May 15-21: Aquatic Nuisance Species Awareness week

Published: May. 14, 2022 at 11:08 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Governor Doug Burgum proclaimed May 15-21 as Aquatic Nuisance Species Awareness week in North Dakota. Mike Anderson explains in this week’s segment of North Dakota Outdoors.

Aquatic nuisance species are nonnative plants, animals or pathogens that can affect the ecology of our lakes and rivers and the economic and recreational value of those waterways. And that’s why Governor Burgum declared the third week in May as Aquatic Nuisance Species Awareness Week.

“The week is designed to help raise public awareness for aquatic nuisance species and the steps we can take to prevent them from getting into our waterways,” said NDGF aquatic nuisance species coordinator Ben Holen.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department and many partner agencies are increasing awareness during this week.

“We’ll have partners releasing press releases, doing radio events, a lot of press material out there for the public. So stay tuned during the week and learn a little bit about aquatic nuisance species and what you can do to prevent them from moving in and through our waterways,” said Holen.

In the big picture our waterbodies are in pretty good shape, but we do have a few ANS species in our lakes and rivers.

“We have common carp, which is widespread throughout the state. We have silver, big head, grass carp. We have a little bit of Eurasian watermilfoil, curlyleaf pondweed and zebra mussels and then also flowering rush,” said Holen.

Holen said his crews are focusing on educating the public to help stop the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species.

“We use mechanisms like digital marketing, social media, print advertisement, radio, television to get the word out about aquatic nuisance species awareness and just general clean drain dry. We also have 11 to 15 watercraft inspectors that we have here at North Dakota Game and Fish that are actively checking boats before they go into our waterbodies,” said Holen.

To do your part, follow these suggestions.

“Remove all vegetation, any organic material, knock off any mud and make sure your boat is completely dry. No residual water, this includes ballast water or any live well or anything like that. Properly pull those plugs, drain off that water, wipe everything down and really lower your risk of potentially spreading species,” said Holen.

For more information on aquatic nuisance species, visit

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