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
Members Only
Conducted every five years since 1990, the survey originally was scheduled for the summer of 2020 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dakota Prairie Grassland officials said they are surveying the area to identify a temporary reroute, and additional information will be released once a reroute is identified and completed.
The border between Minnesota and Wisconsin here was formed by a combination of molten lava and melting glaciers over the past billion years. The St. Croix River Valley's hugely popular public access site features hikes along the bluffs and down to the river, and ways to see these stunning rock cliffs from water level.
This holiday weekend looks to feature generally lighter winds and a few chances of showers and thunderstorms.