’s career as a guide, he worked with a “who’s who” of outdoor writers, television show hosts and celebrities in the fishing and hunting industry. Mitchell had a well earned status of being one of the elite guides making a living from fishing and hunting. The hunting and fishing industry began to realize what Mitchell’s guide customers did long before, several writers and television hosts began to trust Mitchell as a guide they could count on for both strong editorial and video footage. Mitchell’s experience and time on the water or in the field is hard to duplicate. “A step into Jason Mitchell’s boat makes any angler a much better fishermen because Jason is so in tuned to what is happening on the water and is such a masterful teacher,” explains veteran outdoor writer Mark Strand. While Mitchell’s reputation as a guide, hunter and angler may be recognized, what continues to drive his popularity is an uncommon modesty and humbleness that is refreshing to many viewers.