Governor declares May 15-21 Aquatic Nuisance Species Awareness Week in North Dakota

ANS Awareness Week aims raise the public’s understanding of how to stop stop the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in the state’s waterways.

Zebra Mussels.jpg
Zebra mussels.
Photo / Forum News Service
We are part of The Trust Project.

BISMARCK – Gov. Doug Burgum has declared May 15-21 Aquatic Nuisance Species Awareness Week in North Dakota to raise the public’s understanding of the preventative steps recreationists need to follow to stop the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species in the state’s waterways.

Knowing the fallout of aquatic nuisance species, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department has long steered communication efforts that focus on the dangers of unwanted exotics once established.

Members Only
Some of the best wildlife habitat in northeast North Dakota is near or between the airport and Grand Forks Air Force Base. That increases the potential for bird strikes at both sites.

“Aquatic nuisance species are nonnative plants, animals or pathogens that can affect the ecology of our lakes and rivers and can affect the economic and recreational value of those waterways,” said Ben Holen, ANS coordinator for Game and Fish in Jamestown. “Aquatic nuisance species can really change the ecology of a lake and upset the food web and can be very hard on recreation.”

North Dakota currently has low numbers of aquatic nuisance species. Other than zebra mussels, just a few invasive plants and animals – curly leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil, flowering rush, and grass, bighead, silver and common carp – are found in some state waters .

To fight the introduction and spread of unwanted invasives, Holen said some of the shared burden falls on water users. The Game and Fish Department encourages anglers, pleasure boaters and others to clean, drain and dry all equipment after every use. Clean and remove all plants or animals from watercraft or equipment prior to leaving any recreational area. Drain and remove water from all equipment prior to exiting designated access points. Not draining water can be extremely hazardous and may cause negligent transportation of ANS to various locations. Afterwards, verify that all equipment is completely dry before using again.


For more information on aquatic nuisance species, visit the department’s website at

What to read next
Alex Comstock, who launched the website while he was in college and manages a corresponding YouTube channel, is an avid deer hunter and shares his passion for everything outdoors.
Founded more than a century ago and expended during the Great Depression, this gem in western Minnesota features hiking, biking, boating, beaching and abundant wildlife, along with a quartet of camping options.
There are four South Dakota pro anglers – Ted Takasaki, Brian Bashore, Mike Zell and Duane Hjelm – who are among the top 40 in the Angler of the Year standings
The Game and Fish Department continues to prioritize short- and long-term habitat for the maintenance and growth of wildlife populations.