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North Dakota Outdoors: Aquatic Nuisance Species Awareness Week

Updated: May. 16, 2021 at 7:18 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Gov. Doug Burgum has proclaimed May 16-22 as Aquatic Nuisance Species Awareness Week in North Dakota. Mike Anderson explains in this week’s segment of North Dakota Outdoors.

North Dakota has seen in increase in aquatic nuisance species in the last decade, yet the state remains in pretty good shape with the low number of waterbodies with invasive species.

“Aquatic nuisance species is a nonnative plant, animal or pathogen that gets in our waters and has the ability to threaten the ecological stability, recreational value and economic value of our waters,” said said Ben Holen, North Dakota Game and Fish Department aquatic nuisance species coordinator.

While the most common aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota are common carp, zebra mussels and others have garnered notoriety. Stopping the introduction and spread of ANS is not just hunter and angler issue.

Holen said: “This is a citizens of North Dakota issue. Aquatic nuisance species can affect citizens directly or indirectly around North Dakota. It’s really a water user issue in North Dakota.”

And that’s why there are so many partners locally and around the country involved during this week to bring awareness to stop the spread aquatic nuisance species.

“We’re going to have state, federal and local partners just raise awareness about the importance of aquatic nuisance species and knowing how to prevent it and keep it out of our waterbodies. We have the AG Department, the Water Commission, North Dakota Parks and Rec Department, Department of Environmental Quality and many other partners,” said Holen.

During this week the emphasis will be on what people can do to help stop the spread of aquatic nuisance species.

“How to keep your boat properly cleaned, drained, dry. Everything from not releasing a pet to just proper procedures during that week,” said Holen

If you’re not familiar with aquatic nuisance species, this is a good time to become acquainted.

“The average citizen can take time this week to learn about aquatic nuisance species and how to keep them out of our waterbodies here in North Dakota,” said Holen.

If we want to keep our waterbodies free from aquatic nuisance species for future generations, it’s a team effort.

“Education is our number one priority for North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Everybody plays a part and everyone has to be educated on this issue,” said Holen.

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